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Nature: Creation

Thanks for all of the great ideas! Here's the results...

Jason Shelton
Director of Music
First Unitarian Universalist
Church of Nashville, TN
Are you familiar with Pinkham: In the Beginning of Creation?
It's old stuff at this date, but might be useful. We've had fun with it
several times, about 10 years apart!

Kay Hotchkiss
Organist/Music Director
Unitarian Universalist Church
Rockford IL

Hi, Jason,
In high school, we sang an amazing with a title like Creation or The
Creation. It had a bright yellow cover (big help!) and was many
pages. It had the Bible story, day by day, of what was allegedly
created. It's modern, lovely and sometimes rockin'. I've never
forgotten it and would like to perform it again some day. I HIGHLY
Nancy in Vermont

The OUT OF THE STARS reading by Robert Weston is very powerful. There
are also a number of musical settings of that poem available. I did one for
See you soon,
Betsy Jo Angebranndt
UU Church of Annapolis, MD

The Creation by Steven Porter and published for SATB choir by Walton Music
a 13 minutes work with piano, guitar, bass, and drums. I just performed it
with my high school choir. It is great.

Creation's Alleluia by John Rutter published by Hinshaw
All Creatures of our God and King - many settings
original text by St. Francis

In the beginning by Daniel Pinkham for SATB choir and prepared tape
by EC Schirmer

A New Creation - cantata by Rene Clausen
The Creation - cantata by Michael Hennigan
Good Morning Creation - by Jack Noble White
The Heaven's are telling - FJ Haydn

You might check out settings of Psalm 19 as well

I hope that helps.

Bob Sabourin
Midland, Michigan

I've tried to find an SATB I did many years ago. The title was simply
"Time" but I haven't been able to locate it. I think it would work with
your theme.

Ruth McKendree Treen
Chatham, Massachusetts

Richard Felciano's "Hymn of the Universe" would fit this theme,
although its avant-garde style and electronic taped accompaniment may
make it seem quaint (it's from the 70s).

Excerpts from Haydn's "Creation" would work.

One of Holst's "Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda" deals with a Hindu
creation theme.

Allen H Simon
Soli Deo Gloria

Jason, my choir just performed a longer work called Hymnody of Earth by
Malcomb Dalglish. Written for choir, soloists, hammer dulcimer and
percussion, it is a work of about 19 movements....wonderful and very
impressive. There might be something in this group that you could use
effectively. Let me know if you would like to know more.
Nelta Owen, MD Horizon UU Church

Wellll..... this one depends on how you feel about humor - there is a song
called "That Myth in Genesis" sung by a group called Venus Envy. It's
available on a compilation CD from Ladyslipper Records (
and there is a brief sound bite in their online catalog. I'd bet there isn't
any sheet music, although I do have guitar chords figured out. Might not be
appropriate for what you're planning but I thought I'd let you know about
it - everybody I know cracks up when they hear it. They have sort of an
Andrews-Sisters-barbershop kind of style on this song.

The Creation - by Willy Richter (I think) - an old warhorse.....

Brett Goad
Hinsdale South HS
Darien, IL

On a program devoted to Native American composers some years back, the
centerpiece was a new work (we did the world premiere) of *Song of The Clam*
based on an Aleut creation myth by Anthony Rice. It's in Aleut, scored for
SATB div., piano, marimba, db., perc., 1 or 2 Native American soloists, and
electronics/filters (for a soprano soloist doing humpback whale sounds.

This piece is tough to mount (the chorus parts, while tricky, aren't hard in
and of themselves, but Aleut is. . .), but I can't think of a better
multicultural foil to the Copland than this!

If this might be of interest, please let me know and I'll see about getting
you some materials. . .

Hope this helps,
Robert Ross, Artistic Director
Voces Novae et Antiquae
Philadelphia, PA

I am not exactly sure what may fit your theme, but here are three
titles you may want to check out.
Two Worlds by Randall Thompson (SATB), E.C. Schirmer 3041
Glory to God in the Highest by " (SATB) " " 2470
Let the Whole Creation Cry by Robert Leaf (SA) Augsburg 11-1618

Best wishes and hope this helps. Gene Morlan

My women's choir (and the audience) really liked "In the Beginning" by
Canadian composer Imant Raminsh: SSAA with piano.

Sounds like an interesting program.

Kirin Nielsen

quick note: great piece on origins, choir plus brass, difficult but
gorgeous: Norman Dello Joio's "Hymn to St. Cecilia"

Jason -- Of course, one can do no better than Haydn's "Creation"!
When Victor Weisskopf, one of the pre-eminent physicists of the 20th
century (his specialy was quantum electrodynamics), died this spring,
there was a wonderful quote in his obituary, in which he likened the
big-bang theory of the universe to Haydn's Creation, and suggested
that Haydn's music is in its own way as descriptive of the big-bang
theory as are the words of physicists. "I do not believe in the
supernatural," he said, but he insisted that there is "something
divine in our lives."

Even more recently, in one of the many articles about Stephen Jay
Gould and his musical activities and interest, there was a reference
to one of his essays where he talked about "Creation" being a true
"Enlightenment" piece, bringing together both Genesis creation
stories in a humanistic way.


Mr. Shelton:
If you have the resources, you should certainly consider using the opening
of Haydn's Creation, playing the overture and then singing the opening
recitative for bass and chorus that features the abrupt move from c minor to
the parallel major at the words "and there was light". It never fails to
startle the audience. The recit would work with organ if you do not have
the orchestra. There are other things, too such as Milhaud's La creation du
monde and Hovhaness' Symphony No. 19 "Vishnu", but these are orchestral, and
you probably want choral things. In a lighter vein, "Glorious in Holiness"
by Buryl Red is an exciting depiction of the same Genesis account, and you
do not need the orchestra. I'm not sure that this is in print, but it was in
a 1970's musical, the name of which escapes me. If it should occur to me I
will send it to you.
James Glass
Huntingdon College

Check out "To the Unknown God" from the choral hymns of the Rig Veda by
Holst. Powerful, but haunting.

Richard Garrin

Walking Songs by Ben Allaway, pub LMNOP Publications (benlmnop(a)
would have some of this. Has some aboriginal creation ideas in it.

Ben Allaway
DesMoines, IA

A piece by John Biggs called THE WEB OF LIFE, based on Native American
texts, has three movements that would be perfect for your needs:
"Behold! Our Mother Earth", "Blessing of the Elements", and "The
Conjurer". Instrumentation may be a problem. See it listed at

Paul Mark

I have written a piece called "Emersione" - it's a celebration of creation
and renewal and was inspired by Judeo-Christian, middle eastern, and
Hawaiian belief systems. It is sung in Italian.

You can peruse the piece by going to
on March 17, 2003 10:00pm
I mentioned the piece "Emersione" - you can now take a look at it by going to a new web site - - and click on the repertoire list.

At the same site, you can also look and listen to "Momentous". A piece for double chorus and instrumental ensemble. It's medium to difficult. Text is reflective - encouraging our pausing in our lives to regard and consider both past and present and to give acknowledgement and thanksgiving for the creation.
on February 10, 2004 10:00pm
I recomend "The Creation - A rock Cantata" by Robert Bobrowitz and Steven Porter. It is a great piece telling the account through the words of Genesis. It is 11-13 minutes depending on the selected tempo. (Some of the markings are rather slow) I have heard it in both churches and in high schools. It was written in 1970 and is the piece that motivated me to change my college major to music ed. and sacred music. It is distributed through Hal Loenard (Walton Music)
on September 17, 2005 10:00pm
'Majesty and Glory' would fit the category
on January 22, 2006 10:00pm
I have been looking for years for a recording of that rock Cantata piece - The Creation. When I was in high school in the 70's I saw two other college groups perform it with guitar and drums - I never forgot about it and found out the writers names but could never find a recording of it. Does anyone know of one?


on June 16, 2006 10:00pm
THE CREATION rock cantata that you all are talking about is published by Walton Music and they have a recording of it for sale as well.

on November 17, 2008 10:00pm
There is also, of course, Aaron Copland's "In the Beginning" for unaccompanied choir and soprano soloist