Composed for the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1980 Reunion Choir.


for SATB a capella (optional piano/organ)
4 min.

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Program Notes

When classmates from Harvard asked me to compose music for the memorial service at our 25th reunion, to honor classmates no longer with us, I was deeply touched and wanted to provide something truly appropriate—music that would provide space for reflection and that sense of a greater, encompassing reality that provides comfort in the face of tragic loss. I considered many texts, including secular ones, before settling on what might have seemed the obvious choice from the start, the Lux Aeterna verses of the Requiem Mass, which provide the greatest source of light and solace in that solemn sequence.

I knew that volunteers from the class would sing it on a single rehearsal, so it needed to be quickly learned. And because I expected many of the singers to be alumni of the various student choral ensembles, I decided on a neo-Renaissance style of writing—open and flowing and full of imitative counterpoint. The memorial service proved to be very moving and significant, with many classmates contributing very handsomely. I was proud to be able to contribute this music, grateful to the classmates who diligently learned it, and even more moved to be joined by my wife Kim and daughter Allegra, then 13 years old, in the chorus.

—Theodore Wiprud

Lux Aeterna

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis,
quia pius es.

Let everlasting light shine upon them, Lord,
with Thy saints for ever,
for Thou art merciful.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,
for Thou art merciful.

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