2016 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir


Last week at Music and Worship Arts Week, I joined numerous others (choir directors, singers, organists, etc.) at a series of choral reading sessions.

When I look for youth choir anthems, I look for relevant, meaningful text and beautiful, well-crafted music (here's an inside look at my process). I look for anthems that will inspire and encourage adolescent singers and connect with their faith.

Several publishers (Hope, Alfred, Beckenhorst, GIA, Hinshaw, Lorenz, etc.) were on-site to present the newest offerings from their catalogs and the choral clinicians for the week presented their own reading sessions of their favorite works.

As such, today's post includes a mix of old and new, classic and modern, traditional and more contemporary anthems. (See my reading session picks for adult choir here.) There's also a mix of voicings - everything from unison/2-part up to SATB, depending on the number of voices you have and the level of your group.

I hope you find something meaningful to and accessible for your choir!

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2016 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir

Walk in Light (Marrolli)
SAB Choir + Piano with Opt. Violin, Oboe, or Clarinet

A soothing, folk-like original melody perfect for Advent services. Peaceful and serene, the instrumental parts weave in the ancient DIVINUM MYSTERIUM tune, echoed by the choir near the end.

A Prayer for Humility (Patterson)
Unison or SATB Choir + Piano

I love the simplicity of this sweet prayer. Accessible part-writing and singable lines make it a beautiful addition to any worship service.

Roll Down Justice! (Miller)
SATB Choir + Piano with Opt. Congregation

New from Mark Miller, this anthem has a strong, powerful message - a prayer for restoration, healing, and justice incorporating the familiar hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."

This anthem is part of a new songbook by Mark Miller, featuring 23 songs for congregational worship. Read more here.

My Life, My All (arr. Sorenson)
SAB or SATB Choir + Piano

Using Twila Paris' "Lamb of God" tune and texts by Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley ("When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and "Amazing Love"), this anthem is a beautiful portrait of old and new. Perfect for Lent or the Easter season.

Walk in the Light (arr. Thomas)
Unison/2-Part or SATB Choir (flexible voicing) + Piano

A soulful, gospel arrangement of "Jesus, the Light of the World" incorporating text from "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." Exciting piano accompaniment and accessible choral parts!

I Put My Hope in You (Berry)
SATB Choir + Piano

A reflective, hopeful anthem incorporating text from "My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less." Memorable chorus with accessible rhythms and part-writing.

Be Thou My Vision (arr. Forrest)
2-Part Mixed, SSA, TTB, SATB Choir + Piano, Opt. Harp and Cello

A stunning arrangement of this beloved hymn available in a variety of voicings. Exposed choral parts, but beautiful harmonies and instrumental accompaniment throughout.

I Surrender All (arr. Johnson)
SATB Choir + Piano

A modern setting of an old hymn, this arrangement features a stunning piano accompaniment, rich harmonies, and an a cappella verse.

Psalm 139 (Pote)
SATB Choir + Piano

An original, timeless setting of Psalm 139 ("Lord, you have searched me and known me"). Accessible part-writing (it begins in 2-part) and relevant text make it perfect for youth choirs.

Creation of Peace (Miller)
SATB Choir + Piano

I love the message in this anthem: "Come build a land where sisters and brothers, anointed by God, can create peace..." Mark Miller's creative use of repetition makes this one easy to learn and easy to teach to the congregation!

Which ones are your favorite? Comment below!

Read more:
2016 Reading Session Picks: Adult Choir
Top 50 Favorite Anthems for Youth Choir
Tips for Working with Middle School Youth Choirs