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January 19, 2018

3 songs your choir will love from the Winter 2018 edition of the Choral Review Service


3 songs your choir will love from the Winter 2018 edition
 

Are you looking for new music to challenge your choir, or songs to unite your community in worship? Every year, subscribers of the Choral Review Service receive sheet music and recordings of more than 70 hand-selected choral pieces. Here we highlight three unique songs that were sent to subscribers this winter.

The three songs are:

  • I Will Wash My Hands in Innocence by David Hurd
  • Make Your Home in Me by Ben Walther
  • In The Arms of Your Mercy by Janèt Sullivan Whitaker

You can find a list of all the songs included in the Winter 2018 Choral Review Service packet at the bottom of this page, along with links to each song where you can listen to sound samples, preview sheet music and more.

Featured songs

I Will Wash My Hands in Innocence
David Hurd

Difficulty level: medium
Voicing: SATB

This lovely choral motet is less than 2 minutes, the perfect length for inclusion in the liturgy. Plus, David Hurd’s choral writing is intimate, warmhearted and pleasant.

This song is certainly not easy, but choirs accustomed to singing choral music in the English choral tradition will find this moderately accessible. And though challenging music can be trying and exhausting during the learning phase; the execution phase offers a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction when a difficult work of music is presented with great mastery.

Listen to the rhythmic variety present in the first full measure where duple against triple figures are introduced. The final chord, an augmented triad that resolves to the fifth, might be the most challenging chord to effectively tune.

Written for ordination, “I Will Wash My Hands in Innocence” would make a lovely motet during Lent, or any time the readings touch upon themes of Christian life, discipleship and thanksgiving.

 

Make Your Home in Me
Ben Walther

Voicing: Two-part, unison
Difficulty level: Easy/medium
Instrumentation: Keyboard, guitar, solo instrument in C, solo instrument in B flat, color instrument in E flat

Simple and approachable, Ben Walther’s beautiful song “Make Your Home in Me” is about the homelessness of Christ himself. With no place to lay his head or rest, Jesus sought a home. In this song, we are asking Jesus to make his dwelling within ourselves.

Easy to learn, this song is perfect for themes or topics like comfort, love of God or social concern. Within the liturgy, this song is most appropriately sung at offertory or during Communion or meditation. In a reflection in Today’s Liturgy, Ben said “I pray that this song inspires a new and fervent devotion to Jesus in the hearts of our congregations. As he makes his home in us, may he find a pure and humble abode there.”

“Make Your Home in Me” is the title track for Ben’s same-named album, which, when it was released in 2013, debuted at #12 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel charts. This song is also included in this year’s editions of Breaking Bread/Music Issue and Choose Christ as well as the Spirit & Song hymnal.

 

In the Arms of Your Mercy
Janèt Sullivan Whitaker

Voicing: Unison, SATB,
Instrumentation: Keyboard, guitar

Dedicated to the women of Catherine’s House, a restorative justice ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, this song is not liturgical in intent but could prove useful for personal reflection, reconciliation and retreats. Suggested uses or topics would include comfort, conversion, courage, darkness, faith and mercy.

Janèt says that in performing this song live, she has “found it resonates with people who are struggling with recovery from substance abuse, grief, depression, anxiety — all the ways in which we might find ourselves in need of God’s mercy.”

A full-time parish music director in San Ramon, Calif., Janèt is perhaps best known for her songs “In Every Age” and “Here at This Table.” She has three solo collections of liturgical music, including Tryin’ to Get Ready (for Advent), These Forty Days (for Lent) and Land of the Living. “In the Arms of Your Mercy” is featured on her first new collection in a decade, Plenty.

Listen now
 

Explore more music from this season's edition

 

Choral Review Service

These songs can be found in the Winter 2018 packet of the Choral Review Service. Offering music for traditional and contemporary choirs, children’s voices and intercultural ensembles, the Choral Review Service is the best way to find something new for your choir and community.

Learn more