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Read a review of Give Over Thine Own Willing (1997) for SATB chorus by Jerry F. Davidson, The Journal of the AAM.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by the Union Avenue Christian Church Choir, Scott Schoonover, conductor.
Composed in celebration of the sesquicentennial of Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, 1847-1997 and commissioned by the Earlham Concert Choir, Daniel Graves, music director.
The lyrics for Give Over Thine Own Willing are taken from the writings of Isaac Pennington, as adapted by contemporary author Paul Lacey. The message is one of setting aside personal ambitions and desires in order to allow God's will to grow within us and guide our lives. "And then you shall find...that the Lord knows and loves you, and will lead you to the inheritance of life."
Interspersed within these lines are lyrics from a Protestant hymn, "Take My Life, and Let it Be" (words by Frances Ridley Havergal, 1874), whose sentiments augment the Pennington thoughts. "Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee." The hymn lyrics are presented most often in a quartet of solo voices which express the intimate and personal act of the individual giving over one's life to God.
Notes by the composer