Elaine Agnew


Type of Work: Orchestra/voice
Instrumentation: Strings and choir (single line)
Length: 9 minutes
Text: Kate Newmann
Commissioned by: European Union Chamber Orchestra
Premiere: 12 May 2006, The Marketplace, Armagh.
European Union Chamber Orchestra, St Colman’s College Choir, conductor Elaine Agnew.
Recording: European Union Chamber Orchestra (EUCO label)


I am a Miracle is a major education commission from the European Union Chamber Orchestra inspired by the life of Saint Benedict, the Patron Saint of Europe.  The project involves students from Coleraine High School and St Colman’s College Newry, not only in its performance but also in its creation of words and music.  The words come from the student’s experience of being alive and they are haunting and true. Focussing on the theme, they wrote about prayer, about sleep, about belief, about silence and the miracle which is ourselves, under the direction of poet Kate Newmann.

The music workshops then followed and here we explored textures, sounds and colours, working from initial themes and ideas through improvisation and text setting.  My job was to then knit these ideas together into a stream-less musical experience.