Pilgrim Spring

SATB, oboe or other melody instrument, piano

“And the ones who live in darkness shall be children of the light.” Score sample and recording by the Whitworth College Chorus, Mark Hafso, conducting, below.

Reginald Unterseher · Pilgrim Spring, Reginald Unterseher, SATB, piano, oboe

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This piece was originally written for use during Lent, but the theme of darkness to light, cold and dead to warmth and new life, is appropriate for any time of the year. The tune is BEACH SPRING, found in Southern Harmony. The words outline the hero’s journey, from despair to hope.


Note that the tempo marking is the dotted half note. I prefer conducting this piece with two beats per bar at the beginning. If I could re-do the score, I would halve all the note values. Sorry about that.

The piece was written orginally for oboe and piano, but the printed score includes parts for Clarinet, Horn, and Cello. I am partial to Horn or Cello these days.

In bar 74, the elongation of the measure is accomplished by the addition of a quarter note to the time signature. You don’t need to slow down, keep the quarters flowing.

From bar 75 to the end, the conductor needs to first of all keep the 4-beat structure. The singers will just have to count.


In the first printing, bars 77-78 in the bass part is missing a tie and the word extension at the page turn.


–Sheila Dunlop and Reginald Unterseher

In the bitter days of winter, locked within the ice and cold
All the world seems to be frozen, all the world seems dark and old
When the trees are bare and lifeless and the earth is hard as stone
Troubled times can steal our courage, troubled hearts feel all alone

Far below the frozen surface, melting ice begins to flow
With the rising of the water, hidden streams begin to flow
With the storm clouds in our faces we are searching for the sun
We must gather all our courage, for the journey has begun

As the stream flows to the river, as the spark turns into fire
We grow stronger in our journey to the land of heart’s desire
Where the evil will be broken, where the wrong will be made right
And the ones who live in darkness shall be children of the light.