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The Acolyte

for SA or SSA choir and piano

Year:  2011   ·  Duration:  2m

Year:  2011
Duration:  2m

Composer:   David Gordon

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 2-3 (SA version)

See details ➔
Sample Score

Sample: pages 2-3 (SSA version)

See details ➔


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A very manageable short work for upper voices. Great for introducing an upper voice choir to contemporary idiom and aleotoric elements.

The Acolyte takes its text from the greater part of a poem by the New Zealand poet Eileen Duggan (1894-1972).

The Acolyte evokes the dawn of a day on the hills around the Wellington harbour, describing it as the arrival of a sacred thing. Then follow the first stirrings of the winds for which Wellington is universally known.

Her poetry is characterised by its conspicuous religious dimension, which ranges from simple devotional writing, through poems that celebrate the sacredness of the created world … Source:

The full poem appears on a plaque on the waterfront in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, and is seen daily by thousands of Wellingtonians and visitors to the city.

Difficulty note

Original SA version developed for more capable resources in SSA with subtle revisions.

Dedication note

For Shoan McIntyre-Bull and Virtuoso Voce Choir, Diocesan School for Girls

Text note

The text is taken for the poem "The Acolyte" by New Zealand poet Eileen Duggan, and is used by permission from her estate.

Performance history

Performed by the Senior Choir at Diocesan School for Girls, in Auckland.

Performed by Virtuoso Voce at "The Kids Sing" festival, at the Auckland Town Hall.

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