Author Archives: Julie Ray

Ndikhokhele Bawo

“Ndikhokhele Bawo” – arr. Michael Barrett

The text of Ndikhokhele Bawo comes from Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” and is in the Xhosa language. This Bantu language falls into the category of Nguni languages, the same umbrella that contains Zulu; Xhosa is one of the most widely spoken languages in South Africa. Michael Barrett, Director of Choral Music Studies at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, sets this sacred text in a large-scale ‘ternary’ form, ABA. A solo soprano voice brings in the choir with a serene sense of hope and wonder. The women join in with the same soloistic style and the men accompany them in widely voiced homophony. The piece continues to grow in dynamics with a celebratory declaration.

Great Day

“Great Day” by Stacey V. Gibbs (b. 1962)

“Great Day” is an arrangement of a traditional spiritual by Stacey Gibbs. Gibbs is a highly sought-after Black composer-arranger who is acclaimed for his ability to add choral vitality and energy to the power of traditional spirituals. His pieces have been performed by choirs throughout the U.S. and internationally.