2017 Reading Session Picks: Adult Choir

Happy 4th of July week, friends!

I hate to break it to you, but did you know there are only 21 Sundays until the First Sunday of Advent?! I know. It’s true.

If you’re like me, summer is a time of rest and relaxation, but also a time of planning and getting ready for the new church/choir year. I just got back from a wonderful week in North Carolina for the United Methodist Fellowship’s Music and Worship Arts Week. It was a busy few days of worship, rehearsals, seminars, reading sessions, and concerts - so much new music and teaching ideas to soak up!

Eric Nelson was the clinician for the adult choir this year and I loved observing him in rehearsal, watching him conduct, and gleaning his wisdom. One thing he said that really resonated with me was this:

“Our congregations don’t need to be reminded about the brokenness in the world. Instead, we need to remind them, as much as possible, about the beauty and harmony that are possible in the community of Christ.”

I love that.

If you’ve been following along here for a while, you know it’s been my tradition to share my favorite (new and new-to-me) anthems each summer. Today, I’m sharing my top 12 adult choir anthems. Hope this helps you with your choir planning for this year!

2017 Reading Session Picks

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Go, Tell It on the Mountain (arr. Lloyd Larson)
SAB or SATB, a cappella

A fun, syncopated version of this Christmas/Epiphany favorite. This would make a great Christmas program closer or an ensemble piece for Epiphany Sunday.

People, Look East (arr. Howard Helvey)
SATB with piano

A sparkling arrangement of this Advent carol - perfect for a Hanging of the Greens service!

Behold Our God (arr. Mary McDonald)
SATB with piano and opt. orchestra

A majestic Christmas anthem with hints of “O come let us adore Him” throughout. 

Christ Is Born This Holy Night (arr. Lloyd Larson)
SATB with piano and opt. handbells or chimes (8)

A unique, reflective medley of three Advent/Christmas carols - “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” “Still, Still, Still,” and “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly."

I Surrender All to You (arr. Mary McDonald)
SATB with piano

Set to the traditional Irish tune, SALLEY GARDENS, this anthem uses the text from “O Jesus, I Have Promised,” bringing a whole new perspective to this beautiful prayer.

O Love (Elaine Hagenberg)
SATB with piano

A lovely, deeply moving setting of “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” beautifully set by Elaine Hagenberg.

I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Steven Strite)
SATB with piano and opt. brass and percussion

An exciting, rhythmic setting of the traditional text with a new tune and driving accompaniment. Fun!

I Will Give Joyful Thanks (Douglas Nolan)
SAB with piano

Featuring mixed meter, syncopation, and a percussive piano part, this joyful anthem would be perfect for Thanksgiving Sunday!

My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness (arr. Heather Sorenson)
SAB with piano

This setting of Keith Getty and Stuart Townend’s piece features a hymn-like melody with an interesting, yet supportive piano accompaniment. A lovely anthem of gratitude and praise.

He Covers Me (Craig Courtney)
SATB with piano

A tender, reflective anthem that describes God covering us with his love. Words of faith and assurance to remember all throughout the year.

Silent Night (Eric Nelson)
SATB with piano

An exquisite setting of this classic Christmas text - quiet, calm, and simply beautiful.

He Leadeth Me (Benjamin Wegner)
SATB with piano

Familiar hymn text with a new musical setting that is both reflective and captivating.

Check back next week for my favorite children’s choir anthems and ensemble pieces!