Make a Joyful Noise


Programme Note

This anthem was commissioned by St Dunstan’s College, South-East London, for the celebration of its centenary in 1988. It sets the words of Psalm 100, and is scored for choir, organ, brass and percussion. The first performance took place at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, in November 1988, and was given by the combined forces of St Dunstan’s College.

The work has three main sections (fast-slow-fast) and is essentially jubilant in nature. After a brief instrumental introduction the choir enters, with the first two verses of the Psalm. This reaches a climax on the word singing after which the music subsides into more tranquil section for female voices, who sing a reflective melody on the words Know ye, surrounded by various counter melodies on solo horn and trumpet. Male voices then take over this tune (inverted) and the final comment is left to unaccompanied choir, leaving sopranos on a held low D. At this point the last section begins. The mood is set by Organ and Percussion and the style takes off its hat to minimalism, with multi-layered textures underpinning the choral unison on the word Enter. Eventually the tonality heads towards G major and a reprise of the opening music, with a coda full of energetic exuberance.

The published version is for choir and organ. The full version is available on hire from the publisher.

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Work Details

  • Date of Composition: 1988
  • Publisher: Novello
  • Genre:
  • Duration: 8'
  • Instrumentation: choir SATB, brass, percussion and organ (score and parts on hire), or choir SATB and organ (published version)
  • Commission Information:
    St Dunstan’s College, London, in celebration of its centenary
  • Text Author: text from Psalm 100

First Performance

  • Date: November 1988
  • Venue: Fairfield Halls, Croydon, UK
  • Performers:
    Combined forces of St Dunstan's College

Concerts