by Judy Henry and Jennifer Fry, Sacred Choral Specialists
It may still be cold and snowy outside, but it’s certainly not too early to be planning your choral anthems for this spring! We have carefully chosen these pieces to be appropriate for a variety of worship styles and services throughout the coming months.
For the Lenten season and Holy Week, Mercy Tree is an excellent choice. Mary McDonald’s arrangement of this contemporary tune is breathtakingly dramatic. Intense lyrics, expressive vocals, and powerful accompaniment options combine to bring Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection to the forefront of our minds and the depths of our hearts. In another option, Craig Courtney brings us a beautiful, thoughtful arrangement of Nothing But the Blood of Jesus. The choral parts develop in increasing complexity, including a warm a cappella section, combining seamlessly with the gentle piano accompaniment and violin obbligato.
Sing a Glad Hosanna is a great choice for Palm Sunday! This joyful anthem blends the traditional Shaker tune “Followers of the Lamb” with the traditional Hebrew melody LEONI. Susan Dengler’s text is celebrative, while Lee Dengler’s arrangement is fresh and full of energy.
Opening with the scene at Easter dawn, Risen with Him builds dramatically in intensity until the strains of the beloved EASTER HYMN bursts through with optional congregational participation. It is equally effective when performed with Mark Hayes’ keyboard accompaniment, orchestra, or brass and timpani.
For other Sundays this spring, try David Schowebel’s Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. This beautiful anthem invites us to “leave the multitude” and accompany Christ on His journey to Gethsemane and the empty tomb. The lyrics, which span history and the wonderfully memorable melody comprise a musical experience your choir will not likely forget. Other excellent options include My God’s So Good to Me (a reminder of God’s many blessings with an infectious beat and bluesy melody), I Put My Hope in You (incorporating the text “My hope is built on nothing less…”) and Coming Home (an original prayerful ballad by Mary McDonald).
Did you miss out on our Sacred Choral Music Reading Session? Never fear! If you’re interested in receiving a packet from this year’s clinic (including these and many more selections for spring worship), please contact us! You can also click here to view our entire Sacred Choral promotion for Spring 2015, or visit our Virtual Workshop. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!
About the Authors:
Judy Henry has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.
Jennifer Fry is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.