Variations on “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” - Individual Digital Teacher Resource Guide
by Dwayne S. Milburn
© 2012, GIA Publications, Inc
The work, composed as a theme and variations, is fourteen minutes and thirty seconds long. The composer includes the following note:
“This piece is dedicated to the inspiring memory of Colonel William Schempf. Colonel Schempf was a former commander of the U.S. Military Academy Band, a fine musician, [and] a good friend and mentor to the composer.
The original hymn tune was written by noted British choral composer Charles V. Stanford in 1902 as accompaniment for a new translation of the Gaelic poem, “St. Patrick’s Lorica” or breastplate. A lorica was a mystical garment that protected the wearer from sickness and danger, as well as guaranteed entrance into heaven. Rather than use the verses of the hymn to define the variations, each section is set into motion by a different psalm.”
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