Night Journey of the Magi

harp & winds
concert band
duration: 3:33

A medley of three carols set for an intimate ensemble of harp and winds or for the full color palette of concert band.

My inspiration to create this medley was the notion of combining the tunes of three carols (Noël Nouvelet, Il Est Ne, & Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring) by purposefully removing them from the context implied by their texts. Rather than each tune telling its separate story, I’ve combined them to depict the dramatic and mysterious journey of the three Magi.

We hear the mystical calling of the Magi into the unknown, guided only by a star, the dangerous journey across vast wilderness, and then the gradual majesty of their destiny unfolding as they reach the manger beneath the star, finding themselves forever a part of the nativity.

Separating these beloved tunes from their texts, I was free to intertwine their melodic and harmonic gestures to convey a single narrative, presenting them in tempi and contexts to expand their meaning.

listen to the harp & winds edition

Night Journey of the Magi (harp & winds); (trad./arr. J.T.McKinney) © 2019 J.T. McKinney

Chamber ensemble edition premiered 7 December, 2019, at Grace Episcopal Church, Traverse City, MI: Manitou Winds.

Buy the chamber music edition from J.T. McKinney’s store!

listen to the concert band edition

Night Journey of the Magi (concert band); (trad./arr. J.T. McKinney) © 2022 J.T. McKinney

Concert Band edition available for sale soon. Please contact me for a preview score.

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