A Suite of Hymns: Angel Band


A Suite of Hymns: Angel Band


two voices (or) two voices and cello

  • Premiere: 21 June 2009 / The Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy / The Phoenix Concerts / Seraphim (Gilda Lyons, Elaine Valby, voice; Robert La Rue, cello)
  • Instrumentation: two voices (or) two voices and cello
  • Duration: 2'
  • Text: Traditional

Program Note

Idumea Praetorius/Watts (16th/18th century)

Wayfaring Stranger traditional (19th century)

Angel Band Bradbury/Haskell (19th century)

In summer 2006, upon my arrival at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, I allowed myself the great indulgence of spending my first week in residence working through a stack of hymns with which I had been trying to spend time.  Some new to me, some old favorites, I sang through, read, copied and explored dozens of pieces, landing on a handful that have remained close since; these three are among those that have remained closest.   These arrangements are dedicated to the memory of Jeff Milano-Johnson, and to those whose lives he changed forever: family, friend, and wayfaring stranger.


Angel Band

My latest sun is sinking fast,

my race is nearly run,

My strongest trials now are past,

My triumph is begun.


O come, angel band,

Come and around me stand;

O bear me away on your snowy wings,

To my immortal home,

O bear me away on your snowy wings,

To my immortal home.

I know I'm near the holy ranks

of friends and kindred dear;

I brush the dew on Jordan's bank,

The crossing must be near.


I've almost gained my heavenly home;

My spirit loudly sings;

The Holy ones behold they come

I hear the noise of wings.


text: Jefferson Haskell

melody: William Bradbury (1862)

arrangement: Gilda Lyons (2006)