The Ave Regína Cælórum is an ancient Marian prayer of the Catholic Church, one of four Marian antiphons. The text can be translated as:
Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned.
Hail, by angels mistress owned.
Root of Jesse, Gate of Morn
Whence the world's true light was born.
This is a simplification of the double-chorus version, where each SATB choir is represented by a single melody line. The two parts weave counterpoint over a substratum of quintuplets played by the piano. The harmonic language is tonal, triadic, and major.
This piece is scored for two-part treble chorus, but it would work equally well in two-part men's chorus.
This version of Ave Regína Cælórum was performed by the Greeley Children's Chorale of Greeley, Colorado during their 2011–2012 season.
It's interesting how this piece came to be — I began, as I often do, by composing the piano part. Afterward, it seemed à propos to add a very thick-textured, homophonic eight-voice choir, and I began looking for a text that could fit. The Ave Regína Cælórum seemed perfect — it fit rhythmically, and I love texts that honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, I never composed the eight-voice arrangement I'd envisioned. Instead, I created this two-part children's choir setting first. Later, when the Vittoria Ensemble showed interest in my work, I took the existing two-part arrangement and expanded each voice into its own four-part choir (see other listing), which ironically made for a more interesting piece than I had thought of initially.