Apr 192013
 

I direct three choirs–the Ward Choir for our local congregation, an ad-hoc Easter Cantata Choir that operates from January through Easter every year, and our Institute Choir for young people 18-30. Each has their own repertoire, so naturally I spend a lot of time searching out new music and forming my own very-opinionated-opinions on each of the selections. Sooooo, I thought, why not share the wealth? Such as it is. Everyone has their own taste in music, but I figure I’ll post a new favorite on Fridays (because it alliterates) until I run out (which is bound to happen sooner or later).

Without further ado… ***drum roll**… here’s the first one.

Since I’m coming to the end of the Institute choir year, I’m starting to plan for next year’s repertoire. Last year at Thanksgiving time we did a gratitude-themed concert, and the title song was “Give Me a Grateful Heart” by Joseph M. Martin and Susan Bentall Boersma, published by Lorenz. This turned out to be one of our favorites, and it’s one I think we’ll repeat. Hmmm… come to think of it, I may have my ward choir do it as well. It’s just that nice.

The lyrics are inspired by this quote from Welsh poet George Herbert (1593-1633):

“Thou that hast given so much to me give me one thing more, a grateful heart: not thankful when it pleaseth me, as if Thy blessings had spare days, but such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.”

You can listen to it here: Give Me A Grateful Heart. The audio file and sample pages are linked near the top left of the page. The lyric is written as a prayer, so for LDS use you’ll want to use the “thee” and “thy” pronouns in place of “you” and “your.”

It’s voiced for SATB choir, and it’s fairly easy for the voices, moderately easy for the pianist. One nice feature is that it’s cleverly harmonized so it can be used as a two-part mixed choir arrangement by omitting the bass and alto parts. Smart!

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