Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word published by Concordia

Concordia Publishing House has published Timothy Shaw’s SSA anthem, “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” in the collection Reformation Hymns for Treble Voices. This collection is described as “An accessible and versatile collection of hymns for treble voices based on hymns with Reformation themes. Even churches that do not typically have a women’s or children’s choir could find this collection useful for special festival services, such as those to celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation.”

Some of My Favorite Choral Music

Do you have a favorite piece of music? Do you have a favorite composer? I have been asked these questions so many times, and it is always hard for me to come up with an answer. Maybe it’s because the genre is usually unspecified in the question. Maybe it’s because I like to reserve the right to change my mind. Mostly, though, I think it’s because it’s so hard for me to choose just one favorite piece of music. Without commenting on why these are my favorites—maybe I will write separate posts about that later—here is a list (with YouTube clips for you to enjoy) of my top ten choral favorites presented in alphabetical order. I’m focusing on this genre, because I write a lot of choral music. In some ways these pieces are always with me, circling in the back of my mind, when I write my own choral music, so they represent some of my key musical influences. -Timothy Shaw

“Alleluia,” by Ralph Manuel (1987)

“Beati Quorum Via,” from Three Latin Motets, by Charles Villiers Stanford (1905)

“Cantique de Jean Racine” (Op. 11), by Gabriel Fauré (1864-65)

“Geistliches Lied,” Op. 30, by Johannes Brahms (1856)

“Gloria,” from Vespers, Op. 37, by Sergei Rachmaninov (1915)

“Nunc Dimittis,” by Arvo Pärt (2001)

“Only in Sleep,” by Ēriks Ešenvalds (2010)

“Sicut Cervus” (Psalm 42), G. Palestrina (1584)

“The Last Words of David,” by Randall Thompson (1949)

“Zadok the Priest,” Coronation Anthem no. 1, HWV 258, by G. F. Handel (1727)

Two- and Three-Part Choir Music

Choosing repertoire for church choirs is one of the most difficult, time-consuming tasks of all choir directors, whether they direct larger or smaller choirs. There are some unique challenges facing those who direct smaller choirs, though. To support you in your work, Timothy Shaw has written a blog post on the topic (with 25 anthem suggestions) on Prelude Music Planner. Check it out here.

Jesus, Refuge of the Weary published by Beckenhorst

Beckenhorst has published Timothy Shaw’s SATB anthem, “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary,” which also received an Editors’ Choice Award from JW Pepper. You can view sample pages here and listen to an excellent demo recording here. Here is how Pepper describes the piece:

This beautiful music for SATB voices and piano is set to the text of Girolamo Savonarola. Suitable for Lent or general use, “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary” is a heartfelt plea to our Saviour that we become evermore mindful of His sacrifice for us on the cross. “Jesus, may our hearts be burning with more fervent love for you; may our eyes be ever turning to behold your cross anew.” A stunning work.

Over the Mountain Festival 2017

Timothy Shaw’s best-selling anthem “More Love to Thee” (SATB, piano) is scheduled to be performed as part of the ninth annual “Over the Mountain” festival on February 12, 2017, 4:00 p.m., at Bluff Park United Methodist Church in Hoover, Alabama. From the festival website: “Over The Mountain Festivals is a community choral group that exists to foster and perpetuate the singing of sacred choral music and provide training and encouragement to directors of small choirs and choristers, both adults and children, to the glory of God, the edification of participants and the enjoyment of the greater Birmingham, Alabama community and beyond.”

Lectures in Church Music

Concordia U ChicagoTimothy Shaw is a scheduled presenter at the Vi Messerli Memorial Lectures in Church Music, October 23-25, 2016, at Concordia University Chicago. He will present a workshop, a piano literature reading session, and a composition master class as part of the conference (titles listed below). For more information, click here.

Session titles:

  • Five Altos and Two Tenors: Performing Miracles with Smaller Choirs
  • Piano Music for the Reformation
  • Master Class: Composing for Choirs

Choral Arranging in 10 Steps

Prelude Music PlannerHave you exhausted your budget for new music but find yourself in need of a few more pieces to round out the upcoming choral season? Have you been unable to find a choral setting of a hymn you love? Have you always been curious about how the creative process works? Read Timothy Shaw’s blog post on Prelude Music Planner to follow a ten-step process that could help you to create your own music: click here.