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Styles: Gospel favorites

Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 14:53:05 EST
From: "Loprinzo, Robert"
Subject: Gospel Music Compilation

Dear Choralisters,

I posted recently:

"I'm interested in starting an adult Gospel Choir this summer.
I'm looking for any "high energy, southern style" Gospel
arrangements, SATB or SAB, that would be a good start for a new

I got a wonderful response and would like to thank everybody for
their suggestions. I compiled and edited the responses and here they

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has some fairly good stuff, but it
sometimes needs some spicing up. Distributed by WORD (1-800-441-0511)
A favorite of mine that I use that ALWAYS gets incredible audience response
is "Jesus, We're Depending On You". It's in their LIVE collection, is easy
and is written for either 3 or 4 part. You've got to have a great soloist
for this one!

John P. Kee (New Life Tabernacle Choir) has some nice stuff.
GMWA (Gospel Music Workshop of America) They put out a new CD
about once a year, and have some great tunes.

Worthy To Be Praised by Byron J. Smith, a Lawson Gould publication, #52654.
"He Never Failed Me Yet" by Robert Ray. Both are tremendously exciting
and very Gospel. You need a good piano player for both.

Wake Up, Ollie Brown, by Ben Allaway, Santa Barbara Music Publishing,
515-962-5800 for tape and music, would be a good a cappella project once you
are a little better established. Freedom Come, by Ben Allaway, SBMP, is South
African in stuyle but has solos that work very well in an American gospel
style. It's a cappella with conga drum.

Ride It All Aroun' , by Ben Allaway, SBMP, is due out this month
is a cappella with lots of call and response between soloist and
audience, choir and audience, starts off with a train whistle between choir
and audience that is a scream, then lots of clapping

Try anything arranged by Hall Johnson. He is the premier name in spirituals
and gospel music. There is a mass called the "Gospel Mass' by Robert Ray
which is one of the most exciting well-written pieces I've ever performed.

How about "De Animals a-comin'" G. Shirmer 8046 for TTBB choir. It's a great
African-American spiritual (but not very PC).

Try some of Keith Hampton arrangements. They are all very nice.

Check out Glenn Burleigh's arrangements.

Try "Everyday is Thanksgiving" by Leonard Gregory Burks
Legre Music Publishing somewhere in Illinois (or Indiana)
Great piece. Easy to learn. Good solo opportunities.

I would contact your state and division chairs of Ethnic and Multicultural
Perspectives for help.

Hallo Musiker
Ich hoffe das ich auf dem Brett nicht falsch liege
Ich h_tte gerne gewusst, wieviel Ch/re es in Deutschland gibt, die sich mit
Gospel und Spirituals besch_ftigen und welche sind es?
Wer einen kennt bitte melden

Try "Worthy To Be Praised" by Byron J. Smith
Lawson-Gould Music Publishers #52654
SATB & piano with Sop solo

One of my choirs has really enjoyed Charles Gilchrist's "Show me thy way,"
published by Hinshaw. If you don't know it, you might look at it.
Gilchrist is at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC.

Barbara Baker's arrangement I Feel Good, written for 3 parts, no real
specification. It's a rocking black gospel piece that includes
handclapping and leaves the audience and participants happy. Not too
hard either. Published by Boosey and Hawkes.

Try the Moses Hogan arrangements from Hal Leonard. They are sort of
spiritual/gospel crossover. I am doing "I'm Gonna Sing til the Spirit
Moves in My Heart" with my very Presbyterian, very "latin motet" college
choir and they are having a great time.

Thanks again -
Rob Loprinzo
Irvington, NY

Thank you to those people who responded. Here's a rundown of responses:

I performed Keith Hampton's Praise His Holy Name this past year with
much success. It is published through earthsongs and is part of the Anton
Armstrong Choral Series, scored SATB + piano.

Consider "Ain't A That Good News" SATB with Mezzo Soprano solo. The
chorus loves to sing it...often. My music is at church so the composer
come immediately to mind, but if you are more interested I will get the
composer/arranger name for you.

This is a standard, but I absolutely LOVE Robert Ray's "He Never Failed
Me Yet". It's simple, but always brings the house down!
I will send you one in the "country gospel" style. My choir loves it,
it's a capella, and always goes over well in performance. It's called
Be". May I send it to the address at your signature block, or somewhere
else? (contact KTahiri(a) for this piece)

There is a great contemporary spiritual called "Jesus is the Light of
the World" which we have often sung as it is a real rouser and relatively
simple to learn. Unfortunately, as I do not currently have access to the
music, I do not have the details as to publisher, etc., but your local music
supplier can probably find it. There is also an African spiritual called
Hamba" which we have often used as a marching song on our concert tours, and
is a great deal of fun.

A favorite of mine is "Little David, Play On Your Harp" by Jester
Hairston. GREAT harmonies,
GREAT rhythms and contrasting sections---it's a wonderful piece any
time! My community chorus
just sang it this past Spring season---it's an oldie but a goodie!
Hi! I recommend "Build on a Rock" by Marc Hafso, published by Plymouth.
Nowadays, you can get good books (I don't know about choral scores) from
Christian bookstores. Well known artists with lively tunes are Richard
Smallwood, John P. Kee (Strength - similar to Kirk Franklin's Stomp),
Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker, Gospel Music Workshop of America.
Richard Smallwood is university trained and has excellent accompaniment.

Get the Manhattan Transfer's arrangement of "Operator".
Try "The Word Was God," by Rosephanye Powell. Gospel-like, very lively,
deceptively easy (but has been performed by professional choirs too).
Published by Gentry -- I don't remember who distributes them these days.
Composer was born in 1963.

I would suggest "Clap Yo Hand" by Gershwin, it's a jazzy gospel number,

My suggestion would be something of Moses Hogan. Perhaps Joshua Fit the
Battle, My Soul is Anchored or Elijah Rock. They are all terrific
arrangements. Good luck

There is an edition of Amazing Grace that sounds Gospelly, and has the
benefits of (1) being recognizable to almost everyone, and (2) having
chance of re-using the music for another occasion. Try
any equivalent music seller. Ron Hansell, Indianapolis

In the Doreen Rao series (don't know the composer off hand) is a great
number that we are using in our advanced choral
conducting class called "The Storm is Passing Over"--awesome! Lots of
possibilities for solo improvisation in one section,
hand clapping, etc. We are all grad students, and can't get enough of
it. Would really be a great closer!
Peter Bagley's "Live-a-Humble"...not exactly gosple but a great ender

My choir has absolutely LOVED "Jesus Loves Me", arranged by Michael
pub. by Augsburg Fortress. Acc. is saxophone and piano, VERY well done.

Here is one that you might want to check out. It is very upbeat, the
loves to do it and the audience rsponds enthusiastically. "There's A
Spirit Here" by Jonh D. Miller. Hinshaw HPC-7069.

Actually the title of the song I was thinking of is "Ain't Got Time to
by Hall Johnson. It is a Hal Leonard publication # 50305670. There is
"Ain't-A That Good News! by William Dawson, Neil A. Kjos Music Co., #

Do you want a spiritual, or gospel? The latter is always accompanied,
least by piano, if not drums and bass as well. So the two I know of
are accessible to us not of the gospel tradition are: "Worthy to be
by Byron Smith, and (oops! I've just blanked out on the title of the
one, but is is arranged by Anton Armstrong and is part of his series.
Hampton is the original composer.)

As for a cappela, the closest spiritual to a gospel piece (gotta have a
you know!) is "Ain't got time to die." I've forgotten the composer.
Wish I
was at church so I could look it up for you, but it shouldn't be hard to

Here is one that you might want to check out. It is very upbeat, the
loves to do it and the audience rsponds enthusiastically. "There's A
Spirit Here" by Jonh D. Miller. Hinshaw HPC-7069.

I HIGHLY recommend Byron Smith's "He'll Make a Way," published by the
the composer on Onyx Music. To contact Mr. Smith, call Los Angeles
Harbor College in Los Angeles, Ca. Also, "He Never Failed Me Yet," by
Robert Ray.

In the past, I've loved Robert Ray's "He Never Failed Me Yet", "Soon and
Very Soon", and "Lord Listen to your Children Praying", among others. I
also had a class this spring with Moses Hogan, and his arrangements
(spirituals, rather than gospel) are amazingly rich and beautiful, many
also very tough for my groups.

Any other suggestions? Please pass along - this is great music to sing!!

Robert Petersen
University College of the Cariboo
Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts
Faculty of Education
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School
St. Ann's Academy
Kamloops, B.C.

A few more (and final) gospel numbers to add to the list:

One additional piece arr. by Moses Hogan "Ride on King Jesus" It's an
arrangement with opt. solo. It brought the house down at the Crescent City
Choral Festival.

"Go Where I Send Thee", arranged by Andre Thomas
Mark Foster 2044 SATB and piano with an opening solo (prescribed for
baritone, but I have used a female with great effect) that allows for some
fine embellishment. The piece ends loud and high, and both singers and
audiences love it.

"Ezeikel Saw the Wheel" arr. William Dawson (Tuskegee)
"O Sifuni Mungu" arr. David Maddux (Hal Leonard)

May I suggest a new publication of mine- it's a gospel- style
original music setting of the words to Handel's Halleluia Chorus, entitled "
Hallelujah!", published this year by Brenda Durden Publishing. It's lots of
fun. jordahl321(a)

I think you would enjoy my 7-part "Plenty Good Room," Shawnee Press A
2099. It's just a real classy arrangement with some nice, jazzy
harmonies. Big sound, fun to sing! Tom Jordan

"Amazing Grace." Don't know if that respondent was talking about the
arrangement I know, but there is a spectacular (and not difficult) SATB
setting by Ed Lojeski (published by Hal Leonard, available through Pepper)
which is a "must-buy"!

Robert Petersen

Thank you all so much for the great response!
Christopher Rhodes
A. Maceo Smith High School

After All Mary McDonald
Ain't Got time to die Johnson/Purifoy
All of God's Children Wallace de Pue
Amazing Grace Ed Lojeski
Amazing Grace Jack Schrader
Blessed Assurance Mark Hayes
Born in Bethlehem Moore
Bound for the Promised Land Brad Printz
City Called Heaven Josephine Poelinitz
City Called Heaven Hall Johnson
Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel Larry Shackley
Down by the Riverside Ruth Elaine Schram
Go Down Moses Mark Hayes, arr.
Gospel Mass Robert Ray
Guide my Feet Avis D. Graves
He Lifts me Up Ruth Elaine Schram
He never failed me yet Robert Ray
Hear Me Redeemer Mollicone
I Must tell Jesus Larson
I'm Gonna Live so God Can Use me Allen Pote
John the Revelator Sean Ivory, David Caldwell
Just a Closer Walk Ed Lojeski
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms Mark Hayes
Make a Way Byron Smith
Obey the Spirit of the Lord Robert DeCormier
Order my Steps Glenn Burleigh
Praise his Holy Name Keith Hampton
Precious Lord, Take my Hand Ed Lojeski
River in Judea Jack Feldman
Shine on me Dillworth
Shout Glory Spevacek
Shout Glory Byron Smith
Shut de Do Stonehill
Sinner Man various
Soon and Very Soon Jack Schrader
We are Climging Jacob's Ladder Kallman
We are Climging Jacob's Ladder Ruth Elaine Schram
We are One Voice Oakley
Worthy to be Praised Byron Smith
Yonder Come Day Earthsongs
on September 23, 2002 10:00pm
The piece someone forgot earlier by Keith Hampton is, I believe,"Praise His Holy Name." My high school choir (Catholic High School) sang it today for our Homeocming Mass. It was very well received, and my choir LOVES to sing it!
on September 11, 2003 10:00pm
Have had great success with "Micah Say", with full chorus and bass solo; with small ensemble; and as a quartet. It's a mission, stewardship, or inspirational song for helping those less fortunate regain their dignity. To get a gist of the piece, go to and click on the 'repertoire' list. Or if you'd like a score to preview, send an e-mail to
on January 12, 2004 10:00pm
composition is truly one path to immortality. just browsing and noticed the reference to charles gilchrist's "show me the way." this is indeed a very fine piece and once that i have done in the past. i regret, however, to say that charles gilchrist, whom i knew and of whom i was quite fond, died in a tragic accident some years ago. but his memory is honored by those who skeep it alive through singing his music.
on July 23, 2004 10:00pm
Anything Written by Moses Hogan!!
Elijah Rock
Swing Low sweet chariot
Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
My souls been anchored In the lord
Hold On!
No Hidin' Place
Wade In the Water
All Moses Hogan Pieces that are really good.

Also try:
Ezekiel Saw de wheel-arr. William Dawson (Tuskegee)
Praise His Holy Name- Keith Hampton(Anton Armstrong Choral Series)
on August 17, 2004 10:00pm
I work in a public high school and I have a lot of students interested in Gospel music. Do you have any suggestions for a couple of pieces to do either for the holiday or spring concerts for first timers?
on August 27, 2004 10:00pm
"Changed My name" by Linda Twine .. SATB and Orchastra
Really good piece it has a Soprano solo and a tenor solo
on October 19, 2004 10:00pm
I'm a Spanish student. My english isn't very good, I'm sorry. I would like to know if someone could say me where can I find the sheet music for choral and instruments (piano) of the song JOYFUL JOYFUL from the film: Sister Act 2. I have found it, but I have to pay, if someone of you know where can I find it, it would be really good. And if you have some suggestions of choral songs to song at the university choir I sing, I will read you and I will take them in account. Please, if you don't mind, it would be grateful if you say me something at my E-mail address: ok ??? Thanks !!!
on December 19, 2004 10:00pm
People need to be aware of the differences between Gospel and Spirituals. They are two different genres, and should not be lumped together. Spirituals were sung in the fields by the enslaved, while Gospel is actual composed music that was used in the church. If you need more information, check out the website for the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers at