Last night at choir rehearsal we began rehearsing Peter Hallock’s processional for Advent, “From lands that see the sun arise,” a piece which the choir will sing to open the 37th Advent Procession on November 27th. Over these many years we have always opened Advent Procession with a piece by Peter Hallock and have alternated “Behold a mighty prophet,” “I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” and “From lands that see the sun arise.” The pieces are all similar because of their use of chant with handbells, alternating with sections for unaccompanied mixed choir.
On Advent I Sunday morning, the choir will open with another Hallock composition, “Advent Litany.” This will be the first time in many years that I have played the organ part since Carl Crosier always thought he could play it better than I could! Now that he is “retired,” I’ll be playing the organ interludes.
In years past, we have also used Hallock’s “Great ‘O’ Antiphons” and “O Antiphons” as a unifying element for our Advent Procession services. The “Great” are unaccompanied throughout while the plain “O Antiphons” are slightly easier, and use organ with the choir.
I get the feeling that Advent is Peter’s favorite season, and wouldn’t you know it, I just put Carl on the plane to Seattle tonight. He will be cooking Peter an 87th birthday dinner tomorrow night then taking him to Advent Procession at St. Mark’s Cathedral next Sunday.
So what I’m getting at is that it wouldn’t be Advent without Hallock’s music!