Choral Sacred

Agnus Dei. SATB, orchestra, 15′. Commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Paul Rardin, Artistic Director, to complement the Mozart Great Mass in C minor. Completed 24 August 2015. Premiered 18 October 2015, The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and the Symphony in C, conducted by Paul Rardin

Alleluia. SATB, 6′. Premiered by the Central High School Full Choir, Philadelphia, 21 Dec 2017, Jacqueline Smith, Director. The Vocal Arts Ensemble in Cincinnati performed it 11 and 12 January 2018 on a concert with Canticle, and then recorded them both for a CD, released 2018.

Ave Maris Stella. SSATTB, 7 instrumentalists, 23′. Commissioned by Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, with funding from the NEA and the Presser Foundation. Premiered by Piffaro and Variant 6 on Oct. 8th, 2021, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, Oct. 9th, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Oct. 10th, Saints Andrew and Matthew, Wilmington, Del.

Behold the Best, the Greatest Gift (Anon.) SATB, org. (2010) $2.10. Anthem. First page. Commissioned for the installation of the Kegg pipe organ at Phoenixville Presbyterian Church, Pennsylvania. Original tune, text from Scottish Hymnal, early American refrain text. Excellent for larger choirs, lilting and rhythmic, perfect for Easter and Easter season.

Christmas and Magic. A song, 4′. Words by Roy Powell, music by Kile Smith. Premiere of duet version, Evangelia Leontis, soprano, Megan Roth, mezzo-soprano, Julia Carey, piano, Calliope’s Call, Boston, 2 Dec 2022. Premiere of band version, Calesta Day, David Nobles, The DePue Brothers Band, St. Cecilia School, Fox Chase, Philadelphia, 14 Dec 2022. Also SATB and piano, completed 7 Sep 2023.

Come, Gather All (Paul Berchtold) SATB, org, opt. brass quartet (2011) $1.90. Anthem. First page. Commissioned for the 100th Anniversary of St. Eleanor Parish, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, brand-new text by Paul Berchtold. Lively and moderately easy; can be done with organ and brass or just organ.

Come, Ye Sinners (Beach Spring) SATB, org (1985) $1.80. Anthem. First page. Tune from The Sacred Harp. Alternating optional solos and choir lead to an easy 4-voice canon, an exciting full section, and a simple repeat of the beginning. “Compelling… attractive… straightforward, driving rhythm” —Journal of Church Music.

The Common Service of 1917. The Common Service, published 1917, was issued jointly by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America, the Trustees of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, and the United Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South. Notation has been revised and some text updated, and all newly re-engraved 2012 and 2014, by Kile Smith and the Rev. Dr. Michael G. Tavella. Available for use by all English-speaking Lutheran churches.

For His Mercy Endures Forever (Psalm 136) SATB (2014) Anthem. Available from MusicSpoke—score and recording here! First page. Setting of the complete Psalm 136, with the refrain “For his mercy endures forever” sung 26 times, once in each verse. Commissioned by Judi and Earl Reeder, in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary, for the choir of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Abington, Pa., and premiered there 26 Nov 2014, Thanksgiving Eve.

Give Ear, O Heavens (Audite caeli, Canticle based on Deuteronomy 32, the Second Song of Moses) SATB, org (2016). Anthem. First page. Ccommissioned for the 40th Anniversary of the Ordinations of the Rev. Dr. Michael G. Tavella and the Rev. N. Amanda Grimmer, pastors of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Abington, Pa. Text is the canticle Audite Caeli. Premiered 23 Oct 2016, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Choir, Jacqueline Smith, organist and director of music.

God So Loved the World (John 3:16) SATB (2008). Anthem. Available from MusicSpoke—score and recording here! First page. Captivating setting of the John 3:16 text, suitable as anthem or responsory. Long lines, medium difficulty.

Go Forth into the World in Peace. SATB, piano, 4’30” (2020). Commissioned for Knox Presbyterian Church Choir, Earl Rivers, Cincinnati. Premiered 18 Oct 2020. Available from MusicSpoke.

Gospel Acclamations (Verses). Many of these.

Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn (from Vespers) SATB div a 16. German, English. $2.10 (2008). First page. The ninth movement of Vespers, an a cappella tour de force for larger choirs. Starts in four voices, then divides into eight, then 16, back to four. With an original English translation by the composer added to the German text.

Holy Is the Lord (Isaiah 6:3) SSATBB (2001/10) $1.30. First page. An a cappella Holy Trinity setting, suitable as anthem or responsory. Haunting and moderately difficult for larger choirs.

Holy Mountain (James Montgomery) SATB, organ (1982/2003). Anthem. Available from MusicSpoke—score and recording here! First page. Original tune with an early American sound that recalls shape-note singing with spare harmonies. Popular.

How Fair the Bright and Morning Star (from Vespers, Wie schön leuchtet) SATB, kbd. German, English. $2.30 (2008/10). Anthem. First page. The second movement of Vespers, with an original English translation by the composer added to the German text. Text and translation.

also SATB, string sextet, harpsichord. Full score (21pp), two violins, two violas, cello, double bass, keyboard/choral score (with page turns), $20.00. The choir may sing from the octavos above. Arranged for the Aestas Consort, Chicago.


I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. SATB, Bells, Bass Drum. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow). 3′. Available from Hal Leonard. Commissioned by Red Shift, Trey Davis, conductor, and premiered 15, 16 Dec 2018, St. Joseph Cathedral, Baton Rouge, La. (Crotales, Glockenspiel, Handbells, Organ Chimes, or any appropriate pitched bells may be used. Piano may be used, perhaps played up an octave, if no bells are available. Bass Drum or any low drum may be used.)

In the Midst of Life. 2023. SATB a cappella, 15′. Text from the Book of Common Prayer. Commissioned by the William Ferris Chorale, Christopher Windle, Artistic and Music Director. Premiered by them 5 May 2023, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Chicago, and 7 May 2023, Wicker Park Lutheran Church, Chicago.

I Sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew (Pilgrim Hymnal) Opt. soprano solo, SATB (1981/2004). Anthem. $1.80 First page. The tune is Peace, from The Revivalist, 1869. The text is from The Pilgrim Hymnal, 1904. A straightforward beginning with optional solo opens up into a confident 4-part proclamation of faith.

Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts (Anon.) SATB, org (1985/2010). Anthem. $2.10 First page. SATB, organ. Original music for the well-known hymn text, first composed as a wedding piece for solo voice and organ. Warm harmonies with a colorful, chant-like melody. Easy to medium.

Jubilate Deo. 2019. SATB, organ. Psalm 100, Latin, 6′. Commissioned by Ursinus College and dedicated to Dr. John French, on the occasion of his 40th anniversary of service to Ursinus College. Premiered 28 April 2019, Ursinus College Choir and Meistersingers, Alan Morrison, organ, conducted by John French.

Kyrie and Gloria Patri. For congregation and organ, with cantor or choir (opt. SATB). The choir may sing in parts or unison. In the Kyrie the choir or a solo voice may be cantor. Separate congregation part available for bulletin. Commissioned by the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Daniel Spratlan, music director, and Cynthia A. Jarvis, minister.

Kyrie sample. Unison congregation, opt. descant, organ. $3.00

Magnificat, from Vespers, 3 Soprano soloists, SSATB, accompaniment arr. for harp, organ

Magnificat. SATB, handbells, opt. organ. 4′

Magnificat Antiphon. SATB, congregation, organ

Mass for Christmas

Kyrie (based on Christe redemptor)
Gloria (based on Lobt Gott, ihr Christen)
Alleluia (based on Resonent in laudibus)
Sanctus (original, but referring to Divinum mysterium)
Agnus Dei (based on A solis ortus cardine)

Mass for Philadelphia

Gospel Acclamation
Gospel Responses
The Great Thanksgiving
Christ Our Passover
Agnus Dei
Nunc Dimittis

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (Southern Harmony) SATB, org (1980/2003). Anthem. $1.80 First page. Very popular. The beautiful 1855 Southern Harmony tune Resignation, in a warm, simple setting. Also one of the three arrangements for violin and piano in American Spirituals, Book One.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Veni, Emmanuel) SATB, org, opt. brass quintet (1981/2013). Anthem. Available from Concordia Publishing House—score and recording here. Also a version with brass quintet instead of organ.
Simple setting of the well-known tune, mostly unison and 2-part, but with an explosive final 4-part “Rejoice, rejoice!” Moderately easy.

Offertory. Reformation—Romans 12:1,2 (bar, SATB, org)

I appeal to you, therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

O Rex gentium (O Antiphon) SATB (2015). First page. SATB. 6′. Commissioned by Choral Arts Philadelphia, Matthew Glandorf, artistic director, and premiered 2 Dec 2015, at St. Clement’s Church in Philadelphia as part of their O Antiphons project.

O Sing unto the Lord a New Song (Psalm 98:1) SATB Fuguing tune, $2.00 (1989/2010). Anthem. First page. Original tune, moderate difficulty.

O Thou, Who Camest from Above (Leviticus 6:13, Charles Wesley) SATB 4‘ (2016). Anthem. First page. Commissioned for the 90th Concert Season of the Greenville College Choir and Chamber Singers, Jeffrey S. Wilson, director. The tune is Hereford by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876), the text is (1707-1788), is based on the Leviticus verse.

Out of the Depths (Psalm 130) SATB 6′(2016). First page. Commissioned by Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Jeffrey Brillhart, music director, premiered 13 Mar 2016.

Passer invenit (Psalm 84:3,4) SATB $1.60. (1991/2005) First page. Challenging a cappella setting of Psalm 84:3,4 in Latin.

Passion Sunday Chant, Instrumental Interludes

Psalm 8. Hymn. O Lord, Our Lord, Your Excellent Name (text by KS, based on Psalm 8)

Psalm 29. Holy Trinity Sunday (unison, accompanied, with [opt. SATB] Antiphon). “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Psalm 113 (from Vespers) SATB, kbd (2008) $2.10. First page. The seventh movement of Vespers, with keyboard reduction.

Rejoice in the Lamb (Christopher Smart) SATB 5′ (2017). First page. To Dr. John H. French, on the 25th anniversary of his ministry as organist/choirmaster of The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Premiered 2 July 2017.

Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow. SATB, piano, 4′. Premiered Dec 2020 by the Choral Arts Society of Washington, D.C., Scott Tucker, artistic director.

Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow. SATB, orchestra (2222-1211-timp.1perc, str) 4′. Premiered 20 & 24 Dec 2021 by the Choral Arts Society of Washington, D.C., Scott Tucker, artistic director at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.

Shall the Blessed Saints Surround Us (text by Kile Smith, after Hebrews 12:12) SATB, pno or org (2014). Anthem. First page. Commissioned for the 150th Anniversary of Emilie United Methodist Church, Levittown, Pa., Ryan Fleming, Music Director., premiered 18 May 2014.

Unto the Hills (John D. S. Campbell, after Psalm 121) SATB div. $1.90 (1979/2002). Anthem. First page. Appropriate for larger groups, this was composed for a college choir. Setting of the well-known “Sandon” tune; the text is based on Psalm 121.

Vespers. SSSATB soloists from within the choir, SSAATTBB choir of at least 16 singers, Renaissance band of seven players. 65′. $21.00 full score, $13.00 vocal score, $75.00 parts.

The Word of God (Michael G. Tavella) SATB, org (2006/11). Anthem. First page. A hymn composed for Holy Trinity Lutheran, Abington, Pa. Anthem composed for the combined churches celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Willow Grove, Pa., in 2011.

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