About the Piece

Instrumentation: Full Orchestra (2222-4221, timp+1, strings)
Duration: 5 min

Program Note:
Prayer is, in essence, an aberration, for under no other circumstance in the past (or probably in the future) have I worn my heart on my sleeve as transparently as I have with this piece. In times of crisis and peril, we have but the reliance of faith – from the profound faith in humanity, faith in love, and faith that we will persevere and get through this with dignity, to the mundane faith that I would complete the piece within the extraordinary conditions that faced me, with a young child at home 24/7, a bronchial infection, and a very tight timeline (ultimately, a matter of days) to complete the piece in a manner feasible for COVID remote performance requirements. In the end, I chose a chant from my composer heroine Hildegard von Bingen as inspiration for my prayer. It goes:

O Shepherd of our souls, O primal voice, whose call created all of us; Now hear our plea to thee, to thee, and deign to free us from our miseries and feebleness.

I wish to thank my family – my husband, parents, and son – as well as my neighbors, the Lees, who have all made composing this piece possible.

Conductor’s Perspective

The style is quite minimalist, with alternating long sustaining notes and fast notes shimmering in various voices. It can be performed as a virtual orchestra presentation with its straightforward writing and minimal tempo change, but would be also good for students to learn various ensemble techniques.

The brass chorale in the middle section is really beautiful

About the Composer

Juno Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a unique talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. “One of today’s most eclectic composers” (NPR), she has a deep interest in exploring cultures and is passionate about fostering the talent of the next generation.


Performance Materials

Instrumentation: Full Orchestra (2222-4221, timp, perc, strings)
Duration: 5 min

Score can be purchased while parts are available for rent through Bill Holab Music

Perusal Score on issuu:


First performance led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin with 35 musicians representing 26 orchestras across Canada (July 2020)