Choral Review: We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth

we praise you jesus at your birthLooking for a new SAB anthem for Christmas this year? The Spring 2015 edition of the ALCM’s journal CrossAccent contains the following review of my Christmas anthem “We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth”:

Shaw has taken a great 14th-century German text that includes some stanzas by Martin Luther and provided a lovely new tune and accompaniment. This is a splendid opportunity for those who seek to provide classic Reformation texts accessible to choirs and faith communities of today. SAB voicing appears to be very natural with Shaw, and this should find great usage for Christmastide and Epiphanytide worship or concerts.

Choral Review: Who Trusts in God

who trusts in godThe May/June 2015 edition of the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians includes a review of my choral anthem “Who Trusts in God” (2-part, accompanied), along with reviews of anthems by British composers John Rutter and William Walton. I wrote this piece in 2003 (Concordia published it in 2014, after it had been rejected 11 times by other publishing companies!), and I have always been fond of it. Here is their review, which very nicely describes the piece’s structure and harmonic makeup:

Choirs ready to begin exploring more adventuresome music can use Who Trusts In God as an effective first step out of purely diatonic music. The atmospheric accompaniment shifts around suggesting tonal centers without observing strict common practice tonality. The vocal lines are tuneful and easy to absorb. Meter shifts frequently, but again the rhythm is comfortable. To lighten the demands on the full choir, an extensive middle section can be sung by a soloist. The opening material returns after this with only minor alterations, creating a balanced ternary form. This attractive, interesting piece is an excellent way to introduce a broader tonal palette to choirs.

Editors’ Choice Award from J.W. Pepper

More Love to Thee - BPMy new anthem for SATB choir, “More Love to Thee” (Beckenhorst Press), has received an Editors’ Choice Award from J.W. Pepper. They describe the piece in this way:

Composer Timothy Shaw takes the original text by Elizabeth Prentiss (1856) and sets it to his own original music. The result is a beautifully written, highly singable melody in which the voices and accompaniment are intertwined. Even though this was written by Prentiss during a period of grief and illness, her text speaks to us as an encouraging testimony of faith.

You can view the score and listen to a very fine recording of the piece on Pepper’s website (click here). Or, you can hear that same recording below:

Editors’ Choice Award from J.W. Pepper

Editors' ChoiceMy 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!

Editors’ Choice Award from J.W. Pepper

Editors' ChoiceMy new anthem for Lent/Holy Week/Communion, “Deep Were His Wounds,” has received an Editors’ Choice award from J.W.Pepper. The piece is scored for SAB with piano, on a William Johnson text that alludes to Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2:22-25.

“But they, whom sin has wounded sore, find healing in the wounds he bore.” William Johnson’s penetrating hymn was written in 1953 and is deeply expressed with new music by composer Tim Shaw. Rich scoring, expressive melodies and a supportive piano accompaniment allow for the best results with your SAB choir. Appropriate for Holy Week, communion, confession or any reflective moment during your worship service.

Prepare the Royal Highway reviewed in The Diapason

The October 2014 edition of The Diapason (an international journal devoted to the organ, harpsichord, carillon and church music) contains the following review of my advent anthem, “Prepare the Royal Highway” (SATB unaccompanied with tambourine):

This Swedish folk tune from the 17th century has a lilting 6/4 meter that dances along at a moderately fast pace. The choral parts, on two staves, maintain the simplicity and keep the folk spirit throughout while the tambourine adds to the energetic rhythm without intruding or dominating. Its music is on the back cover and as a separate line in the choral score.

My Redeemer Lives: Hymns of Comfort and Praise reviewed in WorshipArts

The January-February 2014 edition of WorshipArts (a journal of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts) includes a review of my piano collection My Redeemer Lives: Hymns of Comfort and Praise. The reviewer looks at two other piano books published by Augsburg Fortress, but here are some of the comments he makes about my collection:

…Across the three Augsburg collections, all the arrangements generally ‘lie well’ under the fingers, though Shaw’s arrangements seem more technically involved than Roberts’ or Raabe’s. Again, though, there are several in the Shaw collection that are directly accessible. Practice time will vary for the experienced pianist/keyboardist, depending on individual ability…

…In general, these tunes are the most traditional among the three volumes; the practice required to work out harder portions (running thirds, sixths, octaves, and fast scales) of these scores will be worth the time.