O Antiphons is a beloved annual liturgy of music and pageantry that marks the beginning of Advent —the season of longing, vigilance, and expectation in preparation for Christmas—which this year is offered Sunday, November 28, at 7 p.m.. The form of this liturgy that was invented here is now used in churches around the world.
An exciting element of this year's service will be the world premiere of a newly commissioned anthem, conceived and written expressly for the Saint Mark's Cathedral Choir, for the O Antiphons liturgy, and for our space. The work has been composed by Dr. Zanaida Robles of Los Angeles, a renowned vocalist, conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, and a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in music. The anthem, titled Ecstatic Expectancy, responds in both content and feeling to the O Antiphons liturgy, while offering a meditation on the evocative verse from Psalm 85: Mercy and Truth have met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other.
This project was supported by the Saint Mark's Vestry, and was not funded by a particular donor—the commission came from the cathedral music program's own resources.
About the composer
Dr. Zainda Robles holds a doctorate from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. She is currently a performing arts instructor at Harvard-Westlake Upper School in Studio City, CA, as well as the director of music at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, CA. Read her complete biography and learn much more at her website.
Check out a few of of her compositions here: