Reflections of Martin Luther King, Jr.

from American National Holidays Suite, Book I

by Hampson A. Sisler



Notes by Robert Russell, Organist of Manhattan’s Christ and St. Stephen’s Church

The Voluntary is based on two Afro-American spirituals. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "There is a Balm in Gilead" (hymn 676). It was written under the title "Reflections of Martin Luther King, Jr." by the New York composer and organist Hampson Sisler in 1990, and dedicated to our Director of Music, Robert Russell, and his family. In the composition, Dr. Sisler chooses to weave together melodic and rhythmic suggestions of each spiritual rather than giving extended statements of the tunes, thus creating a unity which allows the organ to explore a larger palette of tonal colors. This Voluntary is being played as part of Christ and St. Stephen’s recognition of Black History month.



From Dr. William Whitehead, organist, Kirk In the Hills, Bloomfield, Michigan

Your Holidays Suites sound delightful. There is a need for this.