One of the tasks that rotates around this publishing house is the creation of our monthly "Staff Picks," designed to help pastoral musicians choose music fitting for the Sundays of the liturgical years. Well, the task for suggesting music for April 2013 fell to me and I just finished writing my staff picks. These are included in a monthly e-mail blast to those "opted in" to receive them. It is quite easy to "opt in." Simply visit our web site (wlpmusic.com) and click "register" at the top right of the home page, fill in the information, indicate that you want to receive our monthly updates and information, and you will be all set. Thought I would share what one of these "Staff Picks" looks like for you today. Here are my suggestions for April 2013. The actual e-mail blast will include links to the sample pages; here I am providing links to the sample recordings for your listening pleasure. It always amazes me how diverse our offerings are for the singing Church. I hope you enjoy.
WLP Staff Picks for April 2013
Welcome to this edition of WLP’s Staff Picks. It is always a challenge for me to narrow my choices for each Sunday, since we publish such a wide array of music for the singing and praying Church. I hope these suggestions assist you in your music ministry and help your parish celebrate the great Fifty Days with joy.
April 7, 2013 Second Sunday of Easter
Echoing the risen Lord’s words to his disciples in today’s Gospel, Kathleen Demny’s Peace (008831) is scored for SATB choir, cantor, and assembly. The refrain states the word “peace” three times, and the choral writing is simple and beautiful.
And for something completely different, take a look at Hans Leo Hassler’s classic choral work Quia Vidisti Me, Thoma: Because You Have Seen Me, translated by Eugene Lindusky (005778). This choral anthem will challenge your SATB choir, but the satisfaction gained from the hard work will be unparalleled. This piece, of course, picks up the Lord’s words later in today’s Gospel addressed to Thomas.
April 14, 2013 Third Sunday of Easter
Today’s is one of my favorite Gospel readings: the post-resurrection appearance by the risen Lord on the seashore, where the Lord tells his disciples to cast their nets on the other side, after they have fished all day, with nothing to show for their efforts. Rory and Claire Cooney’s The Stranger and the Nets (007340) is a contemporary reflection on those days “when your nets will come back empty.” This is one of those pieces—for unison choir—that will help the listener grasp what the Gospel means in our own day and time.
Another contemporary piece for this Sunday is John Angotti’s Feed My Lambs (008351). This is a solo piece that echoes the conversation between the Lord and Peter that appears in today’s Gospel: “Lord, you know I love you, so what is your plan?” The answer: “Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, bring the weary home to me.” This is a fitting piece for a versatile cantor to sing at the Preparation of the Altar and Gifts or after communion.
If you are looking for a piece for children’s choir for this Sunday, look no further than Peter, Do You Love Me (008414) by Rev. James Marchionda. Father Jim sets the dialogue between Jesus and Peter to a lovely melody.
April 21, 2013 Fourth Sunday of Easter
On this “Good Shepherd Sunday,” consider The Good Shepherd (007965) by Fr. James Chepponis. Voiced for two-part choir, Fr. Jim uses two texts, Psalm 23 and verses from today’s Gospel, and combines them to create a lilting choral piece.
One of WLP’s most popular choral anthems is also an appropriate choice for this Sunday. William Appling’s We Shall Walk through the Valley in Peace is published in two versions, one scored for TTBB choir (002328), and the other for SATB choir (008729). The text refers to the Lord as our “leader,” echoing the shepherd theme for this Sunday: “And if Jesus shall be our leader, we shall walk through the valley in peace.”
April 28, 2013 Fifth Sunday of Easter
A must-sing for this Sunday is a piece that we sing in my parish quite often, Steven Janco’s A New Commandment (005773), which takes the Lord’s words from today’s Gospel as its refrain and employs a James Quinn text for the verses. Your choir will love the choral parts and your assembly will sing the refrain with ease.
Love One Another by Tony Alonso (005805) is part of Tony’s collection of music for the Paschal Triduum, I Shall Live. If you have not had the chance to take a look and listen to this collection, now is the time to do so. Tony has combined a strong pastoral sense with outstanding compositional technique in creating this collection. Love One Another is scored for two-part choir, cantor and assembly. The verses draw the assembly in, as the people respond to the cantor’s lines with the words “love one another.” This is an ideal piece for the footwashing on Holy Thursday, but will work as well throughout the liturgical year, especially on this Fifth Sunday of Easter.
From WLP’s Vice President and Chief Publishing Officer to those who minister to the needs of the singing and praying Church, I hope that these suggestions will help in your music planning for the Easter Season.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.