Music for Choirs
These carols, anthems and part-songs have been composed/ arranged for choirs. They are of easy to moderate difficulty i.e. can be tackled by community or school choirs as well as more advanced ensembles.
Sheet music for all of these compositions is available for purchase and instant download from Sheet Music Plus
SONGS FOR ADVENT/ CHRISTMAS
Here is The Child
Specially written for our local community choir – Village Voices based in Llangybi, Monmouthshire – this has proved very popular with both audiences and performers. The piece is written in a hymn-like format: the first two verses ask the question “Where is the Child in the modern world?” and the final two verses seek to answer that question.
Beautiful ancient plygain melody from Wales (Roedd yn y wlad honno), re-arranged with original English words re-imagining the Annunciation for the modern era. Performed by choirs in Monmouthshire and Pembroke in December 2015, it created a spell-binding atmosphere in both locations. It works equally well in either arrangement. Scored for SSAA or SATB unaccompanied.
Mam Bendithio - Blessed Mother
This carol makes frequent and popular appearances at concerts and services over the Christmas period, and rightly so. This new arrangement begins and ends with mysterious harmonies over the word ‘Noel’ and the triumphant fourth verse incorporates some of the words for another popular French carol (Il est ne le Divin Enfant) Scored for unaccompanied choir - original French words.
Mam Bendithio - Blessed Mother Video
Traditional Polish Carol also suitable for Epiphany. This arrangement and that of ‘Noel Nouvelet’ were conceived together and are thus similar in musical ‘feel’. Both begin and end with a simple, short chordal sequence, but this arrangement is more accessible for a young choir – an upper voices (SSAA) version of ‘The Star’ is also available.
The Spirit of Christmas
The Revd Howard Thurman was an influential American pastor and theologian, and a mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King. His words have a resonance for a world in which altruism and generosity of spirit are often in short supply. Their meaning and their natural rhythm were the spur for this composition
Lullay, as I Lay
Medieval English carol. The melody and words for the burden (chorus) and first verse of this ancient carol can be found in the Appendix to Musica Britannica vol IV ed. Stevens (p.110). It appears in a document dating from the first quarter of the 15th century, and is likely to be considerably earlier. Further research unearthed some supporting verses which fill out the story of the vision of Mother and Child, but the musical arrangement is an entirely new one. It tries to echo the harmonies which would have prevailed at the time while still making the carol accessible to modern choirs and audiences. The lilting triple-time is typical of the late medieval period.
These two harvest anthems are set to the same words from Ps 145, but are very different in style.
The eyes of all wait upon Thee - D Major - SATB short, easy anthem
The D major setting is very much in the style of baroque and early classical compositions with keyboard and cello continuo (which can either be played on organ or piano, or omitted altogether). It proclaims God’s oversight of the harvest confidently and joyfully.
The eyes of all wait upon Thee - E Minor - SATB short, moderate difficulty
The E minor setting, by contrast, is much more contemplative, emphasising the mystery inherent in God’s interaction with the natural world, beginning and ending quietly with a chant-like setting of the words “The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O God”
SONGS FOR OTHER OCCASIONS
Calon Lan - an arrangement of a popular Welsh Hymn - available with Welsh or English lyrics
Specially written for ‘Sound Women’, an all-female choir based in Penarth, this works equally well with all voices. A fun arrangement of the well-known tune, which uses a ‘Swingle’ style for verse 2, and an added ‘oomph’ at the end. Its premiere in Stuttgart clearly went down well, so it could be a popular favourite with Welsh-speaking choirs. Individual parts on midi files available.
Calon Lan Audio
Light So Low
The words for this evocative piece are taken from the poem ‘Marriage Morning’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and it conveys both the tenderness and excitement of a blossoming relationship.
He Wishes for The Cloths of Heaven
A short anthem suitable for weddings. The poem by W. B Yeats is rightly famous – a lilting and elegiac interpretation of the vulnerability of being in love. The musical setting attempts to capture that mood, dying away almost to nothing on the final notes of ‘Tread softly because you tread on my dreams'. Also available with piano accompaniment.
After Thy Great Goodness - A Short Miserere (words from Ps 51 – in Latin).
SATB Moderate difficulty – suitable for a good church choir.
Psalm 51 is often used during Holy Week during the penitential liturgies, and has been set to music many times, most notably by Allegri in his famous setting of the Latin text.
Its main message is one of mercy rather than judgement – the first line in English reads: “Have mercy upon me O Lord after Thy great goodness” and this present setting is a reflection of that more positive tone, moving as it does through both major and minor key sequences.
The repeated text “Miserere mei, Deus” suffuses the work with light and gentleness, ending on an unapologetically uplifting chord of G major.
Kyrie, Sanctus/Benedictus and Agnus Dei in G
A short setting of the traditional words of the Communion service in a style which is both easily accessible for choristers and congregations without being trite. SATB with piano or organ accompaniment. Individual part copies are available on request.
St. Dunstan’s Mass – Kyrie, Sanctus/Benedictus, Agnus Dei
A short setting of the words of the Modern Language Holy Eucharist service of the Church in Wales but can be used at any Eucharistic celebration. This setting, newly revised for choral use, has proved to be very popular in many differing styles of worship. SATB unaccompanied.
Like ‘After Thy Great goodness’, this anthem is set to one of the defining Latin texts of Western Christianity, the ‘Hail Mary’, still very much in use. It takes a different direction from previous lyrical versions, using the text ‘Holy Mary……pray for us sinners…..’ as a dramatic plea in an uncertain world. Nonetheless, the Amen repeats the gentleness of the initial phrase, but adds warmth and positivity.