Gloria in Excelsis is a setting of Luke 2:14, when the angels appear to the shepherds after the birth of Christ. It is one of the four traditional songs of Luke, along with the song of Mary, Zachary, and Simeon. It is the shortest of the songs, where the heavenly host proclaims, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward humankind.”
This arrangement is built around a triumphant choral fanfare, “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” which appears three times in the piece, beginning, middle, and end. The remaining two sections juxtapose the treble and lower voices, having one half of the choir singing the Latin, while the other half sings the English translation. The short ostinato patterns, doubling between voices, and repeated sections make this a piece of music that is quick to learn, yet provides a bombastic, joyous sound for the Christmas season.
I hope that this clean, accessible, rhythmic arrangement of this sacred song from the gospel of Luke brings the Glory of God to your congregation.
Thank you, and blessings on your music-making,
Andrew Cumbow, Composer