by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 3, 3:30)
A Prayer was written for the Kanawha County, West Virginia High School Honor Band, and received its premiere performance on April 9, 2016 in Charleston, conducted by the composer. The foundation and inspiration for this piece is the ancient chant melody, “Pange lingua gloriosi”, composed in the 13th Century by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Subsequently, many composers used the melody – in its entirety or in sections – as the basis for more elaborate compositions. The most notable of these is the Pange Lingua Mass written by the great Franco-Flemish composer Josquin des Prez (1450-1521) near the end of his life. This setting for modern wind band pays tribute to Saint Thomas Aquinas’ original melody while utilizing modern harmonies and textures which will be familiar to today’s musicians and audiences.