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Ash Wednesday suggestions wanted

I am looking for Ash Wednesday suggestions for my choir.  Suggestions need to fit within the following parameters:
2/part (appropriate for adult mixed voices) OR very easy SATB with modest ranges (nothing above D for the sopranos, and nothing sustained in the higher range)
piano accompaniment only (no organ or a cappella)
Thanks in advance!  I have done a lot of looking but haven't found anything that really excites me yet.
Replies (5): Threaded | Chronological
on January 23, 2014 3:20am
Hi Julie,
The obvious choice for an easy anthem for Ash Wednesday is Wesley's 'Wash Me Throughly'. But if your trebles/sops are really that lazy then it won't be possible. Perhaps they need to be pushed a bit? A G-nat should really not be beyond them (and no, it's not sustained). Freely available on CPDL. Usually organ acc. but no reason piano would not work. Have a look.
on January 23, 2014 10:37am
Hmm.  I take offense at your assumption that my ladies are lazy or that i don't "push" them.  Truthfully they are mostly elderly and don't sound good at the upper range, especially one in particular whose strident voice tends to overpower the rest.  My main goal with my choir is to select repertoire with which they will be successful and sound their best.
on January 23, 2014 8:31am
Purcell's "Thou Knowest, Lord, the Secrets of our Hearts" is an Ash Wednesday staple at my church, easy SATB, modest ranges, can be a cappella.
on January 23, 2014 12:35pm
Any good setting of Psalm 51 (Create in Me a Clean Heart O God) would certainly be appropriate.  A reasonably easy, very tuneful SATB setting is by Michael Burkhardt....I think published with MorningStar.  I did it last Ash Wednesday with good success.
on January 23, 2014 3:54pm
Hi Julie.  Our choir and congregation like a  simple devotional piece, "Turn My Heart, O God", by Marty Haugen, GIA.  easy repetitive SATB, call and response style,  with solos on verses, congregation on refrain.  We've also sung "Supplication" by Linda Spevacek, unison, with American Sign Language - we conscripted an ASL major from a local college.  Both with piano accompaniament.
Good luck.
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