Gwyneth Walker

Quiet Wonder

for SATB Choir and Organ (2001)

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A request came for an anthem to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Charles Page as Music Director at Old First Church, Springfield, MA. Charles himself suggested an anthem in praise of the beauty of the earth. Thus, the creation of Quiet Wonder.

This is delicate music. The work opens with a solo organ line marked "as a bird call." This motive returns within, and at the end of, the anthem.

The choir enters, singing of walking the earth in quiet wonder. A small brook in the forest calls forth the refrain:

"O God, my Creator, the Spirit riding on the wind,
Teach me to be a Shepherd of the Earth."

The reverence for God's creatures "large and small" is enjoyed through depicting the "hopping, swimming, gliding and galloping" forms of life. Soaring to heaven!

"I walk this earth in quiet wonder."

Quiet Wonder was inspired by the environs of the composer's home in Braintree, Vermont, especially the beloved swimming pond.

Notes by the composer