Psalm 121 reviewed in Pastoral Music

The March 1, 2012 edition of Pastoral Music includes the following review of Psalm 121This straightforward setting of a familiar psalm presents our joyful hope in God’s care and protection. The well-crafted melody flows in a lilting 6/8 meter, with a few intervallic skips that require careful placement. The slower middle section repeats the phrase “The Lord will keep you, now and ever more,” coming to a pianissimo fermata before returning to the joyful theme. The second voice part enters on the final refrain, in imitative style, and both voices combine for a very satisfying ending. The piano accompaniment requires more agility at the keyboard than many pieces for children.

Christmas Anthem Reviewed in CrossAccent

The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians’ journal, “CrossAccent” (Vol. 19, no. 1) contains the following review of my Christmas anthem, “Winds Through the Olive Trees” (published by Choristers Guild and distributed by Lorenz): “What a pretty melody Timothy Shaw has written! Dedicated to his children, the tune is childlike in its simplicity and purity, but never childish. The anonymous text has been set by several composers, but Shaw’s compares well to any of them. The setting is a straightforward treatment of the tune with simple SAB voicing and an attractive part for C instrument, probably a flute. It could be learned in a couple of rehearsals by a choir of average ability. The composer provides a nice little Gloria section by the treble voices in response to the men singing, “Then from the happy skies angels bent low, singing their songs of joy…” “Winds Through the Olive Trees” would be a good choice for a choir which is short on men or a youth choir and is appropriate anytime during the Christmas season.”

Psalm 121 published by Choristers Guild

Choristers Guild commissioned me to write a setting of Psalm 121 (unison/2-part choir, piano) that is now available from Choristers Guild directly and other online distributors. This text, one of the “Songs of Ascent,” is a favorite of many people (myself included), and I’m very pleased with the finished product. It’s perfect for older elementary choirs, and it also works beautifully with adult choirs.