AFTER DARKNESS, LIGHT
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.