by Judy Henry and Jennifer Fry, Sacred Choral Specialists
Involve your youngest singers in worship this spring with one of these great anthems for children’s choirs!
An Easter Alleluia by Timothy Shaw
This jubilant anthem for Easter day recounts the miraculous story of Christ’s resurrection. Unison voices singing “alleluias” with the peal of optional handbells proclaim together the glorious news that Jesus lives!
Everyday Miracles by Donna Butler Douglas
Appropriate for older elementary, youth, or adult choirs, this poignant anthem reminds us to stop and recognize the simple blessings of life. In so doing, we can “capture a glimpse of God’s face.” Optional parts for violin and congregation enhance the song’s stirring melody and lush harmonies.
Lift High the Palms of Praise! by Brad Nix
Triumphant and joyful, this Palm Sunday piece urges one and all to “lift high the palms of praise” and prepare the way for David’s royal Son. A lilting 6/8 meter provides a celebratory processional feel while also enhancing the spirited piano accompaniment.
Make a Joyful Noise! by Jeff Reeves
Rhythmic chant, handclaps, and a spirited melody make this an instant favorite with young singers! Written in ABA form, the slower, reflective B section incorporates the first stanza of “Holy, Holy, Holy.” An easy, optional second voice part gives budding two-part choirs a chance to shine during the anthem’s final A section.
A Mother’s Love by Mark Patterson
This anthem, perfect for Mother’s Day, beautifully expresses how a mother’s love undoubtedly mirrors the love and grace of God. An optional solo for a teenage youth or adult male begins the anthem and introduces a stirring melody that is repeated throughout the piece by a unison children’s choir. The optional cello part, which could be played by any C treble or bass clef instrument, underscores a feeling of warmth and tenderness elegantly conveyed through text and music.
Scatter the Darkness, Break the Gloom arr. Jacob Weber
Jacob Weber’s dynamic new arrangement of this joyful hymn pairs the Easter text with the bright BESANCON tune. A strong unison line establishes the melody, while an optional descant part on the final stanza adds a celebratory touch. Changing meter in the accompaniment engages the listener, choir, and director alike. A triumphant way to celebrate the Easter season.
Table for Five…Thousand! by Allen Pote & Tom S. Long
Unforgettable melodies and poignant lyrics abound in this inspiring musical based on the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Found in all four New Testament gospels, the story reveals how one young boy with five loaves of bread and two fish, along with his apparent willingness to share, led to an event so startling that members of the crowd wanted to proclaim Jesus as King. Later, the event revealed an even greater truth as Jesus told his disciples, “I am the Bread of Life. Those who come to me will never go hungry.” The musical remains true to the Biblical accounts while underlining the theme that the most humble among us especially children can do great things with God’s help. An outstanding dramatic narrative employs numerous roles for girls and boys while also incorporating the congregation (or audience) during the climatic scene when Jesus feeds the five thousand. This worshipful musical fits perfectly into any worship setting, music camp, or VBS format.
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.