(for SATB choir, divisi, brass octet and percussion)

GLORIA was commissioned in 1998 by the Choral Art Society (Portland, Maine) for a December 1999 World Premiere in Portland. It is warmly dedicated to the board, members and Music Director (Robert Russell) of the Choral Art Society.

GLORIA, set in Latin, uses the traditional Gloria in excelsis text which begins with the Biblical words found in Luke 2:14. This ancient canticle is known both as the Greater Doxology and, because of its opening sentences, as “the angel’s song.” In the first part of GLORIA, I have sought to symbolize “the angel’s song” aspect of the text that celebrates the birth of Jesus. After a brass and percussion introduction, a small group of singers begin a chant-like statement of the Gloria text. These singers begin singing in a different location in the performance space (preferably the rear). As the small group sings, they process toward the larger ensemble, symbolizing the angels bringing the Good News of Jesus’ birth to God’s people on earth. The full chorus and brass gradually enter and the full text of the Gloria is eventually sung. Soon, a symbolic people’s response begins as the Gloria text is fully repeated. This time many dimensions of this dramatic text are musically expressed, ranging from the exuberant and highly rhythmic statements of praise in the opening and closing parts of the piece, to the gentle and reflective antiphonal music in the piece’s mid-section.

Duration of GLORIA : ca. 12 minutes

Soli Deo Gloria!

Dan Locklair
September 1998
Winston-Salem, NC/USA

GLORIA is scored for the following forces:

SATB choir, divisi (SSAATTBB) [N.B. It is recommended that the full choir be divided into two separate SATB ensembles. Though a small amount of visible separation between the two choirs may be desirable, this is not essential.]
A small group of singers (SSAATTBB) from the large choir form the antiphonal ensemble that begins GLORIA. These singers, which may begin the piece either in the rear of the performance space or to the side of the stage, play the noted ad lib Finger Cymbals parts.

Brass octet:
4 Trumpets (C)
2 Trombones (A French Horn may be substituted for Trombone 1)
Bass Trombone

Percussion (2 players):
Player 1 – Orchestral Chimes

Player 2 – Large Suspended Cymbal
Tom-Toms (3)
Bell Tree
Woodblocks (5)
Temple Blocks (5)

Gloria in excelsis Deo,
Et in terra pax hominibus
bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te, benedicimus te,
adoramus te, glorificamus te,
Gratias agimus tibi
propter magnam gloriam tuam,
Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,
Deus Pater omnipotens!
Domine Fili unigenite,
Jesu Christe altissime!
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei,
Filius Patris,
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis;
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
suscipe deprecationem nostram;
Qui sedes ad dextram Patris,
miserere nobis;
Quoniam tu solus sanctus, tu solus Dominus,
tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe,
Cum Sancto Spiritu
In gloria Dei Patris, Amen.
Glory in the highest to God,
and on earth peace to people
of His good will.
We praise you, we reverence you,
we worship you, we glorify you,
we give thanks to you for
the great glory that is yours,
Lord God, heavenly King,
God and Father almighty!
Lord and only Son,
Jesus Christ the most high!
Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the Father,
who take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you who take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you who sit at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us;
since you alone are holy, you alone are Lord,
you alone are the most high, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit
in the glory of God the Father; Amen.


Translation : Robert W. Ulery, Jr.
Professor, Classical Languages
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC

Sound & Score (YouTube)