Concordia Publishing House has released a collection of eight newly-composed organ preludes from eight different composers: Mark Bender, Jonathan Kohrs, Kenneth T. Kosche, Matthew Machemer, Jonathan R. Mueller, Paul Soulek, Steven Wente, and Timothy Shaw. A Reformation Easter: Organ Preludes on Sixteenth-Century Hymns contains Shaw’s setting of “Christ Is Arisen” (“Christ ist erstanden”). You can read more about the collection and hear sample recordings on Concordia’s website: click here. Order the book from JW Pepper.
Need even more ideas for musical selections that are quite effective with smaller ensembles? Consider adding some of these well-written pieces to your choir’s repertoire either this year or in the future. (For the previous list, click here.)
- Prepare the Royal Highway (Unison/2-part, keyboard) | arr. H. Hopson, MorningStar
- We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth (SAB, piano) | T. Shaw, Concordia
- God Be Merciful unto Us (Unison, organ) | D. Pinkham, E.C. Schirmer (recording)
- Psalm 117 (2-part mixed, keyboard) | T. Shaw, Concordia
- Bow Down Your Ear (Unison, piano) | A. Miller, Augsburg Fortress
- Who at My Door Is Standing? (2-part mixed, keyboard) | arr. K. Lee Scott, Hinshaw
- Ah, Holy Jesus (SA, cello) | arr. C. Jennings, Augsburg Fortress
- Deep Were His Wounds (SAB, piano) | T. Shaw, MorningStar
- The Risen Christ (SAB, keyboard) | arr. T. Fettke, Alfred
- Lord, Listen to Your Children (SAB or 2-part mixed, piano) | arr. J. Schrader, Hope
- Praise the Lord, God’s Glories Show (SAB, conga drums) | D. Schelat, Oxford
- The Lord Bless You and Keep You (SAB, keyboard) | J. Rutter, Hinshaw
© 2015 Timothy Shaw. All rights reserved.
Finding music that is accessible to small(er) church choirs is always a challenge, and it seems every choir director must work with a smaller choir at least one week out of the year. Here is a list of one dozen well-written anthems, spanning the church year, that work well with ensembles of any size! Consider adding some of these to your choir’s library. (Clicking on a title will open the anthem’s page on JW Pepper.)
- Stir up Your Power, O Lord, and Come (SAB, organ) | C. Schalk, MorningStar
- Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (SATB, keyboard) | T. Shaw, Augsburg Fortress
- Only a Baby Came (2-part, keyboard) | N. Sleeth, Hinshaw
- Jubilate Deo (Unison or SA, organ, opt. percussion) | D. Wood, Augsburg Fortress
- Lord Jesus, Think on Me (SATB, keyboard) | J. Althouse, Hope
- Create in Me a Clean Heart (SAB, organ) | C.F. Mueller, G. Schirmer
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (SATB, piano) | F. Mallory, Genevox
- I Will Sing of My Redeemer (2-part, piano) | T. Shaw, Fred Bock
- Now Is Christ Risen from the Dead (2-part, keyboard) F. Frahm, Augsburg Fortress
- Jesus, My All, to Heaven Is Gone (2-part, piano, oboe) | H. Helvey, Beckenhorst
- Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me (2-part, keyboard) | K. Lee Scott, Augsburg Fortress
- All My Hope on God Is Founded (Unison with descant, organ) | H. Howells, arr. J. Rutter, Collegium
© 2015 Timothy Shaw. All rights reserved.
As my year of writing one new piece of music a week drew to a close, several people asked, “Of all the pieces you’ve written this year, which do you like best?” This is a tough question to answer, of course, but I do have my favorites! Here is a list of my Top 10. Is your favorite on the list? Leave a reply below, or send me a message.
1. When Peace like a River (It Is Well with My Soul) (VILLE DU HAVRE) – week 7
2. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (PICARDY) – week 52
3. Were You There (WERE YOU THERE) – week 31
4. Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound (NEW BRITAIN) – week 44
5. When Morning Gilds the Skies (LAUDES DOMINI) – week 29
6. Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (ST. AGNES) – week 6
7. My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less (THE SOLID ROCK) – week 38
8. Take My Life (HENDON) – week 12
9. Ah, Holy Jesus (HERZLIEBSTER JESU) – week 30
10. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (VENI, EMMANUEL) – week 14
Augsburg Fortress has released Sundays and Seasons, Year C (2016). This is a wonderful resource that will help lay worship leaders and planners, preachers and presiding ministers, worship team leaders, musicians and visual artists, educators, sacristans and altar guilds, and pastoral liturgists as they prepare engaging worship. I was pleased to contribute the choral music selections for each of the 63 services throughout the church year.
For the 2nd Sunday of Easter, here is a setting of the jubilant Easter hymn VRUECTHEN, “This Joyful Eastertide.” This short piece reminds me of the importance of practicing scales (have fun with this one)!
Just in time for your Easter (sunrise?) service, here is a setting of EASTER HYMN, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” a hymn that has grown in popularity in recent years. Enjoy, and Happy Easter!
My new children’s anthem for Easter, “An Easter Alleluia,” has received an Editors’ Choice award from J.W. Pepper. The piece is scored for unison choir with piano and handbells, on an original text.
This original anthem incorporates four handbells to accompany the children’s ensemble along with the lovely piano accompaniment. “Jesus died on Calvary; now He’s won the victory. Go, and spread this Gospel news: Jesus, lives! He lives for you!” Here’s a truly worshipful experience for your children’s ensemble!
MorningStar Music has released my new anthem for Lent/Holy Week/Communion, “Deep Were His Wounds.” The piece is scored for SAB with piano, on a William Johnson text that alludes to Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2:22-25. You can view sample pages and listen to a demo recording here. Publisher’s description: “This sorrowful text reminds the listener of the pain and suffering of the crucifixion. The choral writing captures this emotion in a way that allows the text to develop effectively.”