Prepared by Phillip Konczyk
Unexpected and Mysterious / There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy
Text by Jeannette M. Lindholm, Music by Calvin Hampton, Arr. by John Ferguson

Set with two texts, John Ferguson’s masterful arrangement of Calvin Hampton’s ST. HELENA gives you the versatility to use this anthem twice this year. Use early in the year as a unison anthem with the secondary text There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy, and then again with the main text Unexpected and Mysterious on the 4th Sunday of Advent, perhaps adding the parts the second time around if rehearsal time permits.

All His Mercies Shall Endure
G.F. Handel; Arr. by Walter Ehret

This chorus from Handel’s Occasional Oratorio has been a favorite for many years. This arrangement retains the essence of the SATB version while reducing it to two parts, which may be sung by many different combinations of voices. Discover the Performance suggestions on the inside cover to assign each.

Sing to God / Singt dem Herrn

A great way to dial in a good Choral sound AND get an anthem ready at the same time is to take a Taizé piece that your community doesn’t know and learn the choral refrain. Then, use that to work on precisely aligning entrances, cut offs and breaths, vowel unification, and balance. When you get that down, add an instrument or two and the layered verses –  and you have an anthem for early in the season!

As We Gather At Your Table
Sally Ann Morris

As We Gather At Your Table

A tune in the Irish folk ballad tradition that captures the mood of the well known Carl Daw text of fellowship and communion. The addition of the parts for flute (or violin) and drum will bring out the Celtic flavor of the piece.

While Moses Tended Jethro’s Sheep / We Marvel at the Words, O Christ
Words by Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr; Arr. by Karl E. Moyer

Utilizing the well-known hymn tune KINGSFOLD, this “anthemized” hymn setting with the versatility of two profound texts would be perfect for use early in the choral season with the second text We Marvel at The Words, O Christ, and would be an option for numerous other occasions this choral season. Of particular note, First text While Moses Tended Jethro’s Sheep is appropriate for the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary time, right after the return from the Christmas season.

A Choir Book for General Use
Ed. By Paul R. Ladd, Jr.

Containing 94 various settings of 68 texts, this book – and the others in the series with seasonal texts – is a great resource filled with pieces with Unison, Two, Three Equal and mixed voices both accompanied and a Capella. Particularly well suited to getting the choir year rolling is #39 the SATB arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Our Desiring. Given the clear and clean readability of this edition and wide familiarity with the piece, this can become an ‘old standby’ and be prepared in no time. Also worth a look is #45 William Byrd’s 3 part canon Non Nobis Domine, ready with minimal rehearsal time.

Thy Little Ones
Brian Edward Galante & J Edmund Hughes

The tune PROSPECT is celebrated with simple vocal harmonizations and accompaniment. This brilliantly effective piece can be presented as a unison piece with piano and solo instrument, or two part with piano. It is also available in SSA (WW1564) and SATB (WW1560).

Laudate Dominum
Music by Dan Davison

Written for the needs of middle school choirs, this two-part neoclassic piece incorporates useful teaching techniques. Sopranos and tenors double in octaves, as do the altos and basses – cutting rehearsal time in half!