For Good Shepherd Sunday this year, I had programmed an arrangement of J.S. Bach’s “Schafe können 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.
At the invitation of the Canterbury Club of Rollins College, The St. Richard’s Schola under the direction of Dr. Carl MaultsBy will sing for Evensong in commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis on November 17, 2013 at Knowles Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. Included during the service will be the world premiere of “To Love Is to Be Breakable” by Wm. Glenn Osborne with text by John Dalles.
For many years when planning large multilingual diocesan celebrations, I felt Latin would be the best option for the Mass Ordinary. Because these special celebrations often are festive occasions where I had supplemental instrumental resources, using the traditional Latin chants always felt out of place, especially for the Gloria which follows so soon after what typically is a rousing entrance procession. Even though I love chant, the contrast between styles always seemed to make this hymn of praise more of a funeral dirge.
Finally, I took the time to write a more festive accompanied setting of the Latin text for the closing celebration of the Centennial of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kissimmee, Florida. While I may eventually do an SATB version and instrumental parts, the piece was first performed by on June 30, 2013 in unison by the combined choirs of Holy Redeemer. There is a congregational-friendly refrain and the verses are marked for women/men/all choral groupings but could just as easily be sung by a cantor alone.
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