2018 Reading Session Picks: Adult Choir

2018 Reading Session Picks - Adult Choir-38.png

It's that time of the year: time for my annual reading session picks!

Every year, I round up my top anthem picks from the latest publisher's catalogs, playlists, and reading sessions (plus, sometimes a few that aren't new that I've recently discovered and haven't shared here before) to give you a shortcut in your anthem-planning for next year.

First up, the Adult Choir edition. Here are my adult choir reading session picks from the last few years:

2017 Reading Session Picks
2016 Reading Session Picks
2015 Reading Session Picks
2014 Reading Session Picks

This year, I have 12 adult choir anthems to share with you, plus a few reader favorites at the end (bonus!). Enjoy!


2018 Reading Session Picks

Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase through any of them, I will earn a small commission. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue creating free content. Thank you for your support!

Not Ashamed (arr. Dan Forrest)
SATB (or TTBB) Choir with Piano and opt. Violin, Cello, and Percussion

An anthem of hope and courage, with text by Isaac Watts and the hymn tune ARLINGTON. “I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, or to defend His cause..."

The Meditations of My Heart (Elaine Hagenberg)
SATB Choir with Piano

A lyrical, delicate setting of Psalm 19:14, marked by rich harmonies, sweeping lines, and flowing accompaniment.

The Huron Carol (arr. Dan Forrest)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. String Quartet

A tender setting of this haunting carol with subtle Celtic influences. Listen to a recording here.

Our Father (Craig Courtney)
SATB (or SSAA, TTBB) Choir with Piano and opt. Violin

A lush, lyrical setting of the Lord’s Prayer, featuring cluster chords, beautiful piano and violin parts, and clear text-setting.

Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord (Mark Hayes)
SATB Choir, Organ, Handbells, and Congregational Response

A memorable, lyrical setting of Psalm 150 with lots of repetition, creative handbell and organ accompaniment, and an optional congregational response. Listen to a recording here.

Like a River in My Soul (Tim Osiek)
SATB Choir with Piano

A modern, flowing setting of the simple prayer for peace like a river, love like an ocean, and joy like a fountain in our souls. Listen to a recording here.

O Sing to the Lord a New Song (Lloyd Larson)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Flute and Handbells

A lilting setting of Psalm 98 with accessible choral part-writing and quotes from the hymn tune, HYFRYDOL. Listen to a recording here.

I Want to Be Ready (arr. Howard Helvey)
SATB Choir with Piano

An unexpected setting of this traditional Spiritual - gentle, lyrical, and quiet.

O God Beyond All Praising (arr. Rodney Abriol)
SATB Choir with Piano

A traditional setting of this favorite hymn (tune: THAXTED by Gustav Holst, with text by Michael Perry). Simple piano accompaniment and accessible choral part-writing. Listen to a recording here.

Prayer to Jehovah (Molly Ijames)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Strings

A surprising, sweeping setting of the traditional hymn text, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” that brings the words to life in a whole new way. Listen to a recording here.

Angels We Have Heard On High (arr. Trevor Manor)
Unison, 2- or 3-Part Choir with Piano and opt. Handbells and Violin

A sparkling arrangement of this Christmas favorite, perfect for a smaller adult choir or intergenerational choir (adults + youth, adults + children, adults + youths + children).

Let Us Pray for Peace (Thomas Keesecker and Nancy Kraft)
SATB Choir with Piano

Such beautiful text in this simple, lyrical anthem. A heartfelt prayer for peace and understanding.


Reader Favorites

Something new for this year, I’m including a section of reader favorites. These are the anthems you said you’ve been listening to (and loving) lately, as shared on Facebook. Enjoy!

Esto Les Digo (Kinley Lange)
SATB (or SSAA) Choir, a cappella

Hugh McDevitt, Santa Teresa Hills Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), San Jose, CA

O Love (Elaine Hagenberg)
SATB Choir with Piano

Sarah Bridges, Salem United Methodist Church, Irmo, SC

Bring Us Hope (Ruth Elaine Schram)
SAB Choir with Piano

Here We Come a'Caroling (arr. Steve Mauldin)
SATB Choir with opt. Orchestration

Heather Newman, Scottsville First United Methodist Church, Scottsville, KY

We Are Called (arr. Hayes)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Hand Drum and Violin

Here I Am, Lord (arr. Schrader)
SATB (or 2-Part, 3-Part Mixed) Choir with Piano

Kirsten Daugherty, Alexandria, VA


What are your favorite adult choir anthems? What will you be singing with your choir this year?