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AFTER DARKNESS, LIGHT

Date: 2009
Duration: 7 minutes
Instrumentation: symphonic band
Premiere: May 1, 2009. Northwestern College Symphonic Band. Orange City, IA.



After Darkness, Light was written for the Northwestern College Symphonic Band of Orange City, Iowa and its director Dr. Tim McGarvey. The primary source material for the work is the hymn tune "Wilhelmus" which is both the College’s alma mater and the Dutch national anthem, connecting with the city's Dutch heritage. The title of the work is a literal translation of the Latin phrase, "Post Tenebras Lux," which became a kind of motto for the early Protestant Reformers. This too reflects the Dutch Reformed tradition of the college. The tune pervades the work from the opening ethereal "darkness" which is generated by tiny fragments of the tune's first phrase, to the triumphant bright ending which is a reharmonization of the tune’s final phrase. Throughout the piece, the tune appears in various "dark" and "light" guises—sometimes penetrating through the musical texture and at other times manipulated and hidden from easy detection.

After Darkness, Light is dedicated to the Northwestern College Symphonic Band and its director Tim McGarvey in honor of Josiah and Kristen Dunlap whose gift to NWC made the piece possible.


Performances
—May 1, 2009: Northwestern College Symphonic Band, Christ Chapel (Orange City, IA)