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Completing the Circle | SATB, SSAA, or TTBB Chorus a cappella | 4'

Though Barbara Crooker describes a modern Christmas in her text for Completing the Circle, there is a timeless, even ancient sense of ritual in the way she depicts the season of Advent: “gathering branches / of green pine... / making rings of fire / in wax and wood.” The memory of Christmases past can be bittersweet, too, and Crooker alludes to this in the darkness that winter brings: “days of grey / and iron nights.” 


Ultimately, though, memories offer us a link to the past as well as a comfort that can be felt even in the darkest nights of winter. Christmas carols, I think, do exactly the same thing.


Peruse or purchase all three voicings of this piece at Graphite Marketplace.


Completing the Circle is dedicated with gratitude to the participating choruses of the Christmas Past, Christmas Future! Carol Consortium, who co-commissioned this piece along with Glorious, Glorious. While Completing the Circle sets a modern text that recalls nostalgic memories of Christmas, Glorious, Glorious sets a classic text that looks ahead to a bright future. 





with the women, waiting,

gathering branches

of green pine

in the dead of the year,

making rings of fire

in wax and wood,

completing the circle

with calls and cards,

wreathing the children

in cinnamon and chocolate,

stringing berries and corn,

stringing memories,

quilting them tightly,

in winter,

with the days of grey

and iron nights.



—Barbara Crooker

Similar to Completing the Circle:

Glorious, Glorious

Ring Out, Ye Bells


commissioning choruses

Acalanes High School Choirs

Bruce Lengacher



Dennis Smith


Ars Musica Chorale

Dusty Francis


Baltimore Choral Arts Society

Tom Hall


Cane Bay High School Choirs

William Bennett


Choral Arts Ensemble

Rick Kvam


College of DuPage Chamber Singers

Lee Kesselman


Flower Mound High School Choirs

Mark Rohwer


Harmonium Choral Society

Anne Matlack


The Heritage Chorale

Barry Sawyer


Hollywood Master Chorale

Lauren Buckley Schaer


Macalester Concert Choir

Michael McGaghie


Nova Vocal Ensemble

Jonathan Bautista


Singers in Accord Choral Ensemble


Syracuse Vocal Ensemble


University of Southern California Chamber Singers

Jo-Michael Scheibe


early drafts & composing notes

Click on each score to magnify it.

Sketches for Completing the Circle
Sketches for Completing the Circle - 2
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