Premiered by the Foss High School Orchestra, Andrea Bryant director, in a benefit concert at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall in Seattle on May 15, 2003. This event was sponsored by the Composer Residency Program of the Seattle Composer’s Alliance in conjunction with Gilda’s Club of Seattle.
The Story Behind the Music
When St. Patrick was a teenager in Britain, he was captured by Irish raiders and became a slave in Ireland, tending sheep. During this time, St. Patrick developed spiritually, and would often pray while watching his master’s sheep.
After six years, he was told in a dream that he should be ready for a courageous effort that would take him back to his homeland. He ran away from his owner and traveled 200 miles to the coast. His initial request for free passage on a ship was turned down, but he prayed, and the sailors called him back. The ship on which he escaped was taking cargo to France. At some point he returned to his family in Britain, and then seems to have gone on to study at a monastery in France.
There, he had a vision where he heard a cry from a great multitude of people: “Come back and walk once more among us.” This piece of music celebrates this call of the Irish, which spurred St. Patrick’s return to a land thirsty for the Gospel.
For information of the writing of Eire’s call, please visit the Writing Eire’s Call blog post.