Gardens: A Sacred Oratorio

In 2019 I finished this nine-movement work for soprano, choir, and chamber orchestra. Commissioned by Dr. Joel Tranquilla and Trinity Western University, its April 2020 premiere was delayed due to the pandemic – spring 2023 is the new plan. The central movement, Garden of the Shepherd, an a cappella setting of Psalm 23, has been performed by Tranquilla and the TWU Chamber Choir (November 2019), as well as Steven Hamilton and the Cathedral Choir at John Brown University in Arkansas (May 2021).

The entire work follows the biblical arc from that first garden in the opening of the book of Genesis to the ultimate and longed for garden-in-the-city described at the end of the Revelation to St. John. Its movements bring together varied and sometimes divergent biblical passages, illustrating and amplifying the journey from the life, glory and peace of the created order, through the lament of the exiled wanderers, to the Good Shepherd who is our peace, and his suffering to accomplish that peace, and to our final promised dwelling place in the Garden of Joy yet to come.

Premiere of Garden of the Shepherd: Nov 3, 2019
Dr. Joel Tranquilla and the TWU Choirs

Garden of the Shepherd
Steven Hamilton and the Cathedral Choir of John Brown University

David Squires · Garden of the Shepherd