Lux Aurumque, by Eric Whitacre (1970)
Conducted by Kristen Hjelmaas
Kristen Hjelmaasis from Overland Park, Kansas. Her major instrument is clarinet and she is actively involved in student organizations, including her current office as President of the VanderCook chapter of the National Band Association. Ms. Hjelmaas has been an assistant in the Office of Continuing Education since her freshman year. After graduating from VanderCook, she hopes to teach junior high band or elementary general music before pursuing a degree in music therapy.
Lux Aurumque was originally written for an a cappella choral ensemble in 2000, and then arranged for wind band and commissioned by the Texas All-State Band in 2005. When creating the wind band arrangement, Whitacre inserted the “Bliss” theme from his opera, Paradise Lost. This piece and its tight, shimmering harmonies were inspired by the poem Light and Gold, by Edward Esch, which reads:
warm and heavy as pure gold
and the angels sing softly
to the new-born babe.