Gitanjali, Thomas

SATB, trumpet

A text of universal spirituality, expressed in the metaphor of a flower. This setting of the poetry of Tagore ranges from gentle mystery to expansive warmth.


Program Note

Gitanjali for choir and trumpet is set to one of the many poems which make up the extended work Gitanjali by RabindranathTagore. A renowned Bengali poet, artist and composer, Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 (largely for his own English translation of the Gitanjali). The translation of Gitanjali is “an offering of songs” or, because of the inherent devotional connotation, “a prayer offering of songs.”
Gitanjali was commissioned by the trumpeter Brian Chin for the Universal Language Project

Performance Note

The work is most effective with the trumpet placed at a distance from the choir.


Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not!
I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.

I may not find a place in thy garland,
but honor it with a touch of pain from thy hand and pluck it.
I fear lest the day end before I am aware,
and the time of offering go by.

Though its color be not deep and its smell be faint,
use this flower in thy service
and pluck it while there is time.

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This entry was posted in Choral, Difficulty Level, High school, Moderate, Sacred, SATB accompanied, Secular and tagged by Karen P. Thomas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Karen P. Thomas

Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Lucis Music and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and have been featured at numerous ACDA and AGO conferences. A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. As a conductor, Ms. Thomas has produced nine critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. She has appeared as guest conductor at international festivals in Europe and North America, and the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday. She received the 2012 Outstanding Choral Director Award for Washington State, and currently serves on the boards of the Pacific NW Chapter for the Recording Academy (Grammy), the American Choral Directors Association (NW Division), and the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.