To the Hills Millennium Fanfares and Anthem


To the Hills was the second of a pair of works that I wrote to mark the new Millennium. In the summer of 1999 I wrote Invocation, an extended work for choir and organ reflecting on several themes concerned with Man's relationship to God and the world we live in. This piece is a more overtly celebratory piece, for choir and full orchestra, using the metaphor of hills and mountains to express Man's quest for a spiritual dimension to life, drawing on texts adapted from the Psalms and the Book of Isaiah.


To the Hills shares with Invocation some thematic ideas, in particular the musical acronym BCAD which provides the main source material for both works. It is written in 3 continuous sections, opening with bold fanfares interspersed with more reflective solos for the wind. A brisk and breezy orchestral Allegro follows, with fanfares again much in evidence. At its climax the choir enters, heralding the final section, which, like a vista of great mountains, draws eyes and hearts inexorably upwards to the sky and the heavens.


The work, completed on Easter Day 2000 was commissioned by the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic. The first performance was given on July 22nd in Ely Cathedral by the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic conducted by Mark Robinson.


Christopher Brown 2011