Anthem: Donald H. Sanborn’s ‘Of the Holy Trinity’

Of the Holy Trinity

By Donald H. Sanborn III

As we progress through the seasons of the Church calendar, Trinity Sunday draws near. “Of the Holy Trinity” is an anthem for SAB (Soprano Alto Baritone) and organ. The text is a Traditional Collect for Trinity Sunday, which can be found on p.199 of The Book of Common Prayer (1979):

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace to continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The setting of the final section (“Who livest and reignest”) was my first attempt at writing a round; it was a fun challenge to make the sections of the melody fit together, yet work independently.

Some melodic material (especially the chime introduction, as well as a part of the middle section) was originally written for my solo organ work, “Trinity” (2002), which I composed when the church renovated their Moller organ. A 2013 performance of that piece, as part of that year’s national conference of the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers, can be heard here:

“Of the Holy Trinity” was composed for Trinity Episcopal Church in Aurora, Illinois. It was premiered at that church (where my mother, Georgia W. Sanborn, was organist and choirmaster at the time) in December 2005, as part of a farewell service honoring the outgoing rector, Rev. William R. Burden. It was performed again in 2006, at the installation service (at which this video was filmed) for Father Burden’s successor, Rev. Charles de Kay. Most recently the anthem was performed in 2017, as part of Christ Church Fitchburg’s New Music Festival.

The anthem originally was composed for SAB (Soprano Alto Baritone), but I have since created an SATB (Soprano Alto Tenor Bass) version.

I should credit the performers heard on the video (from which the audio on my SoundCloud page is taken): Georgia W. Sanborn conducted the combined choirs of Trinity Episcopal Church and St. James the Less. The organist was Rosalie Cassiday.

Here is the anthem:

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