Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Best Small-choir church anthems

Dear Choralisters:

The following is a compilation of the responses I have received so far
regarding effective anthems for small choirs. I'll have plenty of ideas for
my seminar session. Thanks to everyone who responded!!!


John Michniewicz, DMA
Minister of Music, United Congregational Church, Bridgeport, CT.
Lecturer in Music, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT.

Lord, Grant Peace to All Your Servants - 3 pt canon,
Beckenhorst # BP1545

Hymn of Promise - 2 pt mixed - Natalie Sleeth - Hope # A580

O Lord Most Holy - 2 pt mixed - Franck/White - Coronet Press

On Eagle's Wings - SAB #16105 - 2 pt #16106 - Joncas/Hayes -

Ye Servants of God - SAB - Wesley/Vree- Tune: Paderborn -
Flammer# D5444

Creation Will Be At Peace - SAB in e flat Maj. #5898 - 2 pt
in c Maj. #5899 - Williams/Page-Alfred

I Am His Child - SSA -Moses Hogan - Alliance
AMP0349(Gorgeous Harmonies)
(also available satb)
Gracious Spirit Dwell with Me - K. Lee Scott Augsburg Fortress 11-2198 2
pt mxd
O Bread of Life from Heaven - D.A. White Augsburg Fortress 11-10203 2
pt mxd
A Lenten Walk Hal H. Hopson Augsburg Fortress 11-10568 2 pt mxd

'If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee" arr. Jody Lindh. This basically
2-part anthem has a wonderful neo-Baroque organ accompaniment, and a
counterpoint in unison men's voices under the second verse of the chorale
melody (in the women's voices.) The last verse breaks out at the end in
parts, but they are doubled in the accompaniment. This is a rhythmic,
energetic setting.

"Come my Way, my Truth, my Life" by Malcolm Archer (Mayhew) This SAB
has a beautiful melody, and the arrangement is really lovely.

My Song shall be of the loving-kindness of the Lord - Gerald Near (SAB)

Give Ear, O Lord - H. Schuetz (2-part)

Blest are they whose spirits long - Handel (2-part)

Moderately easy anthems for 20-member SATB church choir:
Sanctus- Norden
In Pilates Hall- Carter
A Jubilant Song- Lightfoot
You're Gonna Be Lifted Up- Estes
He Never Failed Me Yet- Ray
Built on the Rock- Pethel
Train Up a Child- Choplin
Bound for jubilee- Eilers
Clare Benediction- Rutter
Bless the Lord- Hopson
Just a Closer Walk With Thee- Hayes
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace- Hayes

This will smack of self-promotion, but I [Geordie Roberts] recommend the
following anthems
>and/or arrangements, available from Cypress Publishing through your local
>print music retailer. They were composed specifically along the criteria
>mentioned in your message to Choralist and one in particular has become "our
>very favourite" for many small (as small as 5 or 6 singers) church choirs in
>Western Canada.
>Leaning on the Everlasting Arms - Geordie Roberts. SAB a capella, mildly
doo-wap arrangement
>of the old gospel hymn and my best seller. Written specifically for a teen
>choir, good range in all parts, some polyphonic writing, nice stretch to D
>for the altos. Has been performed TBB and SSA also.
>House of God -Geordie Roberts. 2 or 3-part choir for any combination of
voice types, an
>easily-learned canon with simple but engaging text, most suitable for
>offertory or Sundays when the lectionary centers on Christ. Reverent in
>This is the Day - Geordie Roberts. will be out this summer. Slightly more
>writing for SATB choir (can be adapted for SAB by leaving out either men's
>part in one section) and more challenging accompaniment for piano. Standard
>scriptural text for general praise incorporating a well-known (to United
>Church of Canada) Fijian folk tune. Relentlessly energetic and cheerful, can
>be handled easily by smaller forces (as few as 10 or 12 singers).

O GIVE THANKS -Wayland Rogers
Two part with organ or piano
Boosey and Hawkes

The Gift of Love (Tune of "O Waly, Waly," arr, Hal Hopson)
He that shall endure to the end, from Elijah (Mendelssohn)

Two anthems by Samuel Sebastian Wesley come to mind:
Lead Me Lord and Thou Wilt Keep Him In Perfect Peace.

O How Amiable - Ralph Vaughan Williams
My Eyes for Beauty Pine - Howells
Most Glorious Lord of Life - William Harris

Robert Edward Smith (composer in residence at Trinity College in Hartford)
has published many very good anthems for small choir, some SAB. I believe
they are all published by GIA.

For Advent, "There Shall Come Forth a Shoot from Jesse," original 2-pt
anthem by Hal Hopson. Unison melody the first time, independent
voice-crossing second part (marked "descant" but both parts are middle-voice
range), good melodic interest in both parts. I've done this with my
collegiate women's choir several times and they like its melodic interest
and the voice-crossing even though it's very easy! (And they always want to
add alto parts at the cadences and the end, where the piano part has a cool
alto line where repeating the words makes an effective ending.) Sacred Music

For Easter, "The Tomb Stands Open Wide," Craig Courtney. An exciting 3-pt
mixed choir (any combination) anthem in very fast 5/4, essentially much like
the above: two crossing parts (although definitely high and low), some
homophonic three-part writing in a bridge section. Both parts are written in
treble clef, so other than the basses doing a little obligatory grumbling
:-) one can assign the parts for maximum effectiveness and no one has any
problems. I've done this with small church choirs and once they 'get the
hang' of the mixed meter's irregular compound beat, they love it.
Beckenhorst Press.

Psalm 150 -John Harper (2 pt/organ) Oxford

The Lone, Wild Bird -Davin N Johnson (first verse is solo or unison,
v. is mostly unison with 4 measures SATB...keyborad acc.) Augsburg

Sing Me To Heaven -Daniel Gawthrop SATB/unaccompanied Dunstan House

*A good example of the French baroque technique of "note inegale." Fun to
sing. Published by GIA, I believe.

O HOW AMIABLE--Vaughan Williams
mostly unison, a bit of easy 4-pt.
*Great for major events in the church.

easy SATB
*sturdy, exciting piece

Thanks be to God - Andreas Hammerschmidt - Mark Foster MF 2060

Keep me faithfully in thy word - G.F. Handel - GIA G-2355

Word from above - Padre Martini - GIA G-2356

Give ear o Lord - Heinrich Schutz - Mercury Music MC13

A jubilant song - Mary Lynn Lightfoot - Sacred Music Press 10/1026

The Lord is a mighty God - Felix Mendelssohn - Mark Foster MF 233

Sing, be glad - G.F. Handel - Mark Foster MF 280

The mighty power of God - Gilbert Martin - Lorenz 10/1170

I will sing praises - Deborah Lutz - National CH-34

O my God, bestow thy tender mercy - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Carl
Fischer CM 7974

Go ye into all the world - Robert Wetzler - Augsburg 11-1346

Lonesome valley - Gilbert Martin - Hinshaw - HMC-476

With songs of rejoicing - J.S.Bach - Carl Fischer - CM8086

Come sing unto the Lord - Joseph Martin - Triune Music - 10/1236T

O Lord most holy - Cesar Franck - Hope AA 1685

Seek to serve - Lloyd Pfautsch - Hope APM 003

Alabare - Ronald A. Nelson - Art Masters Studio AMSI 658

Bless God's holy name - Kenneth Kosche - Choristers Guild CGA 766

This is the day - Sam Batt Owens - MorningStar MSM-50-4502

It is well with my soul - Gary Matheny - GIA G-2987

In the lonely midnight - Gerald Peterson - Exaltation 10/1569L

Gloria - John Biggs - Consort Press CP26

Lenten Prayer - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Alfred 11468

>From all that dwell below the sky - Gordon Young - Galaxy 1.2186

Sunday Savers by Jay Althouse...there are two
editions...easy to put together, rehearsal notes, easy accompaniments and
very well written!!!

Margaret Sandresky's "King of Glory, King of Peace" for unison choir...a
very fine piece.

You can look at almost the entire catalog of Descant Publications, which is
distributed by Theodore Presser. Perhaps the best-selling Descant anthem is
"At this Table" by Allan Robert Petker

Ubi Caritas - Durufle
I sat down under his Shadow - Bairstow
Locus iste - Bruckner
O Thou the Central Orb - Charles Wood
Oculi Omnium - Charles Wood
Blessed Virgin's Cradle Song - Bairstow (Christmas nathem for Treble solo
and treble voices)
Come Holy Ghost - Attwood

on August 12, 2005 10:00pm
estoy interesada en que me lleguen noticias de ustedes a mi correo
on May 22, 2007 10:00pm
Thank you for securing this web site and for the plethora of anthems that you suggest for the choir. I am current interested in updating the choir's repetoire and would be very grateful if I could peruse some of your selections you have listed here for my use with the choir. We are a choir of about 40 singer and sing three worship services a month. Our repetoire mostly consists of anthems and some spirituals. We are located in Brooklyn New York at
The Cornerstone Baptist Church
562-74 Madison street
Brooklyn, New York 11221

my name is Lawrence Wrenn
Music Director/Minister of Music
Thank you for your cooperation.
on May 23, 2007 10:00pm
Lawrence, you need to contact the publishers. We don't have any music here at ChoralNet.
on September 11, 2007 10:00pm
Hello I'm Conductor of church in New York. I need a many score for church choir. can you sending to me that your church music score?

God bless you.
on May 17, 2008 10:00pm
Can you suggest a publisher of unison choral music with organ accmp. by JS Bach?