MorningStar Music, 2010

SAB, piano

A beloved text with a new tune that is sure to become a favorite of your musicians. With many unison passages and effective three-part writing that opens into fuller chords at the conclusion, this anthem is suitable for use with smaller and larger choirs. The text focuses on God’s saving grace and is appropriate for use throughout the church year.

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. (The Hymn, January 2011)

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. (CrossAccent, vol. 19/1)

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