SATB Sacred

Rosephanye Powell has made a name for herself in the choral worlds of composition, singing, music education, and research study in the preservation and performance of African-American spirituals and gospel music. An avid choral clinician and an insightful adjudicator, she travels the world to share her expertise and her luscious soprano voice.

Chanticleer (GRAMMY® Award-winning male vocal ensemble)

NOTE:  Please visit the Christmas page for SATB sacred Christmas songs.

Ascribe to the Lord   SATB  Gentry Publications – JG2224

SATB, anthem, piano accompaniment.

Composed for and demo with orchestra performed by VocalEssence of Minneapolis, MN (formerly Plymouth Music Series)

(VocalEssence, Minneapolis, MN ) *

Composer notes:

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.
*Note: The Witchita State University tempo is a bit fast. The VocalEssence demo is more accurate in tempo. Psalm 29.

Be Glad in the Lord     Gentry Publications: JG2400

Commissioned in celebration of Philip Brunelle’s 40th year as organist/choirmaster of Plymouth Congregational Church (Minneapolis, MN), Rosephanye Powell once again displays her exhilarating craftsmanship. The joyful rhythms and motivically-building lines bring a familiar spiritual quality to this original work. College choirs, advanced high school and church choirs will all enjoy this invigorating and exciting piece.

Come, Let’s Celebrate    Hal Leonard – HL08703284

SATB, up-beat gospel song that is a joyful celebration just brimming with Caribbean-rhythmic vitality, with piano accompaniment–Hal Leonard

Note: This demo version is a little slower with a synthesized accompaniment and with a less-Caribbean feel than the published version.

Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor   Gentry Publications – JG2352

SATB mixed voices, sacred song/ballad, piano acc. “Rosephanye Powell has become one of the best-known choral writers in America. Her setting of African-American spirituals has further added to her fame. This piece displays her skills for original composition. A yearning melody and grappling harmony engulf the listener with this compelling piece.” Fred Bock Music.  Great for church choirs!

Cry of Jeremiah. Gentry Publications/Hal Leonard.

JG0724 SATB Vocal Score with Piano Reduction
JG0725 Organ Score (includes vocal parts)
JG0726 Conductor’s Score and Parts (full orchestra)
JG0727 Conductor’s Score and Part (Percussion only
JG0728 Full Orchestra Conductor’s Sore (no parts)
JG0729 Percussion Conductor’s Score (no parts)

The Cry of Jeremiah is a four-movement work based textually on the 29th chapter of Jeremiah. The prophet Jeremiah, having experienced ridicule and imprisonment because of his prophecies, laments his present state.

Premier performed by the Nashville Chamber Singers and Orchestra.


The orchestral score calls for an orchestra of 1,2 (first and second) violins, viola, cello, bass; piccolo, flute, oboe, Bb clarinet; 1,2 Bb trumpets, trombone, 1,2 French horns in F, tuba; three percussionists incl. timpani and drum set; and organ. There is also the option for organ and percussion (but I normally suggest adding at least the flute and,oboe to the second movement if possible. They add exotic colors. And if possible adding trumpets and French horn for color and power in the first and third movements expecially). It can also be done with piano and chorus alone (but I suggest adding the congas and/or djembe and flute for O Lord (the second movement) and drum set for Hallelujah (final movement).

I. Is Not His Word Like A Fire (Jeremiah 20:9). The work opens with Jeremiah boldly proclaiming that he prophesies, not because he wants to, but because he is compelled to. This song exemplifies the inner struggle within the prophet: confident yet insecure;doubtful yet resolved.

Musically, the A section is full of “fire,” (intensity) expressing a commitment to the task. This is contrasted by a B section that expresses a weary prophet who longs to be silent and done with the whole matter. The vocal development of this song grew out of a Baroque-European influence of contrapuntal writing in the A section and chant-like or recitative style singing in the B section. The A section is declamatory while the B section is more docile. It includes jazz harmonies and rhythmic vitality. The energetic, fiery organ intro paints the compelling power of the Almighty God to drive Jeremiah onward. The coda (“I must declare it”) exposes Jeremiah’s resolve to persevere.

II. O Lord You Have Deceived Me (Jeremiah 20:7-9).

Premier performed by the Nashville Chamber Singers and Orchestra.

The dejected prophet complains, accusing the Lord of deception—making false promises of success and victory over his enemies. He feels alone, betrayed by God and despised of men. Jeremiah laments and despairs to the point of utter exhaustion, heard in the final “huh” of the song. It is as if the prophet has been punched in the gut by the very hand of God. In contrast to the previous song, O Lord, You Have Deceived Me is a ballad that begins with a lamenting A section, contrasted with an angry B section, as Jeremiah remembers the mocking of his enemies.

This song is characterized by African-influenced, percussive vocalizations; anunderlay of African drums; exotic colors in the orchestra; jazz flavors in the vocal and organ parts; and vocal moans and wails associated with the African-American spiritual. The sense of dejection and loneliness experienced by the prophet is painted in the organ intro.

NOTE: In the ORGAN SCORE, measures 39 AND 47, the right hand should have E naturals, not E flats.

III. Cursed Be the Day (Jeremiah 20:14-18).

Premier performed by the Nashville Chamber Singers and Orchestra.

In his despair, Jeremiah not only accuses God of deceit but calls his wisdom into question, cursing the very day he was born. The A section of this song is full of anger which can be heard in the vocal, organ and orchestral parts—harmonically, rhythmically and melodically. There is much dissonance and tension in this section through the use of seconds and repeated pitches. The B section is a return to the middle section of the opening movement.  I repeated this idea to demonstrate the fluctuation of emotions and thoughts one experiences when in despair. One moment he is speaking forth curses and the next, he is quite calm. In spite of his anger, disillusionment and dejection, Jeremiah is still compelled to speak.

IV. Hallelujah! (Jeremiah 20:11-13).

Premier performed by the Nashville Chamber Singers and Orchestra.

Hallelujah Score Revisions

Note: The tempo should be no faster than 60. (80 is indicated in the score). After having worked with my choir on this song, I have revised it for the single-release octavo (see below). The revisions are made in the “special”. As you will see from the pdf below, I delay the entrances for each part. This allows the special to build more effectively to the climax. I recommend that those using the full score sing the revisions found in the pdf. The first demo above (Auburn University) is performed using the revised score.

Use of soloist: A soloist who has experience in singing gospel music or understands how to sing free-style gospel music adlib (not written in score) may adlib during the special at the discretion of the musical director/conductor.

Revisions for the Orchestra in the special: For more musical development and gospel authenticity, I recommend that all but the drum set rest from measure 50, beat 2 through measure 55, beat 11, re-entering on the eighth-note that is beat 12. Then play as scored to the end.

Reprise: If there is a desire for a reprise, the conductor has the liberty to start a reprise at any measure. However, I suggest the following dependent upon whether the conductor desires a longer or shorter reprise:

Longer Reprise: The orchestra enters alone at measure 35 and the altos and basses enter at measure 35, then the score is performed as originally (including the orchestral rests beginning at measure 50, beat2) to the end.

Shorter reprise: The orchestra enters at measure 49 beat 6 and the voices enter at measure 50. Remember that the orchestra rests from measure 50 beat 2 through measure 55, beat 11.

Jeremiah’s complaint grows into praise as he reconciles that God is faithful to his promise to deliver the righteous. Jeremiah encourages himself to “Praise the Lord,” (v13), knowing that he will be vindicated and his enemies brought to shame.

Musically, Hallelujah begins serenely revealing that Jeremiah has resolved his issues with God. The song builds to a joyful celebration of God’s faithfulness. The organ intro is stylistic of piano or Hammond organ solos found in many contemporary gospel songs. The specific style of gospel song in which Hallelujah is composed is the praise and worship style. Indicative of gospel, in the final section, called the “special,” vocal parts are repeated independently and in harmony to build energy and develop to a climax. The orchestra and organ provide energy with and contrast with accents and varied parts to build to the climax. As in the gospel style, a drum
set provides the rhythmic foundation.

Hallelujah!  Octavo New! Gentry Publications JG2432

This choral-piano score has the revisions noted above.  If the director prefers, in  mm 27-35, the basses and baritones can sing in unison just as in measures 53-59.

Down By the Riverside Hal Leonard 08752950!

Witchita State University

Birmingham Chamber Chorus, Terre Johnson, Conductor

SATB spiritual/worksong, a capella. Because it served in the slave community as both a worship (spiritual) and worksong, this spiritual can be sung slowly for worship/communion (as heard in the demo) or faster as a work song.

Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit

Great for church choirs! One of America’s most beloved African-American spirituals, this joyful song encourages the worshipper to eagerly anticipate great things of God, the Father, through persistent prayer. The vocal lines, based upon the traditional melody, are easily accessible in good ranges for all types of choirs. The moving tempo and energetic piano accompaniment give a contemporary, fresh feel to this traditional folk song. Choral folios include standard and large print scores for choir/keyboard, demonstration and accompaniment track MP3s, and full license to duplicate scores and demonstration track.

Glory Hallelujah to duh Newbo’n King! Gentry Publications – JG2325

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

Glory Hallelujah to duh Newbo’n King! Gentry Publications – JG2354

Good News    Gentry Publications – JG2311

SSAA, spiritual arr. A setting of the spiritual that is full of energy and excitement! It builds to a rousing, climactic ending! Not your ordinary song for women’s voices, it moves audiences as they witness the beauty and strength of women’s voices.

GOSPEL TRINITY NEW! Gentry Publications: JG2400 !

I originally expected to have one experience on Monday at this DCINY concert, but wound up having quite another—this is good. It is hard to upstage the eternal crowd-pleaser that is Orff’s Carmina Burana, whose first chorus is used to sell everything from cars to post-apocalyptic scenarios, but Rosephanye Powell’s Gospel Trinity came very close. The Orff was also given a thrilling read.

Rosephanye Powell turned David Geffen Hall into a gospel church service with the New York premiere of her Gospel Trinity, less an explanation of than a physical celebration of the “three incarnated in the Godhead,” the traditional doctrine not only of Catholic theology but some Protestant ones as well.

–by Frank Daykin for New York Concert Review; New York, NY

Commissioned by The New Music Initiative of The Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary. This four-movement choral work, composed in the gospel style, infuses the imagination of singer and listener alike to the great mystery and great joy that is the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! It can be performed fully in concert or each movement can be performed separately to enhance any worship service. Can be performed with piano alone, piano and orchestra, or piano and rhythm section.

I. The Lord is in His Holy Temple
II. Jesus, Son of God
III. Holy Spirit, Come
IV. Gloria Patri

Performance recording and full orchestration or rhythm section scores available at

Great is the Lord! Gentry Publications: JG2470 !

Commissioned by the downtown Minneapolis churches for their 2013 Choral Festival, this song is a brilliant fanfare opening is followed by an energetic, rhythmic chorus and a contrasting slower middle section. Then the work builds, starting with one voice part and adding the rest until all are in. A return to the rhythmic chorus brings the work to a satisfying finish. An outstanding concert or festival piece!
To hear a demo, click the J.W.Pepper link below:
To view sample of the score, clink the Hal Leonard link below:

Hallelujah!  Octavo New! Gentry Publications JG2432  New!

See “The Cry of Jeremiah” above for more information and demo.

Hallelujah, Christ Is Born     Hal Leonard – HL08703251

SATB, gospel, Christmas. Everybody shout and sing, celebrate the newborn King…i n this calypso-flavored original has an infectious rhythmic feel that just bursts with joyful celebration! Optional Latin percussion and piano.–Hal Leonard.

He is Marvelous!      Hal Leonard-HL08745985

Performed by Good Counsel High School Gospel Choir, Stan Spottswood, Musical Director. See YOUTUBE video.

SATB, gospel song with piano and optional solo. An exciting, upbeat gospel song that your choir will love to sing and the audience will love to hear!

I’m Gonna Let It Shine      Gentry Publications – JG2309

SATB, a capella, spiritual arr/adaptation. This spiritual is actually an original work based on the spiritual “This Little Light of Mine” which is quoted. It is full of vigor as it builds to a climactic ending that is sure to captivate audiences.

I Wanna Be Ready   Gentry Publications – JG2194

SATB accompanied spiritual arr. (gospel-style piano). This spiritual arrangement includes a gospel-style piano accompaniment.  Because of its homophonic texture, and strophic form, the choral parts are easy to learn. It includes a solo for medium low/high voice.

In Dat Great Giddin’ Up Mo’nin’    Gentry Publications – JG2389   New!

Performed by Central State University Concert Chorus

SATB a cappella arrangement of the African-American spiritual. It is full of energy as it builds to a climactic ending that is sure to captivate audiences!

The Lord is My Light and My Salvation, SATB Divisi Hal Leonard HL.155690
This brilliant and exuberant work for mixed voices is ideal for festival and honor choirs or worship settings. The text, based on portions of Psalm 27, is vividly depicted in the music, which is filled with dynamic contrast and rhythmic vitality. A superb opener!

Make Haste, O God (from Three Psalms of David)

Gentry Publications – JG2257

SATB, anthem, accompanied. Three Psalms of David is an adaptable work that can be presented in concert or in worship.
The second song in the set, Make Haste, O God, is based on Psalm 70:1-3, 5b. This song, to be performed emphatically, relies upon a driving rhythmic pattern in the piano accompaniment that paints a musical image of David, fleeing from his enemies, while being pursued. The song is open-ended, as the composer leaves the audience with David’s urgent cry to God to rescue him without delay.

Non Nobis Domine   Gentry Publications JG2291

(VocalEssence, MN)

SATB, a capella, sacred, Latin, motet. The SATB setting of iNon Nobis Dominei has become one of Rosephanye Powell’s most celebratedworks. The driving energy and ostinato rhythms are classic elements from Rosephanye’s pen. Her husband William has adeptly revoiced this a cappella setting for SSAA and TTBB choirs. Also available for TTBB. –Fred Bock Music

Ogo ni fun Oluwa Hal Leonard 08703401 New

Wonderful concert piece, yet great for worship. Although especially suitable for the Christmas season, Ogo ni fun Oluwa! can be sung year round. The combination of strong, independent melodies; African text and drumming; energetic rhythms; shouts, and claps makes this an exhilarating piece that your choir will love singing and your audience will love hearing!

Ogo ni fun Oluwa is one of six songs commissioned by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Christmas CD “Christmas at America’s First Cathedral”. Dr. Powell’s contributions to the CD have been well reviewed, including a radio interview with the composer of public radio.
The bonus DVD includes selections from that concert, including Dr. Powell reading two poems and interviews with Tom Hall about the program and its historic venue. Recorded in the resonant acoustics of America’s first Cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica.

To purchase or hear a demo of the work and others from the CD, visit:

O God, You Are My God (from Three Psalms of David) Gentry Publications JG2256

Wonderfully artistic concert piece!  This SATB, anthem, accompanied. Three Psalms of David is an adaptable work that can be presented in concert or in worship. The first song in the set, O God, You Are My God, is a setting of Psalm 63:1-2. Here, alone in a desert experience, David expresses his earnest desire to seek God. Creatively, the composer uses the voice to depict desert winds and sighs of weariness. She uses a slow tempo, sighs, and minor seconds to depict the weariness of David’s soul and the hot, dry, desert winds.

Rejoice!  H. T. FitzSimons Company – F2348

A favorite among church choirs and in ecumenical services! Anthem composed for SATB choir and organ with optional brass (2 trumpets), tympani and cymbal, Dr. Powell illustrates her regal flair. Based on Psalms 118 and verses from Acts 10, the tender middle section is flanked by the royal fanfares and triumphant statements. This piece will flourish in festival occasions and services of praise to God.

Notes from the composer:

In celebration of the church 50 th anniversary of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Auburn, Alabama, Rejoice! was composed on the scriptural theme found in Acts 10:34-43:

Then Peter began to speak to them: I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35. but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him). 43. All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name. ( NRSV)

To complement the theme, I selected Psalm 117 which enjoins all believers to rejoice because of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.

Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!  For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD!

This jubilant anthem begins with a short fanfare sounded by trumpets and organ introducing the main ideas of the chorus in an abbreviated fashion. Timpani and cymbals accentuate an air of majesty and celebration, while the chorus enters extolling God for His steadfast love and mercy for people of all nations who fear Him. In the contrasting middle section, the composer presents a tender, intimate expression of the forgiveness that comes to those who trust in the name of Jesus. It ends with an emphatic statement of God’s impartiality, love and forgiveness, followed by a return to the jubilant A section and a repeated charge by the chorus to rejoice!

The Righteous Cry Out (from Three Psalms of David) Gentry Publications JG2258

SATB, anthem, accompanied. Three Psalms of David is an adaptable work that can be presented in concert or in worship.

The third song in the set, The Righteous Cry Out, is a setting of Psalm 34:17-18a. It completes the vignette as David finds peace and assurance in the fact that God does hear the prayers of the righteous and comes to their aid. A serene picture is painted in the homophonic opening section. The song ends in a quietly, powerful “Amen”.

Sanctus   Hal Leonard HL08743507

SSA, a capella. This new setting of the traditional Latin text is a perfect teaching piece for women’s choirs. The strong piano accompaniment combined with tender vocal lines creates much opportunity for musical expression. –Hal Leonard

Sicut Cervus   Alliance Music Publications AMP 0584

SSAA, a cappella, Latin motet. “Rosephanye Powell’s “Sicut Cervus” is a powerful and ethereal setting of a timeless text. Structured loosely in a rondo form (ABACA), the A section is reminiscent of the mysticism and otherworldly quality associated with plainchant (although it is not monodic). The A sections alternate with increasingly powerful polyphonic sections, which explore the questions raised in the psalm text. The contemplative ending offers, in its final moment, a harmonic “ray” of hope. This selection is an ideal choice for medium to advanced women’s choirs.”

–Judith Willoughby, internationally-recognized choral conductor

Sing Unto the Lord      Gentry Publications JG2310

Dedicated to the Auburn University Concert Choir.  SATB, divisi, anthem, a capella. Based on Psams 96:1-2 and 150:6.With a moderate tempo and joyful mood, this song will serve well as a processional or first song that invites the congregation to worship. Filled with rhythmic energy, it is characterized by ostinato in the bass/baritone that serves as the harmonic foundation, with overlapping lines in the upper three voices. Structurally, the song is comprised of an introduction, ABA, with an exuberant closing section sung on “Alleluia”.

Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child      Gentry Publications JG2327
(Performed by VocalEssence, Minneapolis, MN)

SATB, spiritual arr./adaptation, a cappella. “This is one of the most well-known spirituals, and numerous arrangements already exist. But Rosephanye Powell has established herself as a marvelous composer of new choral works and also arrangements of spirituals. Her treatment of this spiritual standard will not disappoint her followers. Singers will enjoy singing the lines and harmonies she has drafted for this rendition.”–Fred Bock Music

From the Composer:

In this arrangement, I sought to express the final moments of a slave who has been whipped and beaten at the hands of the slave owner or overseer, as his/her life ebbs away. The African words are translated “something terrible has happend, something has happened to mothers.” As the slave drifts away to freedom (death), in the midst of his/her pain, memories of the motherland and of the mother who was sold away engulf the slave. The African words “Bokayan nu wo vinowo” represent these painful memories. They also depict the African priests’ drawing the slave’s soul/spirit back to Africa through death. The lofty [Oo]’s of the first soprano’s beginning at measure 24, paint musically the slave’s longing to depart this world and soar to freedom/heaven. In measure 37, the slave’s spirit is finally released from the slave’s body and ascends to heaven–the homeland, and freedom. Measures 42-44, depict the African priests, hovering over the dead slave, delivering final rites in death, as the slave breathes his/her final breaths. Upon the “Amen,” the slave through death finds peace, and returns to the homeland, heard in the picardy third (major chord).

SORIDA    Hal Leonard HL08703350
(Performed by Philander Smith College, AR)

SATB, acappella, w/percussion, based on African greeting; incl. optional texts for worship services, not included on demo. iSoridai is a term of greeting in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, Africa, similar to ishalomi in Hebrew or ijamboi in Swahili. This original work features percussion, layered vocal patterns, and a joyful solo with both secular and sacred texts. An exciting concert procession or opener! –Hal Leonard

From the composer:

SORIDA is an original work rather than an arrangement. While serving at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, my husband, Dr. William C. Powell, director
of the PSC Collegiate Choir, wanted an African song for the choir’s CD project. However, at the time, the music department could not afford to pay royalties for a published work. So I decided to research the possibility of arranging an African folksong. During my research, I came upon the word “SORIDA” which is an African greeting of brotherhood and unity. Additionally, I found an African children’s song that plays on the syllables of the word “sorida”. So, utilizing the syllables as a foundation (so-ri-da, ri-da, ri-da), the song developed. I composed my own lyrics, melody, and harmonies that might represent the meaning and far-reaching scope of SORIDA . After the choir used the song for its title track, I did not plan to have the song published. However, Dr. Andre Thomas, conductor, (Florida State University) heard the song through a mutual friend and called to say that he wanted it published and wanted to use it immediately. So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to have Dr. Thomas expose my work (as did Hal Leonard)!

Wade In The Water    Gentry Publications JG2241

An African-American Spiritual
SATB, a capella, spiritual arr. A hauntingly beautiful rendition of the traditional spiritual. Rosephanye Powell’s arrangement with its rich harmonies, soft dynamic level and slow tempo, depict musically the setting for slaves, wading through the river, escaping to freedom. It should not be sung fast since it is difficult to wade through water quickly because of the resistance of the water. Also, slaves tended to escape during the night moving quietly and slowly in the water so as not to make noise.

Note: It can be sung faster than the demo heard here.

Wait On The Lord    Gentry Publications – JG2202
(Performed by Wichita State University, KS)

SATB, anthem, a capella. A setting of Psalm 27:14 and Isaiah 40:31.

The Word Was God, divisi   Gentry Publications – JG2196
Performed by Wichita State University, KS

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 from the composer:

Notes on song:

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 “nothingness” 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 two who 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 (the 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.


The Word Was God          Gentry Publications – JG2323

SATB (without divisi) 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. Previously available only for SSAATTBB a cappella, this edition is SATB (no divisi) and includes a piano part that completes the harmony but almost makes you think the choir was a cappella. Excellent for church and concert! –Fred Bock Music

See Composer notes above.

The Word Was God, TTBB      Gentry Publications – JG2314
Performed by the Morehouse Glee Club, ATL, GA.

TTBB A Cappella. See notes above. Arranged by William C. Powell. See composer Notes above in JG2196.

The Word Was God    Gentry Publications – JG2393

SSAA A Cappella. See notes above. Arranged by William C. Powell . See composer Notes above in JG2196.

Who is the Baby?
Oxford University Press – ISBN 0-19-353231-X

One of 31 carols in the choral collection World Carols for Choirs. SATB Christmas song in the style of the spiritual with the gospel “special”.  An upbeat, lively original song composed in the gospel style that is sure to please!

Who is the Baby?
Oxford University Press – ISBN 0-19-353232-8

One of 29 carols for upper voices in the choral collection World Carols for Choirs. Christmas song in the style of the spiritual with the gospel “special”.  An upbeat, lively original song composed in the gospel style that is sure to please![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

With What Shall I Come? NEW! SATB, divis (sopranos/basses) with piano and violin. The Anton Armstrong Choral Series earthsongs S-419.

With What Shall I Come? was composed as a gift to Dr. Anton Armstrong in celebration of his 25th season as conductor of the St. Olaf Choir. Aware that Micah 6:6-8 is one of his favorite biblical passages, I sought to set this text emphasizing two words that come to mind when I watch Dr. Armstrong conduct: beauty and passion.

With What Shall I Come? begins simply with the violin introducing the melody followed by the voices singing in unison “with what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high?”; a question that is answered at the end of the piece. The A section grows from this simple statement to independent vocal lines expressing the text. The passion and fervor which characterize the B section are immediately apparent, in the dramatic, harmonic, and rhythmic shifts heard in the piano and violin beginning at measure 30. This section expresses the emotional anguish of the psalmist who ponders which great sacrifice should be offered to cover one’s transgressions, including one’s very own child. The song concludes with a peaceful abbreviation of the original theme. It is characterized by simple, short statements of the melody featuring a call-and-response between the violin and voices. In answer to the question, the gifts that God requires are justice, kindness, and love. With these shall I come.