I To the Hills Will Lift My Eyes/Where Charity and Love are Found began as a hymn tune with no text attached to it. As a matter of fact, the entire piece was completed, musically, before a text was chosen. This provided a unique challenge to find a text that fit the tune I had created perfectly. When I had finally boiled my choices down to these two texts, I simply couldn't decide between them, so I didn't!
Both of these texts are ones I had always wished had accessible choral arrangements attached to them. The first is Psalm 121, one of my favorite Psalms of peach and comfort. The second is my personal translation of the ancient Christian hymn, Ubi Caritas, which I had fallen in love with in college. Both work as a general anthem, and the second text was liturgically to be sung during Holy Week.
The first verse is sung by the treble voices, in unison, followed by the lower voices. After splitting into SATB for the third verse, the fourth verse is sung to different music, before the final verse reiterates the third in a higher key. This makes the piece particularly quick to learn. The texture of the piano part also makes this an anthem which can be sung without the internal harmony, making it ideal for smaller church choirs.
I hope that this tune will allow your choirs to enjoy these texts in a new way as you enrich the spiritual lives of the people you serve.
Blessings on your music making.
Andrew Cumbow, Composer