Hymn Prelude Library vol 5 published by Concordia

Concordia Publishing House has released volume 5 of the increasingly popular Hymn Prelude Library (based on Lutheran Service Book), containing hymn tunes that begin with ‘H’ and ‘I’. My setting of HELMSLEY (“Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending”) is included in this volume. Here is a review of the entire collection by Jeffrey Blersch, Professor of Music and Organist at Concordia University Nebraska:

In my experience, every organist continually looks for new and interesting ways to present and lead the song of their congregation. We look for pieces which portray hymn tunes in ways which are musically interesting, sensitive to the character of the hymn text, and which are accessible and able to be learned in a relatively short period of time. The new LSB Hymn Prelude Library provides organists with just that. But, not just for selected hymn tunes – for every hymn tune in Lutheran Service Book. For these reasons the Hymn Prelude Library will be a very useful and indispensible tool in leading the worshipping assembly in song.

Hymn Prelude Library vol 4 published by Concordia

hymn prelude vol 4Concordia Publishing House has released volume 4 of the new Hymn Prelude Library (based on Lutheran Service Book), containing hymn tunes that begin with ‘F’ and ‘G’. My setting of GABRIEL’S MESSAGE (“The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came”) is contained in this volume. Here is a review of the entire collection by Steven Wente, Professor of Music at Concordia University Chicago and Cantor at First Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, Chicago:

The Concordia Hymn Prelude Library promises to be an invaluable resource for providing new, relevant attendant organ music for the service. Organists of our time frequently seek to match the prelude, voluntary, and postlude to the hymns of the service. In some cases, as introductions to the hymns these pieces can reflect the historic practice of the organist playing a prelude before the singing of the hymn. While many collections provide settings of popular tunes, the Hymn Prelude Library will present preludes for all of the tunes in Lutheran Service Book. Drawing upon a variety of composers and styles and levels of difficulty, the Hymn Prelude Library is a must-have collection for every organist or their congregation.

Choral Commission: Abington Presbyterian Church

To commemorate its 300th anniversary, Abington Presbyterian Church (Abington, PA) has commissioned me to compose a 10-12 minute work for chorus and orchestra (with organ). The text is comprised of selected verses from the book of Psalms, which will be sung primarily in English with portions sung in Hebrew. The Abington Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Chorus, under the direction of John Sall, will premiere the piece as part of its 2014-15 concert season.

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.

Hymn Prelude Library vol 1 published by Concordia

Concordia has released a new collection of organ preludes based on the hymn tunes found in Lutheran Service Book. This is the first of 12 volumes of creative, substantive, and practical preludes for every organist and congregation written by more than 100 contributing composers and edited by Kevin Hildebrand. Volume 1 includes my setting of {AUSTRIA} (“Glorious Things of You Are Spoken“).

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.