Shepherd Story
A Christmas narrative for mixed chorus and orchestra adapted from the second chapter of Luke. This piece can be found on the CD, Eternity Shut in a Span, available in the Store.

Duration: 7'
Difficulty: 3/5

Click here to view score.
Voicing/Instrumentation - Orchestral Version
VOICES

SATB Chorus (no solos)

ORCHESTRA

2 Flutes
1 Oboe (doubling English horn)
2 Clarinets in B
2 Bassoons

2 Horns in F
2 Trumpets in B
Tenor Trombone
Bass Trombone

Percussion (3 players):
     Timpani
     Marimba
     Glockenspiel
     Song Bells
     Vibraphone
     Chimes (Tubular Bells)
     Bass Drum
     Piatti
     Suspended Cymbals
     Finger Cymbals
     Triangle

Harp
Strings
Text
Shepherd Story
J.A.C. Redford (1953- )

And there were shepherds abiding in the field
Keeping watch over their flock by night
And for these shepherds, the hope that night would yield
Short hours untroubled until first light
Crisp was the air and damp the ground
The restless sheep encamped around
And from the stars, a welcome glow
That smiles on shepherds far below

And suddenly on this night
This particular night of nights
An angel of the Lord appeared before them
And the glory of the Lord blazed around them
And they were sore afraid

And the angel said unto them:

Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy
Which shall be for all people

For today in the city of David
There has been born for you a Savior
Who is Christ, the Lord

And this will be a sign for you
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths
And lying in a manger

And suddenly, there was with the angel
A multitude of the heavenly host
Praising God, and saying:

Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God on high
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God on high
And on earth, peace, peace to men of good will
And on earth, peace to men of good will
Glory to God in the highest
And on earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven
The shepherds said to one another
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing
Which the Lord has told us about"

So they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph
And the baby lying in a manger
And when they had seen him they spread the word
Telling all they had heard about this child

Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God on high
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God on high
And on earth, peace, peace to men of good will
And on earth, peace to men of good will
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God, glory to God
Glory to God on high!

And all who heard it wondered
And all who heard it were amazed
And all who heard it were astonished
At what the shepherds said

And the shepherds returned, praising God
For all they had heard and seen
And the shepherds returned, glorifying God
For it all had been just as was told them

Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God on high
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God on high
And on earth, peace, peace to men of good will
And on earth, peace to men of good will
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God, glory to God
Glory to God on high!

Copyright ©1995 by J.A.C. Redford. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Commission & Performance History
Shepherd Story was commissioned by the Utah Chamber Artists and premiered on December 4, 1995 at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City by the Utah Chamber Artists with Barlow Bradford conducting. Shepherd Story was recorded by the Utah Chamber Artists for the album Welcome All Wonders: A Christmas Celebration (Bonneville Classics BCD 9501-2). The recording of Shepherd Story was broadcast nationwide in December 1996 over NPR affiliated stations on the syndicated program The First Art.

Shepherd Story has since been performed by numerous choruses and orchestras across the United States, including the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the direction of Grant Gershon, Maurita Phillips-Thornburgh leading Cantori Domino in Los Angeles, Cantus with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Allan Petker and the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian San Pedro in Southern California, the Sacred Music Chorale of Richmond Hill New York and Timothy J. Krueger conducting St. Martin’s Chamber Choir in Denver.
Reviews & Responses
“J.A.C. Redford provides the sumptuous conclusion to this album with his ‘Shepherd Story.’ Here is an inventive recounting of the birth of Jesus, with texts adapted and written by the composer. The style is contemporary, scored with a cleverly popular edge, bearing sophistication and childlike wonder in perfect balance.” (Peter Rutenberg, Liner Notes from Utah Chamber Artists Welcome All Wonders, Bonneville Classics BCD 9505-2, 1995)