Gerald Near (b. 1942) was born in Chicago studied composition at the American Conservatory of Music Leo Sowerby . He studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at Leslie Bassett (composition), Robert Glasgow (organ) and Elizabeth AH Green (conducting) and continued his composition studies at the University of Minnesota at Dominick Argento continued.
After working as a choirmaster at the Calvary Church in Rochester / Minnesota Near from 1983 was musical director and organist at the St. Matthew's Cathedral in Dallas / Texas and composer in residence at the Cathedral of St. John in Denver / Colorado. Eventually he became choir director and cantor at Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Santa Fe / New Mexico. He composes mostly sacred music, including masses, motets and hymns and organ works.
The "Ten Chorale Preludes, Set II" were published by Aureole Editions in 1995. They comprise a collection of mostly small (but not all easy!), well-crafted and appealing preludes based upon well-known hymn melodies.
The seventh one, "Suo Gân", is based upon a traditional Welsh lullaby. It is not connected with Christmas, but has sort of been "linked" with the holiday, as it makes for a great cradle song. It was a favorite of the late George Guest, to whom the work is dedicated. Guest was the highly-respected director of music at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he brought the choir there to the pinnacle of perfection. The work features the Swell strings playing a sort of "dialogue" with the Solo flute. It's a sort of canon, as both parts are playing the tune "simultaneously."
Suo Gân appears prominently in the film, "Empire of the Sun," and you can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77EDgeq5e78
A photo of Gerald Near is attached below.
These little miniatures have what it takes to stand "on their own," so, this is how I've chosen to upload them.