Ascribe to the Lord, arranged for TTBB by William C. Powell Gentry Publications JG2425 NEW 2014
SATB performance premiered by VocalEssence, Minneapolis, MN with orchestra.
SSAA performance by Kansas State Women’s Honor Chorus 2009.
The A section is the exhortation to worship. The B section is the act of worship. And, the brief return to A is the closing exhortation to depart in worship. The piano accompaniment, centered around the pitch c , with chords interspersed, should be played with rhythmic energy and drive. It was premiered by the Plymouth Music Ensemble and Orchestra under the direction of Philip Brunnelle. So, it may help for the pianist to imagine an orchestra. Of course, the piano is unable to provide the powerful accompaniment that would be provided by an orchestra. However, the piano accompaniment in the B section should set up the sense of awe and stirring waters by means of the tension created in the quick repetition of middle c . In this section, the voices should build until they climax on in the unison singing of “The voice of the Lord is POWERFUL!” Be sure to stress POWERFUL and MAJESTIC. This section is the climax of the piece. The release of tension (created in the B section) occurs at the return of the A section. The song then builds to a final climax with the repeat of WORSHIP HIM, each one more emphatic and louder than the preceding one. The final him should be as emphatic and dramatic as possible.
Note to the director: Let the final “HIM” hang in the air (in silence) before relaxing your arms and the choir.
– See more at: http://rosephanyepowell.com/compositions/sacred-compositions/#sthash.JZ3bILQB.dpuf
Bright is the Ring of Words Hal Leonard (HL.154614)
The traditional sound of the male glee club is at the forefront with this brilliant setting of a text by Robert Louis Stevenson composed for the 125th anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Glee Club. The cheerful 12/8 opening bounds forward contrasting with a more lyrical middle section before returning for a stirring conclusion.
Commissioned and Performed by Penn State Men’s Glee Club
Glory Hallelujah to duh Newbo’n King! Gentry Publications – JG2354
SATB, a cappella, Christmas spiritual. “Rosephanye Powell has become one of the most innovative and popular choral writers in America. She salutes her African-American heritage in the arrangement of this popular Christmas Spiritual. Abounding with her classic energy this setting is sure to be a favorite.”–Fred Bock Music
TTBB, a cappella, Christmas spiritual. This arrangement has been so popular that an arrangement for men’s voice has been added.
Arranged for men’s voices by William C. Powell.
Grumble Too Much (Hal Leonard demo) Hal Leonard HL – 08742346
TTBB, Caribbean folk song arr., accompanied; This Caribbean folk song is an irresistible change of pace that makes light of man’s inability to please a woman. Features a soloist and optional Latin percussion.–Hal Leonard Music
Non Nobis Domine TTBB Gentry Publications JG2341
(VocalEssence, MN) TTBB version, arr. by William C. Powell.
SATB, a capella, sacred, Latin, motet. The SATB setting of Non Nobis Domine has become one of Rosephanye Powell’s most celebrated works. The driving energy and ostinato rhythms are classic elements from Rosephanye’s pen. Her husband William has adeptly revoiced this a cappella setting for TTBB choirs. –Fred Bock Music
The Word Was God, TTBB Gentry Publications – JG2314
Performed by the Morehouse Glee Club, ATL, GA.
TTBB A Cappella.
Original SSAA TTBB, anthem, a capella. One of the composer’s most popular works, this anthem is full of rhythmic energy and drive. One should take care not to sing too fast. It is a musical word-painting of the creation. The text is from John 1:1-3.
Notes on song from SATB:
The text and the theme of the piece are introduced simply, beginning in unison and growing into homophony in the men’s voices. The simplicity represents the inothingnessi that existed before creation. The unison represents the oneness of God and Christ (who is the Word). The homophony represents the distinctness of God and Christ in their roles. All that existed was God and the Word (Christ). All of creation grew out of these twoowho are one.
In m13, the theme begins to develop with three independent lines (basses and sopranos sharing one voice). It drives home the idea that Christ was (existed) and was at work in creation (ithe same was in the beginning with God). He was not separate from God; thus, he existed before his birth into humanity. Here, the theme introduced is to state the point more emphatically. It is important to give special attention to the dynamics and rhythmic syncopation so that the section builds into the unison at measure 28. Be careful not to rush.
The contrasting B section serenely states that everything that has been made was made by Christ, the Word. It is lyrical as the tenors echo the women, relieving the tension of the previous section. The phrasing of the women and tenors should be seamless. The basses provide harmonic support and foundation as a drone. They should be sure to accent the ihi of iHimi and move quickly to the imi. This section should be in the same tempo as the previous section. Please, do not slow it down.
In the final section, creation is spoken into existence. Here, God is actually at work speaking creation into existence. There are six entrances of the text “In the beginning was the Word” from the tenors through the sopranos. Each of the six entrances of parts represent one day of creation. (Biblically, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.)
During the coda, the song continues to build in intensity with “and the Word, and the Word, and the Word was God!” (just in case you didn’t get it before), The point of the song is that the same Word (Christ) that created was God! When done well, the audience is caught off-guard with the rest, anticipating “with God” (m77) which makes the final “God” more dramatic and effective, having been set apart.
One should take care not to sing the song too fast. It is a musical word-painting of the creation. The text is from John 1:1-3. When it is sung too fast, the meaning of the text is lost as is the energy of the syncopation. Furthermore, it gives the sense that God was in a “mad hurry” to create the world.