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with peace in mind

with peace in mind

Wertsch, Nancy


  • Text: Sacred, Various
  • Language: English, Latin, Hebrew
  • Use: Concert
  • Ensemble: Mixed Choir, a cappella
  • Accompaniment: a cappella
  • Genre: Sacred
  • Grade: 4
  • Duration: 20.0 minutes
  • Page Count: 19
  • Catalog Number: NWC-198

I wrote “...With Peace In Mind” for the New York Virtuoso Singers in 2011, the tenth anniversary year of 9/11. As the date drew near I became more and more aware of the need for reconciliation in the world. To that end I decided to find and set prayers for peace from some of the world's great religions.

As I was setting the various peace prayers I could not help but notice how they are all very similar. They all pray to a Creator - Adonai, Allah, Great Spirit - each through their own unique approach, and they ask for the same things. Interestingly enough, the only reference to the Earth I found in the five prayers is in the Native American prayer. Since I personally believe an important way “Godward” is through loving and being a part of nature, I am particularly fond of this incantation. This is the reason I chose a quote from this prayer “...with peace in mind” as the title for my piece. My objective was to set each one in a distinctly different style according to the part of the world it comes from and paying attention to the kind of music which is typical of that culture. Although I did that to a certain extent, the essence of each prayer spoke to me so much of their similarity that I ended up setting them in a way that they musically relate to each other. We are all of one essence. It remains for us to realize that, and when we do, we will know that we are truly one. Only then will we have attained that which we all pray for - true peace. The composition is in five movements with an introduction, with each movement representing a different faith.

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