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Items by Thomas Clark-Jones

Results: 70
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: repertoire suggestions - famous poetry
A longer piece ... 25 minutes or so ...  R. Vaughan Williams:  Dona Nobis Pacem  (text by Whitman) The text "At the round earth's imagined corners" is also set by the distinguished American composer Lee Hoiby  (Organ and Chorus) Don't know if it is still available but Jean Berger set poems of ...
Comment: Re: New Hymnals
You don't mention what hymnal you are currently using.  "The Presbyterian Hymnal" ... the blue book published 25 years ago is still available and a superb book for some churches.  The one I served for many years was a congregation that observed the liturgical year closely, used the lectionary week...
Comment: Re: Your Five Favorite UU Anthems
Two anthems come to mind that would work for a UU Church ...   For This One Day - Lee Hoiby Our Father (from 'For the Time Being')  Marvin David Levy
Comment: Re: 20 -40 minute sacred work
Consider the Faure Requiem ... a lovely work no more difficult than those you mention.  If you want to stretch ... the Durufle Requiem is also magnificent.  Bach Cantatas for almost any occasion can be found and are nearer to the 20 minute time frame than 40 ... but there are a lot to choose from!...
Comment: Re: Walt Whitman Settings?
It is a large work, originally for orchestra, but it works with piano very well ... Hindemith's "Requiem for Those We Love" ... it opens with the text, "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed" and it's just a miraculous piece.  A really good pianist can handle the orchestral reduction that comes ...
Comment: Re: Psalm Settings
Don't know if Benjamin Britten is 'contemporary' any more ... but his "Jubilate Deo" in C is exquisite.  Elizabeth Poston just died a few years ago ... an American who spent her entire career in England and succeeded.  She has a spectacular setting called "Antiphon and Laudate Dominum"  I think i...
Comment: Re: Major work including children's chorus
It is seasonal, but Vaughan Williams' Christmas work, "Hodie" has a large part for Children.  Carl Orff's "Carmina Beurona" also uses a choir of children in the score.  Unfortunately, the "Hodie" is really not high school material unless you have a really stunning high school group.  The "Carmina...
Comment: Re: "Elijah" with organ
Mendelssohn wrote extensively for the organ, and thus a lot of his music translates well.  There are some tricks, but I've played this score from the piano reduction with some success.  I find it best to treat it as an organ work and not try to make all the coloristic gestures that are a part of t...
Comment: Re: middle school vocal music
It has been many years since I've taught Middle School general music and choir ... but one thing I learned after a not-too-successful first semester (this worked because half the school had art first semester and music second and vice versa) was that the kids loved art because they got to do stuff ....
Comment: Re: English Choir Music
No one has yet mentioned Charles Villiers Stanford ... a huge presence in English choral music in the early 20th century.  The exquisits, "Beati quorum viae" is a motet of glorious beauty.  There are any number of "Serviices" done by Stanford also ... sets of "Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis" canticl...
Concert: Music of Mozart
Music at Pine Street, the concert series of Pine Street Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, presents an evening of Mozart.  Piano Concerto Nr. 19, K 459 with Louise W. Poorman, pianist and Festival Orchestra, followed by the Requiem, K 626 with soloists Courtney Snyder Gray, soprano; Bev...
Comment: Re: So British!
You just can't forget Parry, Stanford, Elgar, Vaughan WIlliams and Britten.  This is a huge project.  How about a series rather than a concert?  A majestic pairing is always music of Purcell and Britten ... and that you could do well in a 90 minute program.
Comment: Re: Looking for lliterature for Tenor soloist and SATB or TTBB Chorus
If you have the time and means, Zoltan Kodaly's spectacular "Psalmus Hungaricus" is a tour-de-force for tenor and the choir part is approachable.  It might be done with organ or piano rather than orchestra, if that is an issue.  Just one of the great tenor arias of all time.
Comment: Re: Last minute Easter anthem - SATB - quickly obtainable
David Halls' "Easter Anthem" is a nice piece ... easy to deal with and published by Paraclete Press.  They can overnight it to you.  Also if you have some brass, "Christ the Lord has Triumphed Over Death" by Raymond Weidner.  Also Paraclete.
Comment: Re: 'Minor' major work for Christmas Eve
You might look at "Ave Rex" by William Mathias ... it may be a bit longer than you need, but one movement might be eliminated.  There's always the sweet "In Dulci Jubilo" of Dietrich Buxtehude for two violins, cello, organ and SAB choir.  Several years ago we commissioned a work from Richard Sheph...
Comment: Re: Exciting extended sacred works from 20th-21st Century composers
Agree with those who suggest Honegger's King David. It is dramatic and attractive to your choir. Another possibility is the Vaughan Williams, Dona Nobis Pacem. Text by Walt Whitman is exquisite interspersed with biblical texts. 
Comment: Re: Favorite extended choral work?
If your singers are really quite competent, you should not overlook the possibility of the Brahms Requiem.  It has to be the quintessential choral work of the 19th century.  Magnificently conceived, and composed with tenderness and love.  It is not easy, but it is a work that your choir will beli...
Borrowing request: Flor Peeters: Jubilate Deo Omnis Terra
Item: Brass parts for above work. Composer/Arranger/Edition: Peeters/ FitzSimmons (publisher) Starting: immediately For: until after Easter Copies: one set of parts only. Willing to rent: Yes  Have been looking for brass parts to Flor Peeters' "Jubilate Deo Onmis Terra" (Psalm 99) for several y...
Comment: Re: Easy Anglican Anthems for Recording Project
Get in touch with St. James Music Press, now located in western North Carolina.  They have a series called "The Sewanee Composer's Project".   These anthems come on CD-ROM and you can print them off at will once you buy the set. (Copyright permission comes with the purchase ... you just have to...
Comment: Re: "Avant-garde" 20th Century Suggestions?
Antal Dorati's "Missa Brevis" for Choir and Percussion is very interesting, and I suspect is considered Avant Garde (mid-20th c)  If you have large forces, the Pendrecki "Passion According to St. Luke" is a tremendous,emotional work from that period.  Once heard, it can't be forgotten!  Also no...
Comment: Re: Help! New hire for 100 voice middle school chorus!
You are in a difficult position, but not impossible.  I believe, having dealt with middle school choirs a long time ago, that getting right into things as soon as the group assembles is the most important thing you can do.  Keep them busy from the moment they arrive, until the moment they leave....
Comment: Re: Programming a Cantata for Church in May 2012
There is a great wealth of material in the Cantatas of J.S. Bach.  Being you are in the Lutheran communion, this is perfect.  Many are translated into English with decent texts, or if you are adventurous, you might try them in German.  There is one Cantata known as the "Easter Oratorio" ... it ...
Comment: Re: Repertoire Request
You might look at "Dives and Lazarus" by Alun Hoddinott ... two soloists plus chorus and orchestra in English.  Published by Oxford if it is still available.  Lovely work. TCJ
Comment: Re: Chamber Choir Sacred piece with challenging piano part
You might think of doing the Brahms "German Requiem" with the piano accompaniment.  It was prepared by Brahms himself, and plays like all the great Brahms piano music.  And the piano accompaniment makes it possible to do this huge piece with a smaller, more intimate group.  I've done this sever...
Comment: Re: Literature Suggestions for a Chamber Ensemble?
It sounds like a perfect group for Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" ... such a fun piece.  The Brahms' "Liebeslieder Waltzes" work wonderfully well with this kind of small group.  John Rutter's "Fancies" and also his "When Icicles Hang" are good fun for chamber choirs.  Look also into some of th...
Comment: Re: Christmas Concert programming
Possibilites are vast for Christmas.  Sacred things that are cool include the Daniel Pinkham 'Christmas Cantata' ... a natural for you as Pinkham is a Massachusetts Yankee ... sort of a hometown composer.  I've often enjoyed William Mathias' "Ave Rex" ... a 15 minute choral cycle for organ and c...
Comment: Re: Honegger King David
Yes ... rental only.  Boosey and Hawkes is the rental agent for this piece.
Comment: Re: Seeking more "Dove-ish", less "Hawk-ish" anthems for July 3rd!
Perhaps the opening chorus from Randall Thompson's "Testament of Freedom" would work for you.  Words of Thomas Jefferson ... The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time ... "  Great music, and a patriotic text that is not hawkish. 
Comment: Re: Rutter "This is the Day" at the Royal Wedding- publisher?
I agree with Bill and Derek ... this is not one of Rutter's best.  Another anthem according to the Rutter 'formula'.  It was charming for the first ten years, but now no longer has the edge it once did.  I really thought that this being most likely his last 'royal commission' he would have take...
Comment: Re: A cappella wedding ensemble repertoire
Gerald Finzi's "My Lovely One" is quite wonderful.  Francis Poulenc:  Ave Maria (from the Dialogue of the Carmelites) for SSA acapella  and also "I Beheld Her, Beautiful As A Dove" of Healey Willan works well at weddings.   All acapella.  
Comment: Re: Seeking Small Professional Choir for Concert Series
Lyric Consort, based in Scranton, Pennsylvania is an excellent ensemble.  Eight singers, singing mostly early music, but with ventures into more contemporary areas.  Worth a look.  They have a web site.
Comment: Re: Need Chamber Choir Music Suggestions
How about William H. Harris ... Faire Is the Heaven. 
Comment: Re: Advice on how to communicate committment with parents of a church children's choir.
Welcome to the world of church music in the new century!  Having been in this business of children's choirs since 1965, I realize that the entire sense of committment to church activities has changed drasticallly in the past ten years.  It has been coming on for a long time, but the true religio...
Comment: Re: RVW Dona Nobis Pacem
I have used the strings/piano version of this and agree heartily with Anthony ... the smaller choir is easier to be heard  and the text is more understandable by the audience.  RVW made, or caused to be made, versions like this for most of his major works because he realized that church performa...
Comment: Re: Rehearsing in the Round?
I have done the circle regularly with children's choirs and the results are wonderful.  You just have to remember, of course, to turn and face each area of the choir on a regular basis ... something you get used to.  I do this on occasion with my adults ... as you have,  to help them listen wel...
Comment: Re: interesting music for French program?
If you can do accompanied works ... the Stabat Mater of Francis Poulenc is one of the most stunning of all French choral works.  Might be OK with the piano reduction in the full vocal score.  The Gloria of Poulenc was mentioned above ... that does work well with just piano. 
Comment: Re: Seeking program-change suggestions
The Durufle "Requiem" certainly fits this category ... the Gregorian Requiem is transformed into a Twentieth Century French idiom that is both stunning and aproachable for choir and audience.  The orchestration can be strings and organ, (which was done by the composer) which keeps costs down and ...
Comment: Re: Easter Anthems for Choir, Brass Quintet, Timpani and Organ
If you can add one more trombone, the "O Clap Your Hands" of R. Vaughan Williams would be stunning in your setting there.  Unusual piece that works well with either large or small choir is Dominic Argento's "Let All the World In Every Corner Sing".  John Rutter's setting of the "Te Deum" is appr...
Comment: Re: Bach St. John Passion - dealing with questions of Anti-Semitism
Being married to a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, USA,  I get chunks to theology discussed around the dinner table regularly.  As I understand it, one of the great issues for Christian theologians with the Gospel of John is that it has been a source of embarassment ov...
Comment: Re: Effect of paid section leaders on recruiting
I agree with Julie that having paid singers is a plus.  It gives you a great deal of flexibility in programming and assures you that all four parts will be present and accounted for every week and that is no small thing.  Recruiting-wise, I have found it easier to recruit volunteers when they kn...
Comment: Re: Brahms Requiem
I have done the Requiem with both the four hand version and the accompaniment that appears with the vocal score.  Both were written by Brahms himself and they thus have some claim to authenticity.  In the hands of first class pianists they come to life in a remarkable way.  I very much agree wi...
Comment: Re: 5 Mystical Songs - Vaughan Williams
An organ score does exist, and it well may be published by Galaxy/Stainer and Bell.  It was done by a well known organist (so well known his name slips my mind right now) in the 1960's.  It is very demanding but does address all the problems that the piano score makes when played on the organ. ...
Comment: Re: choral settings of the Lord's Prayer
Flor Peeters wrote a setting of the Lord's Prayer which is arranged both for solo voice and for choir.  A real stunner is the Pater Noster set by Igor Stravinsky ... fondly called his account of "Igorian Chant" ... a beautiful setting! 
Comment: Re: Choral with Percussion
There is a wonderful Mass setting by Antal Dorati that might interest you if you can find it.  I used pieces of it with a University choir many years ago.
Comment: Re: Undergraduate Degree
As an undergraduate I took the music education degree even though my sights were set on full time church conducting and playing because of the flexibility that it gave me in making a profession of music.  Thus, I had similar feelings to you when I went through all the methods classes and on into ...
Comment: Re: Battle Hymn of Republic - "die to make men free" or "live"
In response to Mr. Hoberman's comments, it is necessary to remember that this is a hymn.  It's not a piece of great art music in the same way that a Beethoven symphony or a Wagner opera is. In those cases, looking toward a performance accurate to the composer's wishes is uppermost in a conductor'...
Comment: Re: Faure Requiem Rutter Vs. Evans
A number of years ago we were doing the Faure and the old Hamelle scores were falling apart.  So a choir member said, go by that new Rutter edition and I'll pay for it.  Knowing Rutter's ability with choral editing, I went ahead ... and at first I thought it was superior.  (And I still think it...
Comment: Re: Attendance policies for professional musicians who are members of the church
Many good thoughts are given above.  However, you might think of one issue.  You are a professional harpist.  Would you expect that your conductor would let you drop in for the concert?  I rather doubt it.  The fact that you volunteer to do something does not mean that it should be done in a ...
Comment: Re: EASTER BRASS/CHOIR REPETOIRE
You might try the setting of "Let All the World in Every Corner Sing" by Dominic Argento ... quite fine.  Daniel Pinkham has a wonderful "Jubilate" setting originally written for a choir in Roanoke, Virginia.  Recently came across "A Hymn of Resurrection" by Gwyneth Walker  (E.C. Schirmer).  A...
Comment: Re: High School Choir - 25 minute Work
Another fun piece is John Rutter's "Magnificat"  It fits the time frame well and is more rhythmically interesting than some of the other suggestions.  I don't think it is a lot harder than either the Schubert or Vivaldi.  The rhythm is a challenge, but kids love that kind of challenge.  Best o...