Chanukah Lights was written in 2005 as a piece for SSA choir with optional piano, for the wonderful A Cappella Choir of the PEARLS Hawthorne Elementary School in Yonkers NY, conducted by Emme Kresek. (In addition to being an excellent choir, the school is a block from my home, and our daughter was a 5th grader there at the time.) A simple melody floats over harmonies set up by the other voices, as the choir sings of the warmth of being together for the Chanukah holiday. The refrain concentrates on the key word “light” and builds a gentle rocking figure in the chorus.
Chicago A Cappella asked me to compose a new version for their professional chorus, giving me the opportunity to write an SSAATTB a cappella version of the piece that they would perform and record. They gave its premiere in December 2022, and it will be released on a new album of the ensemble in 2023.
The candles are gently glowing,
spreading peace, spreading light.
Our family gathers together,
sharing joy this Chanukah night.
bring joy each night!
SSA, with optional piano
SSAATTB, a cappella