Additional Information

About the piece

Originally published in 1892, the lilt of this delightful carol captures the journey of the three kings on camel-back. A dark, minor tonality portrays their perilous journey across the desert, broken by moments of glorious major when the Star (of the story) appears. 


The version of The Desert by Emma Mundella for SATB+piano is available exclusively through Multitude of Voyces in their anthology Sacred Music for Women Composers Volume 3, and available here:

Please contact me or Multitude of Voyces via their website if you are unable to obtain a copy. 


This piece is part of a series - choral music by historical women - which includes works by Clara Schumann, Barbara Strozzi and Amy Beach. 


About the composer 

Born and brought up in Nottingham, England, Emma Mundella was one of the first students to attend the newly-opened Royal College of Music in London. She studied composition and received piano, organ and singing lessons. She became a music teacher at Wimbledon High School for Girls and continued to compose and perform throughout her career, writing music for her students, as well as editing The Day School Hymnbook. 


About the arranger

Olivia Sparkhall studied composition at Durham University with Paul Archbold, composing for the Northern Sinfonietta and Flower Quartet as part of her studies, and has since received critical acclaim for her vocal music. Recent commissions have been for International Women’s Day services in 2018 (Lux Aeterna) and 2019 (Faith and Hope). She was short-listed in the Cappella Nova competition in 2018 for Dona Nobis Pacem. Both Dona Nobis Pacem and Lux Aeterna are published by Multitude of Voyces in their anthologies of sacred music, Volumes 1 and 2 respectively.


Accompanied Choral




The Desert - Emma Mundella arr. for SSA and piano by Olivia Sparkhall