Fanfare of Praise is my first published choral composition. The inspiration for it came about through an unusual set of circumstances.
I had been travelling for three months on a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship, visiting renowned conductors and choral pedagogues in England, Finland, Sweden, USA and Canada. Towards the end of my fellowship, I had spent some time with the Peninsula Women’s Chorus in San Francisco prior to attending an AmericaFest Women’s Choral Festival in Seattle. It seemed to me, at this time, that all the wonderful people, places and sounds I had experienced over the past three months were beginning to come together, culminating in my own musical re-awakening.
I was on an Alaskan Airlines flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, on my way home to Australia, when my inflight snack was brought to me. On the tray was a small card on which was printed the following bible verse:
I will praise the name of God with a song, and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30.
I looked out the window as we soared above the clouds and suddenly musical ideas sprang to mind. I borrowed a pen from my husband and wrote the basic outline of a composition on a paper serviette. Fanfare of Praise was born! To this day, I still don’t know why this airline gave out bible verses with its meals. But now, in retrospect, I’m so glad they did. This single event turned out to be the catalyst for my subsequent composing career.
Fanfare of Praise is dedicated to Dr Patricia Hennings and the Peninsula Women’s Chorus.