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

"Must do" Church music

Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 16:52:20 -0600
From: Sylvele(a)
Subject: must do church music

Choral colleagues: For those of you who are also involved in church music, I
send to you following list of pieces for church choirs. This list came out
of brain storming session in North Carolina at a Brahms' Requiem Seminar a
few years ago There were twenty university/college choral directors from
around the country involved in developing this list. I can't guarantee the
quality of every single piece, but I can say that the pieces I've done off of
the list have been excellent. I've asterisked the one's I've done. I would
be very interested in hearing of other pieces that are 'must do' pieces for
church choirs.

*Personent Hodie by Lara Hoggard [This piece is only available from Lara,
himself. I can't find his address but I'm sure that it is available through
ACDA.] It is an excellent processional and it has been done several times at
ACDA regional and national conventions. Highly recommended.]
*Arise Your Light Has Come-David Danner
*Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace-S. Wesley
*Beati quorum via by Stanford [SSATB, absolutely beautiful and not real
Away in a Manger by Wilburg
By the Waters of Babylon-Fissinger
There is no rose-Joubert
Pathways to the Cross-Robert Young
Psalm of Constancy-Nancy Cobb
I'll Praise my Maker-Pfautsch
Jesus the Very Though of Thee-Mark Hayes
Jesus my Lord, My Life My all-Bob Borroughs
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree-Poston
Secret of Christ-Shepherd
Solus ad victamae-Leighton
Behold the tabernacle of God-W. Harris
Faire is the heaven-W. Harris
The Eyes of All-W. Harris
*To Everything there is a season-E. Harris
Saw ye my Saviour-David Johnson
*Love Divine, All Love's Excelling-Mozart
*And the father will dance-M. Hayes
*Canon of Praise-Pachelbel/Hopson
Immortal Love, Forever Full-E. Butler
*Canticle of Faithfulness-D. Bird
*Let All the world in every corner sing-R. V. Williams/Wood
*Give to our God Immortal Praise-J. Ferguson
*Incline Thine EAr-Fissinger
*This is my song-Sibelius/D. Wood
*All Creatures of our God-M. Hayes
*Jesus I Adore Thee-Caracciolo
Hymn to God the Father-Courtney
*Thy Will be done-Courtney
*One Faith, One Hope-Courtney
The Shepherd's Hymn-G. Martin
I was glad-Parry
At the cry of the First Bird-Penninger
*Cross Cry-G. Martin
Lord Father of Mankind-Parry
Sunday Hymn-R. Stroope
Let us go into the house of the Lord-R. Stroope
O Come Let us sing unto the Lord-Diemer
Now Glad of Heart-K. Lee Scott
At the Lamb's High Feast-Pelz
Hymn Concertato-Pelz
Christ our passover-Duerkson
Welcome a wonders-Duerkson
Morning Comes and Weeping Ceases-Voorhar
Seek ye the Lord-R. Clauson
Dance O Earth-Lawrence
*Sing and be not silent-McDonald
Seek first the kingdom-McDonald
Saviour of the World-Yarrington
O Pray for the Peace-Howells
*Write Your Blessed name-Grotenhuis
Song of Triumph-Grotenhuis
I will sing to the Lord-Bish
I will sing to the Lord-Cobb
A Winter Morning-Brent Pierce
LOrd for thy tender mercy's sake-Hilton
Suite on the Nativity-Stultz
V. Quem Pastores Laudavere
The Joy of Mary-Neuen
Christmas Carol Dances-L. Larsen
The Shepherds are Waking
Beautiful Star
Welcome Yule

Sorry for the length but I thought members on the list might be interested
Gary Funk, Mount Union College, Alliance, OH 44601

Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 18:35:15 -0600
From: James.Langdell(a)Eng.Sun.COM (James Langdell)
Subject: Re: must do church music

Thanks for passing on this list.

I'm pleased to see three anthems by Craig Courtney
were included. The most impressive piece I've
encountered by him is "The Tomb Stood Open Wide"
--a wild Easter ride in a driving 5/4 time that
emphasizes just how shocking the Gospel is.

In this, and some other anthems, he uses a
distinctive voicing of sopranos and tenors in
octaves against altos and basses in octaves--a very
striking sonority I've only come across in Sacred
Harp hymns. His piano parts are distinctly
*piano* parts--voices are rarely doubled. These
factors make for music that sounds "bigger" than
you'd think a small church choir like mine could

This anthem is published by Beckenhorst Press, of
which Courtney became editor after the death of
the founder, John Ness Beck.

Another striking piece by Courtney is a setting
of Adam's "O Holy Night"--one for solo voice and
another for chorus. The piano part is somewhat
like Bartok's "night music"--a combination that
you might not think would work with Adam's French
operatic melody, but it does.

--James Langdell jamesc(a)
Sun Microsystems Mountain View, Calif.

Date: Wed, 5 Oct 1994 11:21:57 -0600
From: Ben Kornelis
Subject: Church Music Repertoire


In a few weeks I will be addressing a colleague's Church Music class on the
topic of Choral Repertoire for Church Choirs. While I have several favorites
of my own to share, I would love to present them with a list of works
suggested by choral directors across the country and around the world! Given
the nature of the denomination with which our college is associated, most of
these students (unless they choose to get a *real* church job, and therefore
switch denominations!) will be working with small to medium church choirs of
varying abilities; thus, more accessible suggestions would be appreciated. If
you would like to provide annotations to your suggestions, that would be
wonderful, but not expected. Also, there has been discussion here regarding
SAB music in particular, so, rather than duplicate that information, perhaps
my request should be limited to SATB and SATB with limited divisi. Please don't
suggest any *Sloppy Agape* (Christian Comtemporary)! Thanks in advance!

Ben Kornelis (benk(a)

* BENJAMIN KORNELIS * office: 712/722-6203 *
* CHORAL DIRECTOR * home: 712/722-1942 *
* DORDT COLLEGE * fax: 712/722-1198 *
* SIOUX CENTER, IA 51250 * e-mail: benk(a) *

Date: Wed, 5 Oct 1994 21:37:00 -0600
From: persyndp(a)CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU (David P. P. Persyn)
Subject: Re: Church Music Repertoire

At 11:20 AM 10/5/94 -0600, benk(a) wrote:
>In a few weeks I will be addressing a colleague's Church Music class on the
>topic of Choral Repertoire for Church Choirs. While I have several favorites
>of my own to share, I would love to present them with a list of works
>suggested by choral directors across the country and around the world!


I know of a major source of choral suggestions based on the 3-year cycle
liturgical calendar. This list of suggestions, which is an annotated
bibliography, is in MacIntosh Hypercard format, and is available from:

Dr. Edward E. Schaefer, Chair
Department of Music
Gonzaga University
E. 502 Boone
Spokane, WA 99258

Phone (509) 328-4220 Ext. 3337
Email Schaefer(a)

Dr. Schaefer, who was my undergrad advisor and choral director, has asked me
to collaborate with him in transporting this database for use on the PC
(windows) platform. I anticipate the release of this about the turn of the
year, with runtime Access included. I hope this is helpful to you, and
everyone please forgive me a bit of commercialism, but this project was
concieved because there are a lot of church musicians (like me!) who can use
the help. : {)


Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 11:22:59 -0600
From: Larry W Peterson
Subject: Re: Recommended literature

I enjoyed reading the lists of recommended literature, both SATB and
SAB. Several colleagues had the same reaction I did: surprise that we
knew so few of anthems on the recommended SATB list. This prompted me to
think about the anthems that I treasure for various
reasons--multi-cultural, easy for summer choir, etc--and I decided to
share my list. It is in two parts: SATB and "easy" (number of parts vary
but I indicate the parts needed).


Agnus Dei, T. Morley (E.C. Schirmer 2982) mass movement that Morley
included in his treatise as an example of how to compose.
Alleluia, R. Thompson (E.C. Schirmer 1786)
Beloved, Let Us love One Another, Van Denman Thompson (H.W. Gray)
Come, My Way, John Clements (SSATB) (Oxford 42.301)
The Eyes of All, Jean Berger (Augsburg 11-1264)
Halle, Halle, Halle, by Marty Haugen (CIA Pub. G 3961)
Hallelujah, Mt of Olives, Beethoven (G. Schirmer 2215)
The Kingdom, Andre J. Thomas (Hinshaw HMC 1307)
The Lord is My Shepherd, Thomas Matthews
The Lord is My Shepherd, J. Rutter (in Requiem, pub. separately)
Loving Shepherd of thy Sheep, J. Rutter (Hinshaw, HMC 1192)
Night of Silence, Daniel Kantor (GIA G2760) neat unison piece to be sung
with Silent Night as counterpoint. My choir voted last year to do this
every year during Christmas Eve service. Very easy.
Praise the Lord (Cameroon melody), arr. by Ralph Johnson (Earthsongs,
Corvallis, OR)
A Rose Touched by the Sun's Warm Rays, Jean Berger (Augsburg 11-0953,
beautiful but challenging to sing this molto lento piece to a
Pennsylvania Dutch text)
Springs in the Desert, Arthur Jennings (H.W. Gray 580) Let's hear it for
Slumber, O Holy Jesu, Dale Wood (Sacred Music Press S-188, actually the
version for TTBB is also nice. has soprano solo + flute solo)
Three Lenten Hymn Meditations, Dwight Gustafson (Harold Flammer A-6428) I
really love these three lenten pieces. We sing at least one of them
every year.


A. Multi-movement

Schubert's Mass in F (deutsche messe) (G. Schirmer) someone mentioned
this on Choralist earlier in the year. Easy, can be accompanied or not,
I particularly like the Sanctus and Gloria.

Alleluia, arr. John Wilson (Hope Pub, CF 171)
Amazing Grace, Wm Hall (National Music Pub, WHC Series #25) (flute solo)
The Gift of Love, Hal Hopson (Agape, HH 3922)
Break the Bread, Natalie Sleeth, Hinshaw HMC 965)
Gracious Spirit Dwell With Me, K. Lee Scott (2 part) (Augsburg 11-2198)
Hosanna to the Lord, from A Service of Life, Hank Beebe (I especially
like the Agnus Dei, which is in English by the way) (2 part) (Pembroke
Music/Carl Fischer, PC 1008)
Journey of Faith, Robt Ross (opt flute) (Presser 312-41561)
Kyrie, from A Service of Life, Hank Beebe (2 part) (Pembroke Music/Carl
Fischer PC1009) (I particularly like the Kyrie, which is in English)
Both of the Beebe pieces work well with guitar in place of keyboard and
work well for services outdoors.
Morning Has Broken, arr. Harry Simeone (Shawnee Press E-118 is 2 part SA
My Eyes for Beauty Pine, Herbert Howells (unison, difficult metrically
but nice) (Oxford Univ. Press 42.008)
A Litany for Advent, Shirley McRae (unison/2 part +flute or recorder et al)
(Choristers Guild CGA 570)
Non Nobis, Domine, Wm Byrd, set by Douglas Wagner (2 part) (Belwin Mills)
O Come and Mourn, arr. Hal Hopson (2 part) (Agape HH 3907 + flute)
Simple Gifts, arr. Hal Hopson (2 part) (Agape HH 3940)
Song of Fellowship, Don Besig (Glory Sound, A-6271)

Larry Peterson
University of Delaware
302 831-8134

Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 13:45:32 -0600
From: Larry W Peterson
Subject: Re: Addendum to List

I'm embarrassed that I found several anthems that I intended to include
in my list transmitted earlier this week. Sorry.

The Alfred Burt Carols, Set II and Set III (Shawnee Press, Inc., A-450
and A-451)
At the River, adpted by Aaron Copland, choral arr by R. Wilding White,
Boosey & Hawkes, OC4B5513) I like the setting of At the River by John
Carter also which includes Deep River but I cannot locate a copy.
Two Taize pieces that I use often is Eat This Bread and Gloria III both
published by GIA pub. Eat This Bread is G-2840.
I Waited for the Lord, F. Mendelssohn, (+ 2 soprano soloists) Th. Presser,
312-10269. This still remains a favorite of many congregation members.
Passacaglia of Praise, Craig Courtney, Beckenhorst Press, BP1357, works
well with a cello playing the ground bass (SSATB)
Sing to the Lord a Marvelous Song, Eugene Butler, Hope A 451.
Speak to One Another of Psalms, Jean Berger, Augsburg 11-0954
Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs, C.H. Graun, arr. Ehret, Lawson Gould
Mus. Pub, 661 (dist. by Cherry Lane Music)

Larry Peterson
University of Delaware
302 831-8134

Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 13:18:52 -0700
From: GregSchee(a)

As promised (long, long ago...) here are the respones to the request for
church choir directors' top ten anthems.
>From Walter W. Davis (betdav(a)
I'm in an Episcopal church. We order very little brand-new anthems
anymore because there are so many classic standards we like to use --
things that stand the test of time and are popular with
singers/congregation alike. I think we would consider our year incomplete
if we didn't use these annually:
As torrents in summer - Elgar (Novello) -- during July!
Cantique de Jean Racine - Faure (Broude)
Expectans Expectavi - Wood (dist. Bock)
Give us the wings of faith - Bullock (Oxford) - funerals, All Saints
He comes to us - Marshall (C. Fischer)
He, watching over Israel - Mendelssohn (G. Schirmer)
Greater love hath no man - Ireland (Stainer & Bell)
Offertory - Beck ("With what shall I come before the Lord?) -Beckenhorst
There shall a star come out of Jacob - Mendelssohn (G. Schirmer) - Advent
Springs in the desert - Jennings (HW Gray) - Advent
From: waltk(a) (Walter Knowles)
Here's my list of "tops". I'm just starting my 10th year with a choir in
a relatively "high church" but small parish with 15-20 all-volunteer
(not in order)
1. Bruckner, Locus iste
2-4. Willan, I beheld her, Fair in face, and Rise up my love
5-6. Durufle, Ubi caritas, Tantum ergo
7. Vaughan Williams, O taste and see
8. Rachmaninoff, Hail o virgin mary (from the Vespers)
9. Pitoni, Cantate Domino
10. Palestrina, Sicut cervus
From: DD166(a) (Donna Dennis) Palestrina -- Sicut Cerrus
Willan -- I beheld her, beautiful . . . " -- 3 Kings Manz
-- E'en So, Lord Jesus Friedell -- Song of Mary Brahms --
Lass dich nur nichts . . . Warlock -- Bethlehem Down Biebl --
Ave Maria Ord -- Adam Lay Y-Bounden Hadley -- I sing of a
I was stuck in Christmas!! A few more:
Casals -- O vos omnes
Luboff -- Deep River
Gerrish -- The Falcon
Stenhammer -- The Garden of the Seraglio
Bach -- B minor Mass!
From: renwick(a) (William Renwick)
Stanford, Jubilate Deo in B-flat
H. Clarke, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled (an exceptional Canadian
Wood, O Thou the Central Orb
MacFarlane, Open Our Eyes
Stainer, What Are These That Are Arrayed?
Rutter, The Lord Bless You
Noble, But Now, Thus Saith the Lord
Mendelssohn, There Shall a Star
Byrd, Ave Verum
Bach, Jesu, Joy
From: vonhuene(a) (The von Huene Workshop)
In no particular order:
Britten: Te Deum in C
Palestrina: Sicut cervus & Sitivit anima mei*
Josquin: Ave Maria a 4
Kodaly: Pange Lingua
Durufle: Ubi caritas
Handel: Worthy is the Lamb & Amen fugue (from Messiah)
Mendelssohn: Lord, our Creator (from Elijah)
Faure: Cantique de Jean Racine
Bach: Lobe den errn, alle Heiden (BWV 230)
Manz: E'e so Lord Jesus Quickly Come
From: GregSchee(a)
I direct a Presbyterian choir of about 15. This list might seem a bit
low-brow, but they strike a good balance between easy-to-learn and
Alice Parker, arr. - Be Thou My Vision
Michael Praetorius - Lo How a Rose (Rutter's version which is transposed
down a
step is also nice; it can be found in one of his Christmas
Hank Beebe - My Soul Doth Glorify the Lord
Cherubini/Lovelace - Like as a Father
Mozart - Ave Verum
Lotti - Mighty Lord
Beebe - The Mountains Shall Depart
Haydn/Liebergen - Sing for Joy
Vaughan Williams - At the Name of Jesus
Scheer - anything he's written is pure genius...

Hello friends,

Is anyone familiar with settings of texts by Pablo Neruda and Victor Jara
for SATB choir?

Thank you!
Fabiana Katz
on March 4, 2003 10:00pm addition to many listed above:

Soon Ah Will Be Done, Dawson
Lacrimosa, Mozart
Fix Me, Jesus, Hill
Akakomoberwa, Kesselman
Ave Maria, Biebl
In-a That Day, ?
Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace, Near
O Magnum Mysterium, Poulenc
Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, Oxford
The Lord is My Shepherd, Rutter
Agnus Dei, Barber
ANYTHING by Eric Whitacre

...anyone heard of Meredith Monk? She is just now starting to publish even though she's been doing her thang for about 30 years... keep your eyes peel'd in the next couple of years for stuff by Monk... a VERY new sound but VERY cool and not too hard to teach.
on June 18, 2004 10:00pm
Agnus Dei, by Paul Halley for SATB choir, soprano saxophone and organ. Hauntingly beautiful by Halley who for many years was organist/choirmaster and St. John the Divine, NYC. Pelagos publisher. Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee, also by Halley. Gorgeous. needs good organist. Chorus part medium difficulty.
on June 18, 2004 10:00pm
Two pieces I have come upon recently that are incredibly beautiful are
Agnus Dei for SATB choir and soprano Saxophone by Paul Halley, former organist choirmaster at St. John the Divine in NYC, and Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee, also by Halley. I cut the third unaccompanied and difficult, dissonant verse very effectively. I also wrote in a Kyrie text for this beautiful setting when we needed an American setting for mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. You need a good organist for the latter piece and good soprano sax. Hauntingly beautiful. Chorus parts are not too difficult on either.

Other favorites for strong SATB choir who can handle divisi are Gretchaninoff, Holy Radiant Light, and Morten Loridsen, O Magnum Mysterium.
on September 27, 2005 10:00pm

A personal favorite of mine - not found today in Choralnet -
is the chorale "Adoramus Te, Christe" at the end of
Theodore Dubois' "The Seven Last Words of Christ."

We'd normally think of this work for Lent or Easter.
But the chorale can stand alone any time. It's world-class music
no matter how you cut it. I've played it on the organ
as an instrumental prelude and for meditation after the Communion.

Listening to this chorale is the equivalent of
stepping into the sunshine after undergoing a horrific storm.
The 'storm' is the one you passed through in the rest of the music.
Musically, the chorale says that all is right (again) in the world.

Hope this helps somebody. Thank you for doing the work of the weblink.

With kindest personal regards.

Margaret Miller
on November 1, 2005 10:00pm
ONe of my favorites--

The Majesty and Glory Of Your Name - Tom Fettke
on June 22, 2006 10:00pm
Another wonderful anthem not on the above list is "O For a Closer Walk with God" - (CAITHNESS) - SATB, arr. by T. Frederick H. Candlyn. I sang this as a young man in my father's choir. But that was 40 years ago. Now the piece is out of print(M. Witmark, Publisher). Anyone out there know how I can obtain this for my own church choir? I've just about given up on the possibility of singing this one ever again! One rarely finds such a well-crafted hymn-anthem as this. Thanks..
Tom Shellenberger
Williamsport, PA
on September 28, 2006 10:00pm
I am looking for a site that would allow me to hear some of the music we will be singing this year.It is so much easier topractice the song when you know it.It would get a little expensive to keep purchasing CD's.We are singing"The Majesty and Glory of your name"next.Please help me find a site.Thank You and God Bless You Mary Ann Barnhart
on January 21, 2007 10:00pm
If I had to submit my list both of songs I have done and would like to do it would be:

Anything by John Rutter (specifically Requiem and Gloria)
Rise Up My Love - Healey Willan
Seven Magnificat Antiphons - Arvo Part
Totus Tuus - Henryk Gorecki
O Magnum Mysterium - Morten Lauridsen
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need - Virgil Thompson
Lux Aeterna - Edward Fissinger
Ave Verum - Mozart
Hallelujah (Mount of Olives) - Beethoven
Miserere Mei - Gregorio Allegri
Requiem (for women's voices) - Jean Catoire
The Majesty and Glory of Your Name - Tom Fettke
If Ye Love Me - Thomas Tallis

on March 1, 2007 10:00pm
After discovering this song for the first time a few days ago, I have to also add Joshua Shank's 'Musica animam tangens' to my list.

I have a hard time fathoming that the man was 23 when this song debuted. It is an absolutely incredible and soaring piece of music. This has become one of my favorites and touches my soul everytime I hear it.

What a fantastic acappella piece!
on August 9, 2008 10:00pm
Schoebels' "Ascription of Praise" is another good one. Absolutely glorious at the end. You need to have some decent first sopranos for this one, though. It makes an amazing benediction.