By Aldo Thomas Ceresa

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Hopestill. C.M.D.

An E minor fuging tune in 4/4 time. Composed 2007.

Text from Maria Frances Cowper, 1792.

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Description

Named for Hopestill Armstrong (1746-1806), my ancestor who is buried in the Old First Church Cemetery in Bennington, VT. Greg Mulkern, Jesse Karlsberg, and I sung at his grave not long before the first sketch of the plain section was completed, and the tune was partly inspired by the experience. Music was written from the text. (The opening bars of "Span of Life" from The Sacred Harp were ringing in my head at the time.) Hopestill has been sung at the 2007 Maiden Creek Composium, the 2007 Berkshire Foothills Composium, and elsewhere; as well as by The Art Mob in their Spring, 2008 concerts.

Text

My span of life will soon be gone,
The passing moments say;
As length'ning shadows o’er the mead
Proclaim the close of day.

O that my heart might dwell aloof
From all created things,
And learn that wisdom from above
Whence true contentment springs!