This setting of Psalm 121 was commissioned by Kentoris, a choir from Saint Kentigern College in Auckland conducted by Kath Deeble. The request was for a fairly straightforward and melodic setting, with accompaniment by a small ensemble allowing some of the school’s fine wind players to participate. An alternative accompaniment for solo piano is also available.
I was also asked to consider using the version of Psalm 121 from the NZ Prayer Book. It is a fairly free adaptation of the text in contemporary language. After considering various translations from different Bibles I decided the suggested translation was a very suitable one for a school choir as it avoided some of the more archaic language in other versions. An ‘Amen’ has been added to the text, and the work ends by returning to the opening lines of the psalm.
Commissioned by Kentoris choir from St Kentigern College in Auckland and conductor Kath Deeble
Text is Psalm 121 from the NZ Prayer Book