Behold, I do a new thing

Duration: 2’45”
Instrumentation: TBarB, piano
Difficulty: Medium
Description: A setting of Isaiah 43:18-21 for men’s choir. The men in my church choir are enthusiastic but, like many church choirs, of uneven ability. They do sound good together, so this piece has lots of unison, breaking into two-and three-voice harmonies that are primarily homophonic with a few suspensions. One imitative section has two voices, but the material is designed to be easy to learn and fun to sing. The piece has a definite contemporary, jazz/pop flavor.

Blessed is the one

Duration: 2 minutes
Instrumentation: TBarB, piano, optional congregation or SA
Difficulty: Medium
Description: A setting of two verses of psalm 32 for men’s voices (the derivation is somewhat loose, but psalm 32 provided the inspiration for the piece). This work, one of an in-progress set of six introits, has a definite gospel flavor, especially in the piano part. For most of the piece, the piano explores and varies a two-measure fragment. Over these continuing variations, the men exuberantly set forth the text:

Blessed is the one who rejoices in the Lord:
Be glad, all you righteous, in the Lord.
Sing, all you who are upright in heart.
Sing for joy!

This piece is in the easy to moderate range of difficulty. It has a section for congregation (which can be taught the music in the course of the piece) or, if one prefers, sopranos and altos.

Called by God

Duration: 2’15”
Instrumentation: Two versions:

  • SATB, congregation, piano, organ
  • TTBB, piano

Difficulty: Easy
: A setting of the LOPC (Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church) mission statement:

Called by God, nurtured in the Spirit,
we are dedicated to making a difference in the world
by extending the love of Jesus Christ.

A portion of the piece is intended for congregational singing.

Eli, Eli

Duration: 4 minutes
Instrumentation: TTBB, string quartet
Difficulty: Medium
Description: This work, written for Good Friday, combines Psalm 22:1-3 and Eli, Eli, a poem by Hannah Senesh. As a composer, I found both texts quite powerful. The string quartet provides a relatively static, stark background against which the two texts, the psalm in English and the poem in Hebrew, intertwine.

There is also an SATB version.

Still, Still, Still

Duration: 3’10”
Instrumentation: TTBB, organ
Difficulty: Easy
Description: Straightforward setting of this delightful carol. The accompaniment of the last verse pays homage to one of Johann Pachelbel’s settings of Vom Himmel hoch.

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