SAB

"Immortal Love, Forever Full" and 15 More Anthems for Holy Week

"Immortal Love, Forever Full" and 15 More Anthems for Holy Week

Holy Week is the week in between Palm Sunday and Easter. It’s the time in the church year when we remember the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, the denial, the crucifixion.

Some churches have several Holy Week services: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil. Others alternate between having a Maundy Thursday service one year and a Good Friday service the next. Still others have one combined Holy Week service that touches on all the events of the week: the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden, and the Crucifixion.

Last year, I shared my service outline for a combined Holy Week service that incorporated music, art, and poetry. I used symbols to guide us through the events of the week: Light, Water, Table, Garden, Courtyard, Cross, Darkness. Download a copy for free here.

11 Modern Choral Hymn Settings for Christmas

11 Modern Choral Hymn Settings for Christmas

Fall is in the air (literally, here in Rochester). The nights are cool, the pumpkins and mums are out, and Fall cups are back at Starbucks.

This can mean only one thing: it’s time to start listening to Christmas music. Naturally.

Every year around this time, I spend some time browsing online music catalogs and listening to a variety of Advent and Christmas anthems: seeing what’s new, discovering old favorites, and looking for inspiration (you, too?). Not necessarily because I need to buy something; perhaps more out of curiosity. 

In my recent perusing, I was struck by the number of traditional hymns and carols I found that have been reimagined and creatively set in fresh, modern ways. So, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you. I tried to include a variety of anthems in this list - most are SATB (some with divisi, others without), but there’s one SAB and one 2-part anthem in the mix, as well. Hope you find something you can use with your choir this year!

Whether you’re in the not-quite-done-with-my-Christmas-planning-yet camp or the I-could-use-a-little-seasonal-inspiration, I hope you enjoy listening to and browsing these modern hymn arrangements.

2016 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir

2016 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir

Last week at Music and Worship Arts Week, I joined numerous others (choir directors, singers, organists, etc.) at a series of choral reading sessions.

When I look for youth choir anthems, I look for relevant, meaningful text and beautiful, well-crafted music (here's an inside look at my process). I look for anthems that will inspire and encourage adolescent singers and connect with their faith.

Several publishers (Hope, Alfred, Beckenhorst, GIA, Hinshaw, Lorenz, etc.) were on-site to present the newest offerings from their catalogs and the choral clinicians for the week presented their own reading sessions of their favorite works.

As such, today's post includes a mix of old and new, classic and modern, traditional and more contemporary anthems. (See my reading session picks for adult choir here.) There's also a mix of voicings - everything from unison/2-part up to SATB, depending on the number of voices you have and the level of your group.

I hope you find something meaningful to and accessible for your choir

Top 50 Favorite Anthems for Youth Choir

Top 50 Favorite Anthems for Youth Choir

I've written several posts like this one with anthem recommendations for the small church choir (here and here) and children's choirs (here), but today's post is specifically for youth choirs. Youth are often looking for life-changing experiences - things that will empower them. Choir and the music you sing can offer words and meaning to go with those experiences. Look carefully at the text, listen for beauty and singability in the musical lines, and look for teachable moments (life, faith, and music).

The anthems in this post range from unison/2-part to SATB, depending on the age of your singers, size of your choir, and their ability to sing in parts. The nice thing is, many of these anthems are available in a variety of different voicings (marked with *), so you have a little more flexibility! 

Here are my top 50 anthems for youth choir:

Fifty (More!) Favorite Anthems for the Small Church Choir

Fifty (More!) Favorite Anthems for the Small Church Choir

I love discovering new choral anthems, especially ones that are musical, have great text, and are accessible for small church choirs. A few years back, I wrote this post with my top 50 favorite church choir anthems. Today's post is a follow-up, with 50 more anthems to consider adding to your choral library!

General

1. All Things Bright and Beautiful (Rutter)
2. Answer to the Call (McDonald)
3. Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel (arr. Emerson) - SAB
4. Do Not Be Afraid (Stopford)*
5. Hiding In Thee (Berry)
6. I Believe (Miller)
7. I Must Tell Jesus (arr. Shackley) - SAB
8. Keep God's Light (Patterson)
9. More Love to Thee (Shaw)*
10. My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (arr. Culloton)*

Top 50 Favorite Anthems for the Small Church Choir

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As a church musician, I always look forward to this time of year and gathering for choir rehearsal for the first time after a long summer break. I tend to do most of my fall/Christmas planning over the summer and am always eager to see the choir's responses to new music in their folders.  Here are my top 50 go-to anthems for the small church choir (*=a little more challenging):

GENERAL

1. And the Father Will Dance (arr. Hayes)*
2. At the River (arr. Copland)
3. Blest Are They (Haas)
4. Brother James’ Air (Jacob)*
5. Climbin’ Up the Mountain, Children (Shackley)
6. Consecration (John Ness Beck)*
7. Find in Me (Hinnant)
8. God Be in My Head (Rutter)*
9. Grace (arr. Hayes)
10. Here’s One (arr. Fettke)
11. How Beautiful (Your Songs of Praise) (Fettke)
12. How Can I Keep From Singing? (Courtney)
13. Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name (arr. Dennard)
14. Inscription of Hope - SSA (Stroope)
15. It is Well with My Soul (arr. Poorman)
16. Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now (Byrd)
17. Lord, Lead Us Still (Brahms)
18. Lord, You’ve Searched and Known Me (Wagner)
19. Morning Has Broken (arr. Scott)
20. My Tribute (arr. Lojeski)
21. Prayer for Peace (Lightfoot)
22. Spirit of God (Carter)*
23. The Gift of Love (arr. Hopson)
24. The Mighty Power of God (arr. Hayes)*
25. There Is a Balm in Gilead (Larson)
26. Within These Walls (Choplin)
27. Yes, My Jesus Loves Me (McDonald)*
28. You Are Mine (Haas)
29. You Are the Song (Courtney)*
30. You Knew Me, Lord (Shackley)

COMMUNION

31. And We Remember (Wagner)
32. Come to the Water (arr. Hasseler)
33. Gathered As One (Tate)
34. I Will Arise (arr. Shaw/Parker)
35. We Are One, Lord (Pethel)

THANKSGIVING

36. In the Season of our Plenty (Patterson)
37. For the Beauty of the Earth (arr. Rutter)*

ADVENT/CHRISTMAS

38. Every Valley (Beck)
39. How Far is it to Bethlehem? (arr. Hayes)
40. In the Stillness (Purifoy)
41. Lo, How a Rose (Praetorius)
42. Of the Father’s Love Begotten (arr. Rouse)*
43. Sing We Noel (Goemanne)*
44. Speaking Love (Danyew)

LENT/EASTER

45. Ain’t No Rock Gonna Shout for Me (Larson)
46. An Hour of Hallowed Peace (Danyew)*
47. He Is Risen Now! (Purifoy)
48. Immortal Love, Forever Full (arr. Kreider)*
49. Ride On, King Jesus (arr. Helvey)
50. Wondrous Love (Shackley)

Looking for more? Here are 50 (more!) favorites.