The Original “Silent Night” (SATB/SSAA/TTBB) – English or German

Here is an arrangement of the beloved carol “Silent Night” that attempts to recreate how it might have been performed for the first time on Christmas Eve 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria. It is based on an undated manuscript by Franz Gruber (1787-1863) known as “Gruber – Autograph VII.” It begins with a duet that can either be sung by soloists, small ensembles, or choir sections.  The choral parts in the Tutti… Read More »

The Paradoxes of “This Little Babe”

Many of you may be familiar with the great choral work “This Little Babe” from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. The driving rhythm, the compelling tune with its unique canonic treatment, and the dramatic shift at the very end from a minor key to its parallel major all make for a memorable and powerful setting of the text (click here for a video). The text explores the paradoxes that came with the birth of Christ, with God becoming… Read More »

Thoughts on “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

While the text of the Latin Christmas carol “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” is almost 2,000 years old having been penned only a few hundred years after the birth of Christ , “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is not even 275 years old. The text was written by John Francis Wade (c. 1711-86) during a time when Latin was the language of academia. Wade was a Catholic layman who fled… Read More »

O Come, All Ye Faithful (SATB) – English or Latin

This setting of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is an attempt to musically portray a great victory parade  to see the Christ Child (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-o-come-all-ye-faithful). The choral arrangement begins with a soloist inviting the faithful to join in a great, joyful, and triumphal procession to Bethlehem. The full choir joins by repeating the last part of the stanza, a lost tradition that is evident in early hymnals and choral arrangements of… Read More »

The King Shall Come (Hymn Intonation)

This piece is a short Hymn Intonation for pipe organ on the tune CONSOLATION written for the Advent hymn “The King Shall Come.” It features a pedal ostinato and a quasi-canon at the unison. To obtain a copy, click on the picture below. on Square Market

New Singers in the Church Triumphant

In these past few weeks we have celebrated the lives of quite a few members at Trinity, including this past weekend the all too short earthly life of Avonlea Warner. Hymns and songs take a whole new meaning in the context of a funeral. I was especially touched by the ones we sang last Saturday: “Father Welcomes All His Children,” “Children of the Heavenly Father,” “All Through the Night,” and “Alleluia!… Read More »

Youth Music Sunday at Trinity

One of the best ways to pass our faith along is to involve children in the ministry of the church, and one of the best ways to do that is to involve children in the proclamation of the Music Ministry as much as possible. This Sunday morning at Trinity could be called Youth Music Sunday because close to 80 children will be leading the music at our worship services. At… Read More »

“How Beautiful the Feet”

On Thursday evening our choir rehearsed the great Martin Franzmann hymn “O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth” for Reformation Sunday. Among the many powerful phrases and metaphors are these lines drawn almost directly from Scripture: How beautiful the feet that trod the road that leads us back to God! How beautiful the feet that ran to bring the great good news to man! (Lutheran Service Book #834 – St. 3)… Read More »

A Treasure to Cherish, Nurture, and Share

When we are given a treasure, we are also given great responsibility. Whether the treasure we receive is of an earthly or of a heavenly nature, it always comes with a responsibility to first cherish the gift and thank the giver; to then protect, grow, and nurture the gift; and then finally to share the gift with the world around us so they too can be blessed and nurtured by… Read More »

The “Resurrection Chapter”

Most people know about the “Love Chapter” of the Bible, but few people know about the “Resurrection Chapter.” 1 Corinthians 13 is the “Love Chapter,” but only two chapters later you will find what I like to call the “Resurrection Chapter.” Some parts of 1 Corinthians 15 may be familiar to you, especially if you frequently listen to or have sung some of the great choral works of the ages like Handel’s… Read More »