Introducing a new general anthem for 2016! Go Up! is a scripture song with some refreshing musical ideas. When the folks at Alfred/Jubilate first asked for a Scripture setting from Isaiah 40, I was intrigued–but nervous,too! There are many beautiful, meaningful textual strands in this chapter, but in some ways the ideas seem disparate. I was nervous about finding a way to make a cohesive piece of music out of them. But I’m a firm believer in the need for more Scripture songs, so I jumped in. I’m pleased with the results, and because the text covers a variety of topics and moods, the music does some interesting things. The main theme is syncopated and joyful, evoking hints of old spiritual style, while the contrasting sections are more lyrical and pastoral. When the main theme returns for the final time, there’s opportunity for a soulful solo. This anthem is scored for SATB choir and piano with optional S/T solo. It’s available now from Alfred Music/Jubilate Music. Listen below (I love the solo at the end!)
Category Archives: new publications
Two new Easter anthems to tell you about! Consider these choral anthems for Easter and Holy Week. First, The Bitter Cup (SoundForth/Lorenz – click to listen) is a beautiful, somber anthem with a text by Duane Nichols that explores the breadth of emotions experienced by Christ and his followers as Christ drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath, suffered dreadful pain, and was laid in a somber tomb, all in our stead. The text then turns: “But sin could not defeat its foe, nor death retain its prey. Our Lord, the Living One, assumed his rightful seat; exalted to His Father’s side, redemption now complete.” This anthem is scored for SATB choir and piano, with optional cello and guitar, and it received Editors’ Choice from J.W. Pepper. It would work well for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or as a part of a multi-anthem Easter Sunday. Listen, see a sample, and purchase here.
Second, Christ, the Lord, is Risen Today (Beckenhorst) is a fresh take on a classic Easter hymn. I’ve based this anthem on the traditional tune EASTER HYMN: the piece alternates between syncopated snippets of EASTER HYMN and newly composed phrases. Scored for SATB choir, keyboard, and trumpet solo, this anthem is a regal, festive addition to your Easter service. Click on the SoundCloud banner to listen. (This piece doesn’t appear on the publisher’s website quite yet, so for now, here’s the product page on J.W. Pepper.)
Just in time for Christmas, my new arrangement of “Sleep, Jesus, Sleep” is now available through Heart Publications! This tender Christmas lullaby is a beautiful addition to your church’s Christmas repertoire. The simple SATB voicing can be learned quickly, and the included parts for violin, bass, and guitar/harp add layers and depth to the piano accompaniment. The arrangement works well with choir as well as smaller groups. You can purchase the arrangement at Heart Publications’ website here, and see a score sample here.
Also, All Saints’ Church (Northampton, UK) is accepting pre-orders for their latest recording, Be Merry!, which will be released November 1. This recording includes my Still, Still, Still and is the first professional recording of the piece. I’m excited to hear it! This CD also includes settings by Forrest, Courtney, and Anglea, among others, and you can pre-order here.
Great news! I got a call from Joseph Martin this week: Hal Leonard is publishing my Benediction of Hope! It’s being published in their Brookfield Press line, which is (I believe) marketed to both church and school choirs.This Benediction is my personal favorite among the things I’ve written thus far, so I’m especially excited to share this piece with a larger audience. Listen below to the premiere of the piece (apologies for the applause—it was the closing piece for my graduate recital). The piece will be available this fall.
I’m excited to have two arrangements coming out in the upcoming choral season. First, SoundForth/Lorenz is publishing “Grace Alone,” my simple arrangement of the song by Scott Wesley Brown and Jeff Nelson. This arrangement was slated to come out last season but was held up due to licensing. Here’s hoping it makes this season as expected… Personal friends might recognize this arrangement: it began as a duet setting that my wife Jennifer and I sang at our wedding. The arrangement is dedicated to her. I love you, honey!
Second, Alfred Sacred is publishing my arrangement of a Christmas piece, “Welcome to our World,” for SATB choir, with optional children’s choir, child soloist, and congregation. The arrangement includes the beloved carol “Silent Night” as well. This was the first time I’ve taken an assignment from a publisher, and due to winter travel and weather I ended up with a pretty short deadline. I’m glad for the opportunity, and I really like the piece as it turned out. I hope you will, also! I’ll update the site with audio and links once they turn up online.
Lastly, Jen and I are thrilled to be traveling to the ACDA Southern Division Conference in Jacksonville, FL, where we’ll be performing with Rivertree Singers. The group is honored to be one of only two choirs in South Carolina accepted to perform. We’re excited to present newly published works by Peter Anglea (his Jubilate Deo) and John F. Hudson (his powerful Newtown Psalm), as well as one of Dan Forrest’s American folk song settings. You can watch a video of one piece from that program below (the Kyrie from Tomas Luis Victoria’s missa pro defunctis), and here’s a link to our program. For any friends at the conference, we’ll be performing in the 3:30pm Friday block. I’ll also be wandering around the exhibit space at some point, where I hope to meet face-to-face some publishers with whom I’ve only yet had electronic contact :-).
That’s it for now. I’ll post again when content is available for the two new pieces.
My first published piano solo, “Come Thou, Almighty King,” is in this new collection from SoundForth, All Praise and Glory. The collection was complied by Molly Ijames, and it has been named an Editors’ Choice collection by J.W. Pepper. That retailer describes this collection as a “fresh compilation . . . that you’ll want to keep in your bench all year round!” Head over to the Lorenz website to see samples of some of the pieces (unfortunately the viewable sample doesn’t include mine).
Composer Mary McDonald presented my “Still, Still, Still” at a reading session for Stanton’s Music. She has a bit of a sense of humor :-). You can watch her entertaining presentation here.
“Still, Still, Still” is receiving strong praise from many conductors and is selling well. Have you looked and listened yet? Rivertree Singers has begun rehearsals for our concerts this Christmas season, and we are including this piece on those programs. The choir interprets it beautifully–stay tuned for performance dates and venues.
You can buy copies of “Still, Still, Still” here.