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New Thought choral music

I would like to introduce myself, as I am new to ChoralNet. I am the music director at a New Thought community. If you're not familiar with that term, it's essentially a philosophy of inclusion of the parts of all faiths that are common to all faiths. The term "New Thought" includes faiths like United Centers for Spiritual Living, Religious Science (not the same as Scientology), Christian Science, Unitarian, and many independent congregations.
Sorry for the lecture, but there is not a tradition of good, sophisticated, moderately difficult SATB choir music, so I have been writing choral pieces, mostly with my own lyrics, and arranging some traditional songs and slightly modifying a few lyrics.
Frankly, I'm feeling a little lonely, and would love to hear from some composers that are writing for New Thought/non-denominational choral pieces.
Kelvin McNeal
on January 26, 2011 7:38am
no, there isn't a tradition - yet - but the Roman Catholics and mainstream Protestant churches have had hundreds more years to develop their musical inheritances, so don't lose heart!
also, there are many "secular" composers who are writing pieces (for concerts) which use texts of a spiritual nature, but are not too closely tied to one particular theology or denomination
one of the great things about Choralnet is that we can find like-minded musicians around the world - how much harder it was in the olden days, when one may have been "the only gay in the village" (quote from Little Britain - it's a metaphor, guys)
(London UK)
on January 27, 2011 4:04pm
Hi Kelvin,
I am the director of The Santa Cruz World Choir & Orchestra. I have been developing a repertoire similar to what you are looking for. Here is a link to a video from our Winter (debut) performance of one piece called "World of Many Colors". The orchestral intro on the video is a bit long-ish, so please wait for the choir part to begin...  The piece is also available with piano/percussion accompaniment only. Please email me at slbigger(a) for a sample pdf of the octavo.
Here is the text:
The world is a coat of many colors, every facet of the rainbow.
The prism always changes, but the light remains the same.
Many colors, many shadows are we.
Hear the song we sing, we are dancing even as we fly on the wings of hope, eternal as the sky.
Let your voice ring out with the others running on the wind- for the spirit lives inside of ev'ry heart.
on January 30, 2011 9:05am
You may find Eulogy Cantata supportive !
on January 31, 2011 4:32am
Hi Kelvin,
Here are some of the choral pieces that we in the Unity church have used:
All Good Gifts - arr. Richard Walters
And The Father Wil Dance - arr. Mark Hayes
Fill-a-Me Up - By Pepper Choplin
For The Beauty Of The Earth, A Gaelic Blessing, Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace and Look At The World - by John Rutter
Hero - arr. Carl Strommen
I Release - by Rickie Byars
Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace - arr. Mark Barnard
On Holy Ground - arr. John Leavitt
Order My Steps - by Glenn Burleigh
Peace Song - by Greg Gilpin
Seasons Of Love - arr. Roger emerson
Think On Me - arr. Greg Gilpin
Uma Familia - by Jay Althouse
Hope this helps!
on January 31, 2011 12:54pm
Dear Kelvin.
Jason Shelton, a UU composer in Nashville, has written a cantata based on the six sources of Unitarian Universalism (Christianity, Judaism, Humanism, etc.)   If you want his contact info, let me know (I didn't want to put it out there).
You should check out the choral music of Jim Scott.   He is one of the contributors to the Paul Winter Consort's MISA GAIA (EARTH MASS) (published by Hal Leonard).
A PROMISE I WILL KEEP SAT/Piano by Nick Page (Hal Leonard)
SHOUT THE PRAISE SATB/Piano/Timbales by Nick Page  (Boosey & Hawkes)
O VIRTUS SAPIENTAE SATB/Organ/Brass Quintet  by Nick Page  (Boosey & Hawkes)
PEACE VARIATIONS  SA/Piano by Nick Page (Boosey & Hawkes)
CHOOSE TO BLESS THE WORLD SATB/Piano fourhands  by Nick Page  (Boosey & Hawkes)
DAI LANU SATB/Piano/Percussion  by Nick Page  (earthsongsl)
LIGHTS UPON OUR SOULS  SAB a cappella  by Nick Page  (Boosey & Hawkes)
A CHILD IS BORN   SATB a cappella  by Nick Page  (Boosey & Hawkes)
LOVE THE EARTH   SATB/Drum/Piano  by Nick Page  (Boosey & Hawkes)
As you can see, I am one of many composers writing music that is deeply spiritual, but in a broad sense that applies to many faiths.   Some of the above pieces are from my oratorio MAGNIFICENCE, a spiritual response to the new story of Creation as told by New Paradigm scientists (not to be confused with New Age or Scientology).
Nick Page
on February 6, 2011 5:16pm
Dear Kelvin,
I've been writing music for diverse, interfaith choruses and communities for years.  Please feel free to explore my website .  All of the music is downloadable for FREE.  If you would like to download and or rehearse and perform any of the music, I just ask to be notified at kayne_(a) (eliminate underscores). 
Here's a few of the songs you might enjoy:
Communal Canon, CROP Walk Ditty, Emersione, Family at Large, God of Times and Seasons, General's Ammunition, Love Comes, Love Welcomes All, Luxury of Prayer, Micah Say, Momentous, Peace Like a River, Response, Snowfall, Un Air d'Espoir, Web of Life, Welcome.
Look forward ot hearing from you!
on February 7, 2011 12:22pm
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Some of them I know and/or have performed, but you've expanded my possibilities.
Most of my choral pieces are at SibeliusMusic.
If there's something you're interested in, email me at kelvin7(a)
and I'll send you full scores and midi files.
on February 8, 2011 8:21pm
Kelvin -- You might be interested in "Where Charity and Love Are," which has an ecumenical, inclusive text while drawing on the ancient "Ubi Caritas" chant.  I set it for SATB and here's a link to the YouTube version.  Even if you can't use it, you may find this slideshow inspiring!  For score, text, details, here is a link to the piece's info page on my website.  Thanks for starting this discussion.  I found several pieces to check out, including yours!  
Christopher J. Hoh
on February 4, 2012 6:17am
Check out the stuff at Yelton Rhodes Music (
on February 4, 2012 11:42am
There is a whole world of possibility open for music in this area, so kudos to you for stepping into it! I myself am a choral director interested in alternative spirituality and I hope to create some original compositions on this theme in the next little while. I have plenty of solo songs, but I'm in the process of forming a vocal ensemble to do some 2, 3 and 4-part works. So you certainly have an ally here!
Amy Saari
on February 4, 2012 5:38pm
Thanks so much for starting this thread, Kelvin.
I have been out of the traditional 'church' for a while, and have been very much drawn to centers such as the Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living (formerly known as First Church of Religious Science), which I attend each time I visit my daughter in New Mexico. I live (and compose) in a very rural area in Quebec, Canada, where such centers are few and far between. I am now getting very much involved in music - both as composer, arranger and performer - for Sacred Dance, as well as Dances of Universal Peace. There is growing interest in these expressions of "New Thought" in this part of the world, as well as just across the border in Vermont. I would dearly love to find texts to set to music, so if you or anyone else knows of people who would like to collaborate I would be most grateful. I have written a lot of traditional sacred music, but really want to branch out and grow in new and fulfilling directions.
Donald Patriquin
on February 6, 2012 4:06am
I have published and unpublished pieces in this vein:
Change Alone Is Unchanging
The Sacred Hoop

Not In Vain the Distance Beacons
I Sought the Wood
No Longer Forward nor Behind
This Old World
Duermete niño lindo
Among others.
Texts from the Unitarian hymnal.

Donald Callen freed
Professor of Vocal Music
Sul Ross State U.
Alpine TX

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