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WORSHIP OPENERS IV: Introits That Work! (Choral)

Compiled and Edited by Jane Holstein

Finding effective choral introits/worship openers that captivate and inspire the beginning of worship can be a challenge. Extracted from some of the choral 'gems' in the Hope catalog, this collection features twelve introits that really do work! Each can be accompanied by piano, but several lend themselves to the organ as well.


A SONG IN THE AIR (Choral)

Arr. Joel Raney

With a delightful "Latin American" feel, original music is paired with the familiar words by Josiah G. Holland "There's a Song in the Air." A strain of "Away in a Manger" is dropped in to round out the story of the manger in Bethlehem. This upbeat Christmas anthem from Joel's best-selling cantata, Joy! (code no. 8721) can be accompanied by piano, orchestration or rhythm. Rhythm parts: Conductor's Score, Percussion, Piano, Synth, Guitar/Bass, Drums & String Reduction for Keyboard. Orchestration: Conductor's Score, Flute, Oboe (or Soprano Sax or Clarinet), Clarinet, 2 Trumpets (or Alto Sax), Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, 2 Trombones or Tenor Sax or Baritone T.C., Percussion, Piano, Synth, Guitar/Bass, Drums, Violins 1 & 2, Viola, Cello/Bassoon and String Reduction for Keyboard.


JESUS, WHAT A WONDERFUL CHILD (Choral)

Arr. Joel Raney

Ideal for both church and school Christmas celebrations, this high energy arrangement also includes the spiritual "Amen," and comes from Joel's best-selling cantata, Joy! code no. 8721. It may be accompanied simply with piano, or with an added rhythm section, or full orchestra. Any way you choose, choirs will enjoy the upbeat rhythms and joyous proclamation of the birth of Jesus. Rhythm parts: Conductor's score, Percussion, Piano, Synth, Guitar/Bass, Drums & String Reduction for Keyboard. Orchestrations: Conductor's Score, Flute, Oboe (or Soprano Sax or Clarinet), Clarinet, 2 Trumpets (or Alto Sax), Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, 2 Trombones or Tenor Sax or Baritone T.C., Percussion, Piano, Synth, Guitar/Bass, Drums, Violins 1 & 2, Viola, Cello/Bassoon and String Reduction for Keyboard.


WE SING THE SONG OF CHRISTMAS (Choral)

Lloyd Larson / Words By: Timothy Dudley-Smith

Timothy Dudley-Smith's text is a wonderful retelling of the Christmas story through the wise men, the shepherds, the song of Mary, and the angels. The beautiful original music and poetic lines build to the angel's "Gloria" and the closing refrain of adoration, "O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!"


WELCOME TO OUR WORLD (Choral)

Chris Rice Arr. Lloyd Larson

This arrangement of Chris Rice's popular contemporary Christmas song comes from Lloyd's best-selling cantata, Were You There on That Christmas Night?, code no. 8611. The SAB setting is also included in Lloyd's collection, Easy Settings III and may be sung as either SAB or as a 2-part mixed setting by simply omitting the alto. Orchestration: Conductor's Score, Flute, Oboe (Soprano Sax or Clarinet), Clarinet, Bassoon (Bass Clarinet), Horn (Clarinet), 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones (Baritone T.C.), Percussion I & II, Piano, Harp, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and String Reduction.


IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR (Choral)

Richard S. Willis / Words By: Edmund H. Sears / Arr. Joel Raney

This lovely, artistic setting is sure to be a highlight of many Christmas concerts, school programs, and Christmas worship services. The piano part plays a significant role in creating an ethereal, peaceful, and solemn Christmas night building to the moment when "all the weary world rejoice!"-simply stunning!


ON A SILENT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM (Choral)

Lloyd Larson / Words By: Mary Kay Beall

The text by Mary Kay Beall talks of the hope, love, peace, and joy of Christmas day. Lloyd Larson has set these meaningful words in a pleasant ballad and you might want to add some rhythm instruments, as was done on the recording, to embellish the light calypso feel. A great number for adult and youth choirs alike.


AN ANTIPHONAL NOEL (Choral)

Joel Raney / Words By: Joel Raney

Here is a piece that can be used as a choral introit or a processional during the Christmas season. It also functions as a seamless introduction to the congregational singing of "The First Noel." A simple ostinato pattern for 6 handbells provides the accompaniment as Unison and SATB choirs sing an 'echo and response,' welcoming in Christmas with their joyous "noels."


MARY HAD A BABY (Choral)

Arr. Lloyd Larson

As arranged by Lloyd Larson, this blues-gospel rendition based on the traditional Christmas spiritual is richly soulful and power-packed. The addition of the Adeste Fideles "O come, let us adore him," enhances the drama while the dynamic rhythm parts heighten the impact of the retelling of King Jesus' birth in a manger. Rhythm parts: Conductor's Score, Percussion, Piano, Synth, Electric Bass and Drums.


A CHRISTMAS LAUDAMUS (Choral)

Lee Dengler / Words By: Susan Naus Dengler

"We praise you, we bless you, we worship you, we glorify you" are presented in antiphonal effect using both Latin and English exchanged between men and women's voices. The middle section echoes the message of the angels singing, "Glory to God." Memorable melodies, lush part writing, and accessible vocal ranges all combine with a flowing piano accompaniment calling for all the world to bring their praise to God at this holy season.


THIS HOLY NIGHT (Choral)

Mary McDonald / Words By: Rose M. Aspinall

Mary McDonald and Rose Aspinall team up for this sensational Christmas Eve selection which is part love song, part lullaby, part ballad. God made a promise that he would make a way, and this quiet example of trust still speaks to us today "on this quiet, silent night."


WHAT CHILD IS THIS? (Choral)

Joel Raney / Words By: William C. Dix

This Christmas ballad by Joel Raney takes a fresh approach to an old carol by pairing the familiar text with a new, original tune. All three verses are incorporated with the middle verse using the carol GREENSLEEVES, but in common meter. This is the title selection from Joel's top-selling cantata from 2015, What Child Is This (#8661). Orchestrations: Conductor's Score, Flute, Oboe (or Soprano Sax or Clarinet), B-flat Clarinet, Horn in F (or Also Sax or Clarinet), 2 Trumpets (or Alto SaX0, 2 Trombones (or Baritone T.C. or Tenor Sax), Percussion 1 & 2, Piano, Synth, Electric Bass, 2 Violins, Cello/Bassoon (or Bass Clarinet)and String Reduction.


DING DONG! MERRILY ON HIGH (Choral)

Arr. Joel Raney

For SATB choir with an optional part for children's choir, this new Christmas offering from Joel Raney provides all of the sparkle and joy of the season with loads of options. It can be performed with a single pianist or a 4-hand piano accompaniment. A further option is a simple 3 octave handbell part to bring out the sounds of the Christmas bells ringing! SATB w/opt. Unison Choir(or Soloist), 3 oct. Handbells & 4-Hand Piano


JESUS, JESUS, REST YOUR HEAD (Choral)

Arr. William P. Gorton

The American folk song "Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head" is a gentle lullaby portraying the irony of the Christ Child sleeping in a lowly manger while "evil folk" sleep on feathers at their birth. The lyrical tune is simple and beautifully realized with a solo violin as the introduction. Sweet, colorful sonorities from the choir illustrate the awe of the animals at the incarnation, while the harp is evoked in the piano accompaniment - perfect for any Christmas service.


EASY ANTHEMS, VOL. 6 (Choral)

Compiled and Edited by Jane Holstein

Here is the 6th volume in our successful series of accessible voicings of top-sellers in our catalog. There are pieces for Advent, Christmas, Palm Sunday, Lent, Communion and general occasions in a variety of styles. All of these are proven winners from composers and arrangers: Joel Raney, Lloyd Larson, Joe Martin, John Carter, Jay Althouse, Marty Parks, and Ruth Schram. Each is set for SAB or Two-Part Mixed choirs.


EASY ANTHEMS FOR CHRISTMAS, Vol. 1 (Choral)

Arr. Compiled and Edited by Jane Holstein

Here is the 6th volume in our successful series of accessible voicings of top-sellers in our catalog. All of these are proven winners from arrangers Joel Raney, Lloyd Larson, and Jack Schrader. Each is set for SAB choirs.


RUN TO THE STABLE (Choral)

Charles McCartha / Words By: Charles McCartha

Drawing on the beautiful Scottish folk melody, Loch Lomond, this intimate and tender depiction of the story of Jesus' birth is beautifully set by Charles McCartha. A tasteful obbligato complements the gently flowing Gaelic melody. The optional part for Violin or C Instrument is included.


MY SOUL GLORIFIES THE LORD (Mary's Magnificat) (Choral)

David Foley / Words By: David Foley

This original composition from Dave Foley is a gentle, contemplative setting of Mary's Magnificat from Luke 1:46-56, useful during Advent, Christmas, or general worship. The option for a female soloist at the start lends itself to Mary's praise and thanks to the Lord for her child to come. Along with simple but lush accompaniment, this hymn of praise quietly glorifies God for the gift Mary carries that is about to change the world.


BETHLEHEM (Choral)

Lloyd Larson / Words By: Phillips Brooks

The 19th-century poet, Philips Brooks, was inspired on his journey to the Holy Land when he travelled to the town of Bethlehem one Christmas Eve. It became the basis of his famous poem, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," for which Lloyd Larson has crafted a new melody in this charming choral anthem. The text also draws from William Neidlinger's "The Birthday of a King." This setting comes from Lloyd's cantata Were You There on That Christmas Night (code no. 8611). Orchestrations: Conductor's Score, Flute, Oboe (or Soprano Sax or Clarinet), Clarinet in B-Flat, Horn in F (or Clarinet), 2 Trombones (or Baritone T.C.), Tuba, Percussion 1 & 2, Piano, Harp, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, String Reduction.


ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID'S CITY (Choral)

Henry J. Gauntlett Arr. Joel Raney

Joel Raney "pulls out all the stops" for a festive rendition of this Christmas favorite which includes SATB choir and piano, with optional organ, handbells and brass. Retelling the events of Christ's birth in "Royal David's City," the text looks ahead through Christ's life and death finally "leading his children on to the place where he has gone."


RISE UP, SHEPHERDS (Choral)

Arr. Thomas Grassi Thomas E. Fettke

All "jazzed up" for Christmas, here is a dynamic presentation of the traditional spiritual as arranged by Tom Fettke and Thomas Grassi. The effective vocal solos, plus electrifying brass parts combine for a memorable musical moment in any worship service or concert setting.


I WILL SING OF MY REDEEMER (Choral)

Charles McCartha

Showcasing the well-known 19th-century hymn text by Philip Bliss, this original ballad by Charles McCartha has the charming flavor of an Appalachian folk song. The fresh and memorable melody is ideal for these words that express the price Jesus paid to gain our redemption. The accompaniment is uniquely supported with optional guitar, bass, fiddle and accordion (or synth).


ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME (Choral|Vocal)

Arr. Joel Raney

This tender song of the angels is combined with another sweet folk melody, "All Through the Night" to create a Christmas lullaby to the Christ child. This setting comes from Joel's top-selling cantata, Sing with the Angels! (# 8571)


CHRISTMAS GLORIA (Choral)

Lee Dengler / Words By: Susan Naus Dengler

Focusing on the angels' chorus found in Luke 2, Lee and Susan Dengler have created a joyful offering for the Christmas season. Sometimes soaring above the original lyrics, and often sung by the entire choir in rich 4-part harmonies, the "Gloria in excelsis Deo" is, indeed, the shining star of this work. The beloved French tune, GLORIA, makes an appearance as this exciting piece moves to its triumphant conclusion.


O COME, LITTLE CHILDREN with Gesu Bambino (Choral)

Johann A. P. Schulte Arr. Joel Raney

With the winning combination of two beloved Christmas melodies along with adult and children's voices, here is an intergenerational experience filled with familiarity and charm. For Christmas worship or concerts, this is a lovely addition in a refreshing approach, all in adoration of the Christ child.


CHILL OF THE NIGHTFALL (Choral)

Hal H. Hopson / Words By: Timothy Dudley-Smith

For 2-part equal voices


IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER (Choral)

Words By: Christina Rossetti / Arr. Joel Raney

A Celtic lilt flavors this Joel Raney setting of Christina Rossetti and Gustav Holst's beloved Advent/Christmas carol. A quote of "Still, Still, Still" makes an appearance before returning to the song's timeless closing, "What can I give him? Give him my heart." This arrangement first appeared in Joel's top-selling Christmas musical, Let the Whole World Sing (#8541). Instrumental parts consists of Conductor's Score, Flute, Clarinet, 2 Violins, Cello, French Horn, Bass, Synth & Percussion.


RUN TO BETHLEHEM (Choral)

Joel Raney

The story of the shepherds unfolds in this delightful choral setting with words and music by Joel Raney. Choirs will enjoy the rhythmic energy and memorable refrain: "Run to Bethlehem and bring praises to the newborn King. Fall down on your knees and worship him." A snippet of "What Child Is This?" lends a touch of the familiar to this Christmas celebration. This setting comes from Joel's cantata, Sing with the Angels! (# 8571). Orchestrations consists of Conductor's Score, Violin I and II (Divisi), Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, French Horn, Electric Bass and Percussion.


O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM (Choral)

Lewis H. Redner / Words By: Phillips Brooks / Arr. Kevin Boesiger

This setting by Kevin Boesiger takes the familiar and invigorates it with a fresh treatment. Opening with the choir singing Lewis Redner's well-known tune on "oo," the piece then moves to syncopated rhythms and the development of a new melody. The singable choral lines and interesting harmonies help to make this anthem one choirs will easily learn and enjoy. Optional rhythm parts add interest and drive to this refreshing take on a familiar carol. SATB w/opt. Rhythm


FROM THE ARMS OF HEAVEN'S ANGELS (Choral)

Words By: Mary Kay Beall / Arr. John Carter

From Mary Kay Beall and John Carter, this inspired ballad depicts the involvement and protection the angels provided from the very beginning of the Christmas story. "From a place of peace and promise to a world of war and woe, Jesus came that winter evening, came to save us long ago." A quote from "Of the Father's Love Begotten" brings a hint of the familiar into this rich musical offering.


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