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Sunday Repertoire Sharing 3-9-14

This community was temporarily taken down.  It's back but we lost the last several posts.  Feel free to re-share what you have performed recently or just continue on from here. 
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Racine, WI performed an excellent selection today.  Hymn of Mercy by Eileen Barry and Dan Forrest from Beckenhorst publishing.  It is for SATB, Piano and optional flute.  The flute part is simple but adds  a lot.  The piano has a lot of flowing 16ths that really makes this work.  The vocal writing is simple with some points of unison that could be used as alto solos.  It is beautiful and very approachabke for your average church choir.  It is a 3 on the Church Music difficulty scale, taking three rehearsals to have learned well.   I highly recommend it as a simple, but beautiful standard of the Lenten repertoire.
Found this on YouTube:  Not my choir.
Jack Senzig
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Racine, WI
Chancel Choir Director
on March 12, 2014 8:21am
Thanks for re-posting, Jack - I enjoy & look forward to this ongoing repertoire discussion. Here's what our choir at Northlawn United Methodist Church offered on Sunday, March 9:
"Promised Land" by Natalie Sleeth - 2-part w/piano; Lorenz/1979
(This is the original published version - other arrangements of this piece are available, the most recent by Mary McDonald).
This anthem is up-tempo, energetic, and very accessible. Melody and countermelody balance men's and women's voices nicely, while minimal piano provides a rhythmic ground that sets off the voices prominently. Jazzy chords in the refrain add sparkle. Overall, this piece sounds bigger and harder than it actually is. Using Jack's 1-5 scale (1/easiest - 5/most difficult), I'd give this a 2 or 3 (depending on the choir's ability to handle syncopation).
We typically don't do much up-tempo material during Lent, but the pastor's Lenten sermon series theme is "Out of Bondage, Into Freedom", so this anthem was a good fit.
In my 16-18 voice choir (non-auditioned, mostly older voices), the majority doesn't read music and they sometimes struggle with syncopated material but manage the dotted-quarter/eighth-note combinations in this piece with relative ease.
Toni Gould
Northlawn United Methodist Church
Grand Rapids, MI
Applauded by an audience of 1
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