The Gift of Life was written early in 2015 as a commission to honour a retiring Minister of Music at a church in Dallas, Texas. In planning this piece, John Rutter has stated:
"In 1985 I had written a Requiem - which, like any Requiem, inevitably reflects on death - why not write the opposite, a work celebrating life? Unlike a Requiem, where a set form of words is laid down in Catholic liturgy, no framework exists for a celebration of life, and I had to choose (and in three cases, write) texts which were appropriate to a theme rarely expressed in music since Haydn's wondrous oratorio The Creation in 1798."
The six movements reflect different facets of the miracles of creation and of life. This arrangement is written for combined Concert Band and Chorus, but may be performed by Concert Band alone.