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WorksChoral MusicMixed ChorusGod of Owls

God of Owls

Voicing: SATB a cappella, various solos
Text: Anonymous (20th century American)
Duration: 6 min.
Premiere: Ensemble of the North, Minneapolis, MN - May 22, 2004
See the score: PREVIEW THE SCORE (pdf)
Published by: Abbie Betinis Music Co., AB-029-01

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"God of Owls" as recorded by Antiphony (www.antiphony.ca) - Winnipeg, Canada.
Antiphony is: Dawn-Marie Hildebrand, Hannah Cavey, Tara Schellenberg, Anna Wiebe, Amanda Buhse, Dan Peasgood, Dan Szymanski, Scott Reimer, Ian Mikita and Peter Klippenstein.

God of Owls: mp3, 6:15, 5.8 MB
Performed live by Ensemble of the North. Patrick McDonough, conductor.

The poem, God of Owls, is taken from a collection of five poems written anonymously as a gift from the poet to St. George’s Church in New York City. The internationally renowned American poet, a student of Robert Frost, included only this note in the collection, entitled "beyond our fears":
“Because it is his belief that every man stretches, in prayer, beyond the more selfish aspects of his identity, the writer prefers that these prayers be printed anonymously. He hopes that each reader may, thus, come to these prayers as if the words were his own.”
The piece was commissioned and premiered by Patrick McDonough and Ensemble of the North (Patrick McDonough, conductor).

- Abbie Betinis, 2004

"God of Owls worked very well in a repertoire set that also included Janequin's Le Chant des Oyseaux and Whitacre's Water Night. The students, audiences and I loved it!
- Janet Brenneman, conductor (Canadian Mennonite University)

God of Owls and of all night creatures,
both great and small, walk also with us
who fear the dark. Accustom our eyes
to that part of the world which turns away
from the sun; prevent us from being blind
to what we’re afraid to see.

Whenever our spirit is sleepless,
share us stars to outline a landmark tree
or to see the sheltering hills.
Teach our feet to feel for the ground
where brave souls have walked before us.

- Anonymous

Used by permission of the poet. This poem may be reprinted from this website for use in concert programs and for promotional use as related to this musical work.


Ensemble of the North (Patrick McDonough, conductor)
Renegade Ensemble - Minneapolis, MN (Stanley Rothrock, conductor)
Antiphony - Winnipeg, CANADA
CMU Chamber Choir, Canadian Mennonite University (Janet Brenneman, cond.)

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