unison/2-part

"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.

2017 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

2017 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

Last week, I shared my top 12 reading session picks for adult choir; today, I'm sharing my favorites from this year’s Choristers' Guild reading session - lots of good music to consider for your choir this year!

Some of these anthems are new this year; others have been around for a while, but are worth considering, if you don't already have them in your library. I especially loved the ones that include optional rhythm or choir chime parts, as this is a great way to get more children involved and incorporate another dimension of music-making into your rehearsals.

Even if the anthem doesn't call for it, this is a relatively easy way to tailor a piece to your group and resources. Pull out part of the piano accompaniment (the bass line or perhaps the notes that fall on downbeats in the melody line) and add bells or chimes. Create a simple rhythmic ostinato pattern to accompany one of the verses, or give a few children triangles or finger cymbals to play during an interlude. Be creative!

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: