“A Psalm of Thanksgiving” Reviewed in CrossAccent

Psalm of ThanksgivingThe November 2013 edition of the ALCM’s journal CrossAccent contains the following review of my anthem A Psalm of Thanksgiving:

Based on Psalm 100, this is an attractive, cheerful piece for one- or two-part children’s choir. It is in an ABA form, the A being “Come, all the earth, and praise the Lord, Be joyful and sing, for the Lord is good,” and the gentler B section being, “You know the Lord is God who made us, and we are his.” The A material returns with a fun Alleluia descant. Shaw gives kids a singable, solid piece for Thanksgiving or throughout the year.

Choral Anthem Reviewed in CrossAccent

How Can I Keep from SingingThe March 2013 edition of the ALCM’s journal CrossAccent contains the following review of my music:

How Can I Keep from Singing? is a handy piece to have on file for when there is limited rehearsal time. Most church choirs would likely have this learned with just a few minutes of rehearsal. The tune and words, attributed to Robert Lowry, are arranged in an exuberant Southern folk hymn setting. The two-part harmony would work with any combination of adult or children’s voices. The C-instrument part could be learned easily by a high-school-level instrumentalist of average ability. Shaw’s How Can I Keep from Singing? offers quality with minimal time commitment.

Review in The American Organist

The May 2012 edition of The American Organist (published by the American Guild of Organists) includes this recommendation of my organ music: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!, setting by Timothy Shaw (All Praise for Music: Easy Hymn Settings for Organ, Augsburg Fortress 9781451401127; 2010). Tune: “Nicaea.” The opening stanza of “Nicaea” begins with a brisk duet using the rhythm and harmony of the hymn. Mixed time signatures and articulated melodic figures spin the duet quickly through the second stanza. A majestic improvisation on the third stanza brings the arrangement to a strong finale. The title of this collection is taken from the third stanza of Marty Haugen’s 1999 hymn O God of Blessings, All Praise to You! The text reads: “All praise for music, deep gift profound, through hands and voices in holy sound: …Soli Deo Gloria!” The 17 hymn settings in this collection are appropriate for use throughout the church year.

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.

Review in The American Organist

The December 2011 edition of The American Organist (published by the American Guild of Organists) includes this recommendation of my organ music: Shall We Gather at the River, setting by Timothy Shaw (All Praise for Music: Easy Hymn Settings for Organ, Augsburg Fortress 9781451401127; 2010). Tune: “Hanson Place.” The title of this collection is taken from stanza three of Marty Haugen’s 1999 hymn O God of blessings, all praise to you! The text of this stanza reads: “All praise for music, deep gift profound, through hands and voices in holy sound; …Soli Deo Gloria!” This peaceful setting is written for strings and flutes, using the traditional harmony and rhythm of the hymn. The arrangement begins with the melody in the bass clef, moving to higher registers as the music develops. A crescendo to full organ begins in stanza two and returns to a reflective setting at the coda. This easy collection offers a variety of forms, including music for preludes, postludes, hymn introductions, and free harmonization.

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.”

Review in Worship Arts

The March-April 2011 edition of Worship Arts (The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts) includes a favorable review of my premiere organ book, All Praise for Music: Easy Hymn Settings for Organ (published by Augsburg Fortress): “These seventeen hymn arrangements will give you a great variety in one collection. DIX, FOUNDATION, HOLY MANNA, NICAEA, RUSTINGTON, SCHÖNSTER HERR JESU (CRUSADER’S HYMN), SUFFERER, and UNSER HERRSCHER, among others, are included. Some are more adaptable for shorter performance time than others, but you will find this is a year-round necessity in your library. Some pages are blank to facilitate your use.”

Choral Review in The Hymn

The January 2011 edition of The Hymn (published quarterly by The Hymn Society – US and Canada) includes a favorable review of my anthem , “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (published by MorningStar Music): “New tunes often help us hear and sing familiar texts with heightened awareness; this anthem certainly evokes such an awareness. The composer brings fresh new meaning to the text in this well-crafted three-part anthem. The key throughout is D major. The accompaniment is pianistic but could be adapted to the organ. The anthem is well suited for voices and would work for small churches as well as large churches. It would be a strong selection for a summer anthem during Ordinary time, or Lent.”

Choral Review in CrossAccent

Vol. 19, no. 1 of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians’ journal, “CrossAccent,” contains the following review of my anthem, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (published by MorningStar Music): “Shaw has written a newly composed work to Robert Robinson’s 18th-century text that should prove useful for many choirs with limited numbers of men’s voices. With its mostly unison or homophonic texture, the anthem is within the abilities of most small church choirs and would be appropriate for general services. Within the limitations of writing for three parts, Shaw maintains interest through sensitive text setting. The first and third stanza use one melody for the first half, while the second stanza (‘Here I raise mine Ebenezer’) provides a contrasting melody. Each stanza begins with unison voices, ending with the full three-part texture. Although the work calls for ‘keyboard,’ the writing is more suitable for piano than for organ.”