by Judy Henry & Jennifer Fry, Sacred Choral Specialists
Involve your youngest singers in worship this fall and Christmas with one of these great anthems for children’s choirs!
Let Us Give Thanks to the Lord arr. Brad Nix
Joy and energy abound in this irresistible thanksgiving anthem that includes a brief portion of the hymn, “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Repetition in both text and melody make the piece a snap to learn. And an easy, optional descant gives budding two-part choirs a chance to shine as the anthem comes to a close.
There Is No One Like Jesus (Hakuna Mungu Kama Wewe) arr. Joseph Martin
Upbeat and lively, this spirited acclamation of praise is pure joy. Driven forward by a syncopated theme, this is music for the soul. Lots of repetition encourages quick learning, and the optional percussion really provides for a unique listening and performance experience. Available in two convenient voicings, this is one of those rare pieces that’s equally successful for adults and younger voices. A winner!
An Invitation for Advent arr. Douglas Nolan
Beckoning for Emmanuel to “come and set us free,” this anthem for Advent combines original music and text with the beloved Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Optional egg shakers and a stirring piano accompaniment enhance the sense of longing with its gentle, but continuous rhythmic drive.
Christmas Songs of Joy arr. Joseph Martin
This anthem of Christmas celebration combines original text and music with snippets of three beloved carols: Angels We Have Heard on High, The First Noel, and Joy to the World. Filled with exuberance and joy, the piece is an excellent choice for use on Christmas Eve or anytime during the Christmas season.
Hear the Angels, Hear Them Sing by Vicki Bedford
The late J. Paul Williams gave us so many wonderful lyrics for children’s choirs and here is a Christmas one that is brand new. Vicki Bedford has fashioned a catchy melody with rhythm and verve, and let the two vocal parts echo and play. Smuggling in the chorus to “Angels We Have Heard on High” was a stroke of genius. Children’s choirs will eat this one up! From the Houston Children’s Choir Series.
Mary Rocking, Gently Rocking arr. Hal Hopson
This sweet Christmas lullaby is artfully set by Hal Hopson. With short phrasing to support the rocking movement, this piece is a great way to teach your choristers about breath control and the shaping of phrases. The optional second part is not difficult, making this a good choice for choirs ready to begin part-singing. Also includes an optional flute part.
The Inn Crowd by Lee & Susan Dengler
The infamous census of the ages has made Bethlehem a busy and crowded spot, and there are some guests at a local inn who aren’t very happy. F.W. Woolworth (rich wool salesman), Rock Starling (hip star singer) – among others – have made it clear they want no part of the “lower class” staying at the inn (or otherwise). By the end of this 20-minute, easy-to-prepare and present musical, everyone learns that Jesus came for everyone, and that because of Him, we’re all definitely in God’s Kingdom.
For more suggestions for your children’s choir, please contact us!
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.