What will I play on Sunday?
As all church musicians know, it can be a struggle to find interesting but accessible arrangements that are well-written to play in worship week after week.
A few years ago, I wrote these posts about some of my favorite organ and piano books:
These collections are still great, but I’ve since updated my own library a bit and come across some new books I thought I’d recommend. So, in case you’re looking for some fresh new music for this year, here are my newest organ and piano books:
The Essential Collection (ed. Jane Holstein)
I’ve been hearing about “The Essential Collection” from friends of mine for a few years now and finally got around to purchasing one (Vol. II) for myself. This two-volume collection is a wonderful resource for church musicians. Each volume includes 55 pieces (in a variety of styles) by arrangers like Mark Hayes, Lloyd Larson, Joel Raney, Jack Schrader, among others, for use throughout the church year. Plus, each collection retails for $49.95 - a true budget-saver!
The Hymns of Keith Getty (arr. Mark Hayes)
Do you know the music of Keith Getty yet? If not, look him up on YouTube and listen to some of his songs. I love the folk-like style and strong, scripture-based texts. In fact, we used some of the texts as spoken elements in worship this Spring. I am beginning to introduce more of his music to our congregation, so I thought having an instrumental collection would be useful for helping prepare them to sing some of these songs in the future. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Mark Hayes!
Buy it here.
The Complete Organist (Carson Cooman)
Similar to The Essential Collection mentioned above (they also have collections for organ, btw), this book includes 49 pieces for $40 - a great value! Very accessible arrangements (even for newer organists) and a wide variety of pieces to get you through the entire church year.
Easy On the Pedals (Victor Johnson)
I didn’t know Victor Johnson wrote organ music, did you? This book includes eight beautiful, well-crafted settings of familiar hymns (without too many pedal notes!) and I think you’ll find the arrangements are easy to prepare and enjoyable to play.
Buy it here.
Reflections for Worship (Mark Hayes)
I have several of Mark Hayes' collections and to me, they are classics. This particular book features fresh and interesting arrangements of some lesser-heard hymns and more contemporary songs like “One Bread, One Body,” “Lord of the Dance,” “You Are Mine,” and “Rain Down”. Each piece is 4’-5’ in length, so if you’re in need of some longer arrangements (compared to the standard 2’30”-3’ pieces), this is a collection worth considering. I don’t need pieces quite this long most weeks, so I often divide them up and play a different version each time.
Buy it here.
What are your favorite piano and organ collections?
*This post includes affiliate links, which means if you purchase through some of the links above, Sheet Music Plus will pay me a small fee for referring you to them, at no extra cost to you. Win-win!