Summer is almost here! Time for watermelon and slow evenings on the patio, travel adventures and long, early morning walks, a slower pace and simpler Sunday morning services (we hope!).
For many of us, summer means a break from choir rehearsals; but that doesn’t mean they can’t sing during the summer months!
Spend your last rehearsal of the year prepping a few easy anthems to do throughout the summer, then meet for 30 minutes before each service to review parts and get warmed up. Do a pick-up choir once or twice a month, or put together an ensemble one week.
This is a great way to keep people connected during the summer months and a wonderful way for new people from your congregation to see what choir is like without making a year-long commitment.
Related post: The Case for the Summer Choir
I usually try to stick with anthems that are easy and accessible - not too challenging melodically or rhythmically and without a lot of divisi. You may even look at unison/2-part or SAB anthems. If you have a few capable singers that are available to sing one Sunday, pull an SSA or TTB piece and put together a ladies’ or mens’ trio. The possibilities are endless!
Looking for a few suggestions? Here are 12 of my favorite anthems for summer (in no particular order):
1. You Are Mine (Haas)
available as 2-part, TTBB, SSA, SAB, or SATB
"With a text based on Psalm 46:10, Isaiah 43:1 and John 14:27, this popular song has quickly risen to the top as one of the most important recent hymn contributions. The rich text from Scripture, sung in the first person as though by God, is filled with hope and assurance, making this useful for general worship, discipleship, confirmation, baptism, and many other occasions. This elegant setting stays true to the original hymn while incorporating colorful choral writing and a stunning piano accompaniment with optional flute (part included)."
2. Draw the Circle Wide (Miller)
"Simply put, Gordon Light's text is powerful by itself. When added to music composed by Mark Miller it becomes an anthem of unity for all people, all cultures, and all generations."
3. Who Will Be a Witness (arr. Moore)
available as TB, 2-part mixed, or SAB
"A solid choice for developing choirs, this spiritual arrangement is based largely on the traditional, with a few new touches to make it better fit the needs of middle-school singers. The finished product is an energy-filled piece with a driving beat that's so easy and so much fun to sing, your students will want to perform it again and again!"
4. Gathered As One (Tate)
A beautiful statement of unity and the fellowship we have as believers. Works well for communion Sundays. “Gathered as one, in Jesus, Your Son, lifting our voices in praise. We know and believe, and long to receive, the bread that is strength for our days. Gathered as one."
5. We Are Called (arr. Hayes)
available as SAB or SATB
"Bounding with abundant energy, this anthem features the central message of our faith, using the words of Micah 6:8: "to act with justice, to love tenderly, and to serve one another." Useful for themes of unity, social concerns, and commitment. Optional accompanying instruments include a violin and a hand drum."
6. For All His Blessings (Danyew)
A new setting of an old hymn text with text and music from the Doxology (OLD 100TH) woven throughout. A familiar verse-chorus structure help make this piece easy to learn and accessible for groups of all sizes.
7. Blest Are They (Haas)
"This is a setting of The Beatitudes from the Sermon On The Mount. It offers many messages and challenges for the believer, those of comfort and assurance. A tender and prayerful setting for the quiet moments in a service."
8. Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name (arr. Dennard)
available as 2-part, TTBB, SAB, or SATB
A traditional spiritual with familiar verse-chorus structure. "The beginning employs a unique treatment of the word "Hush" that emphasizes the last two letters of the word in a remarkably effective way. Including dramatic unison passages and a short solo section with characteristic background figures, this is exceptionally easy to put together.” Sing a cappella, or lightly double parts on piano.
9. Christ Has Broken Down the Wall (Miller)
"Set in a gospel style, the piece reminds us that "we're accepted as we are," that "peace and love are freely offered" by God, and that God has called us to "join our hearts as one" in all that we go through."
10. Soon and Very Soon (arr. Schrader)
available as 2-part, TTBB, SAB, or SATB
Rhythmic and fun! This well-known spiritual is written in all types of voicings, making it accessible for groups of all sizes.
11. Ubi Caritas (Victor C. Johnson)
available as 2-part or 3-part
"A beautiful, tender setting of the traditional Latin text that features delicate melodic lines and a fluid accompaniment. The contrasting middle section provides interest and movement, and the echoed phrases, independent vocal lines, and limited ranges allow for it to be easily mastered for concert or festival. A pronunciation guide and translation are included."
12. Pie Jesu (Lightfoot)
available as 2-part, TTB, SSA, 3-part, and SATB
"The traditional Latin text is set to a haunting melody in this reverent, deeply moving choral work.” Pronunciation and translation guides are included.
What are your favorite summer anthems? Please share below!