Written for the Michigan State Trumpet Ensemble. The piece was premiered at Abrams Planetarium in 2012.
With The Heavens Proclaim, I want to convey the mysteriousness of the universe as well as the praise that comes from observing creation. The main material in this piece comes from two hymns: Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow and Holy, Holy, Holy. Both hymns speak of all creation praising God. They are joyful expressions that come from beholding God’s mysterious creation. The hymns develop until the music reaches a high point where all the themes join together, as to represent all of creation joining together in praise.
I often thought of the outer trumpets (1 and 7) representing the two seraphim that are mentioned in Isaiah 6. These seraphim call out to each other as they worship the holiness of God. The hymn writer also praised the holiness of God when reflecting on the work of creation in the final verse of Holy, Holy, Holy:
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
Short Program Notes:
With the screen of images of space above and in front of them, and a wall of trumpet sound around them, I wanted to (in the words of John Milton) "bring all Heaven before their eyes"