2018 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir

2018 Reading Session Picks - Youth Choir-41.png

A few weeks ago, I shared my reading session picks for adult choirs - 12 new (or new-ish) anthems with good texts, singable lines, and interesting accompaniments, where applicable. Read it here, in case you missed it.

Next in this series is anthems you can use with your youth choir.

Now, youth choir can be tricky, depending on the size of your group and the ages you're working with (middle-school-age singers vs. senior high singers). As such, I tried to include a mix of things on this list: some SATB, some SAB, and even a 2-part anthem for those of you with smaller or younger groups.

Here are eleven anthem picks:

2018 Reading Session Picks

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I’m Gonna Sing! (Mark A. Miller)
SATB Choir with Piano

This new release provides some rhythmic interest and a great opportunity to feature soloists from your choir.

African Psalm (Victor C. Johnson)
SAB Choir, a cappella

This new setting of a traditional Zambian folk song includes some challenging syncopation, but the repetitive rhythm patterns make it relatively easy to learn. The text reads: “Lift your voices to God, all ye people! Praise the Lord singing alleluia!"

You Sing Over Me (Heather Sorenson)
SATB Choir with Piano

This anthem, based on Isaiah 62:5 and Zephaniah 3:17 features a syncopated, but repetitive rhythms and a recurring chorus. The inclusion of several unison passages throughout make this accessible and easy to learn.

Search With All Your Heart (Mark A. Miller)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Bass and Drum Set

This one is a few years old now, but it’s worth sharing (and singing!) again, if you haven’t already. The text is based on Jeremiah 29:11-13 and accentuated by a driving and rhythmic piano accompaniment with optional bass and drum set. There are several unison passages throughout, making it fairly easy to put together.

Our God Is Love (Mary McDonald)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Cello

Set to the English tune, KINGSFOLD, this anthem is both majestic and singable. Beautiful, uplifting text will be an encouragement to your choir members and the members of your congregation. Listen to a recording here.

My Light and My Salvation (Lloyd Larson)
SATB Choir with Organ

A lovely setting of the familiar Psalm 27 text, with clear declamation, singable lines, and supportive organ accompaniment. Listen to a recording here.

Go in Peace (Craig A. Harmann and Darian Krimm)
SATB Choir with Piano

A simple, lyrical benediction featuring accessible part-writing and original music and text. "Go in peace and show God's truth. Help and heal in all you do. Go in peace, go in peace. Go in peace now, go in peace."

For the Beauty of the Earth (Greg Gilpin)
2-Part or SATB with Piano and opt. Flute

The traditional hymn text is set to a new melody and supported by a gentle, flowing accompaniment and flute obbligato. Simple part-writing throughout.

Redeemer (arr. Heather Sorenson)
SAB or SATB Choir with Piano

The strong message: “I know my Redeemer lives” is a recurring statement throughout this majestic anthem. A familiar verse/chorus structure and several unison/2-part passages make it accessible for smaller youth choirs. The text is based on Job 19:25, Psalm 95:4-6, and Psalm 104:18-20.

He Will Hold Me Fast (Getty/arr. James Koerts)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Cello

Soft and gentle, the encouraging and comforting lyrics in this anthem are a balm to the weary soul. Lyrical part-writing and several unison passages make it accessible for smaller groups, as well.

More Love (Mark A. Miller)
2-Part or SAB Choir with Piano

A much-needed message for today's world: "More love, less hate." Accessible part-writing for groups of all sizes and ability levels and an opportunity to feature one or more soloists.

Looking for more anthem ideas? See these posts:
Top 50 Favorite Anthems for Youth Choir
2016 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir

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