[Editor's note: While the summer sun is still high in the sky and Rally Day and the startup of choral seasons seem as though they are months away, you might want to carve out some time to begin to get organized for fall! Thanks to Anne Krentz Organ for writing these seasonal pointers, helpful whether you're highly organized or running last-minute. Either way, we're here to help with Prelude's ever-growing resources. Blessings to you in your music ministries this summer and into the fall.]
If you are in the midst of celebrating the end of another stressful choir season by dropping all thoughts of it until the fall until suddenly it is breathing down your neck, bringing with it—yes, more stress? Then consider what follows to be both encouragement and help in getting a good chunk of your planning done for fall.
September 10 - 14th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 23
- Jubilate – W.A. Mozart, arr. Alan Bullard 4-part canon; either accompanied or a capella The Oxford Book of Flexible Anthems, p. 140
Canons are a choir director’s friend! Minimal time and effort in teaching, yet the result is a full sounding anthem. Great way to ease into the choir season. This collection is a treasure trove of truly "flexible” anthems for year-round use.
September 17 - 15th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 24
The gospel reading begins with Peter’s question to Jesus, “How often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus responds, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”
Raabe’s anthem is primarily for 2-part mixed voices, with only two measures that expand to three or four voice parts. A quick learn at the beginning of the choir season.
September 24 - 16th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 25
- Oh, I Will Praise the Lord – Telemann, arr. Michael Burkhardt 3-part canon and keyboard. MorningStar
Scored for 3 voices, this canon works equally well for children’s choir (treble voices only) or youth choir (mixed voices.) The text is provided in both English and German.
October 1 - 17th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 26
This “black gospel” anthem picks up on themes in both the psalm and the gospel reading. It is available in a variety of choir voicings: SATB, SAB, TTBB, SSA.
October 8 - 18th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 27
- In the Singing – John Helgen SATB, piano. Augsburg Fortress
An accessible communion anthem for a youth choir. Although scored for SATB, the arrangement makes considerable use of unison singing. The accompaniment includes some juicy jazz chords.
October 15 - 19th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 28
A fun, Caribbean influenced choral setting of the 23rd Psalm (the appointed psalm for the day)
- Rejoice! – Anne Krentz Organ SAB, piano, with optional speaking part. Augsburg Fortress
The second reading, Philippians 4:1-9, may be presented by the choir with this anthem. See notes in score regarding the additional speaking parts.
October 22 - 20th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 29
- I Will Give You Rest – Ana Hernandez 3-part canon, opt. assembly, a capella. Augsburg Fortress, Singing in Community: Paperless Music for Worship, #30.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, where I serve, celebrates the Lesser Festival of Luke, Evangelist, on a Sunday close to October 18. Since Luke was known as a physician and healer, we include the rite of healing. Hernandez’ canon may be introduced by the choir with the assembly joining in as they are comfortable.
There are 50 pieces in this collection which was developed in cooperation with Music that Makes Community, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to paperless song leading.
October 29 - 21st Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 30; Reformation Sunday
- God Alone Be Praised – Zebulon Highben SATB, assembly, 2 trumpets, organ, PER CRUCEM; SAB, assembly, C or Bb instrument, piano AD LUCEM
Free download for members of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians on the ALCM website, www.alcm.org. Join today!
Highben has provided two musical treatments for choir and assembly of Susan Briehl’s poetic interpretation of Psalm 46.
- Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word – Dietrich Buxtehude SATB, 2 violins, cello, continuo. Concordia Publishing House.
November 5 - 22nd Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 31; All Saints Sunday
- The Kontakion – Rupert Lang Soprano, Tenor and Baritone soli, SSAATTBB, organ, opt. assembly. Boosey & Hawkes.
Don’t let the voicing scare you away from this gorgeous piece for All Saints Sunday. Even a modest SATB choir can pull it off with the accompaniment filling in the missing parts. It works well during communion on this day of remembrance.
This quiet, lovely setting of text from Romans 8 includes a descanting third part on the final stanza.
November 12 - 23rd Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 32
This anthem relates directly to the gospel reading from Matthew, “Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom . . .”
November 19 - 24th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 33
The text of this anthem is appropriate for end times and Advent. “And we shall study war no more. Come, O people, and walk in the light of the Lord. The night is far spent, the day is at hand . . .”
November 26 - 25th Sunday after Pentecost/Lectionary 34; Christ the King
Use the A section alone as a Gospel Acclamation, replacing the final words, “the mighty Lord” with “Alleluia.”