Inspired by Sacred Harp #457 - Wayfaring Stranger
Approx. Grade 5 - Length 10:30 minutes
Commissioned & Dedicated to the
Auburn University Symphonic Band Auburn, Alabama
Johnnie B.Vinson, Conductor
Vigils Keep will take you on a journey through the south
where sometimes...just to endure life,
is an accomplishment.
Vigils Keep is not a theme and variation based on Wayfaring Stranger, nor is it a collection of Sacred Harp Songs. It is an original celebration of southern Life and tradition, a tradition of generations steeped in hard physical work, tests of the human spirit and for many, black and white alike, poverty.
The Melody of Wayfaring Stranger spiritually weaves through Vigils Keep like faith has woven through southern history, holding everything together. All the rest of the notes are inspired by stories, family, the southern way of life and its music. It is my attempt at drawing a musical picture of what the south looks and sounds like both then and now.