Watchful Shepherd

WatchfulShepherdFor Good Shepherd Sunday this year, I had programmed an arrangement of J.S. Bach’s “Schafe k├Ânnen sicher weiden” from Cantata 208 with an English text. At each of the choir rehearsals I had however, I became more and more frustrated with the part writing and the irregularity of the text. Finally, in a fit of frustration, I decided I would make my own arrangement and fix both the voice leading and text problems. While I considered trying for a translation of the original German, I opted instead to paraphrase Psalm 23. This is an easy anthem for the choir as they sing a simple four part harmonization of the chorale melody supported at all times by keyboard accompaniment. The piece could also be performed by a unison choir singing the soprano melody.

A performance by the Choir of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen can be seen here.

God Is Gone Up

GodIsGoneUp

God is gone up with a merry shout.
Alleluia.

Written for Dr. Carl MaultsBy and the St. Richard’s Schola of St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Winter Park, Florida, this piece in Baroque style is written for two-part choir. It could be done by women alone, a mixed adult choir, or even a children’s choir. The harmonic language is simple with very few accidentals. The accompaniment is a simple three-part texture that could be played on organ or piano.