Getting through the Holy Week, Easter, and confirmation push is quite an accomplishment; we all know how much work goes into these liturgies. Afterward, for most parish musicians, it’s a time to relax, take a breather, and enjoy the spring. Ironically, my work at the cathedral actually seems to rev up and get busier. Go figure! Multiple confirmation liturgies and ordinations make for a busy spring; then come all the June weddings! And although my choir officially ends its season on the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we occasionally come together during the summer. The choir is often requested to provide music for weddings, so I look regularly for appropriate newly composed music to complement the popular classics like Franck’s “Panis Angelicus.” Below are two choral octavos for the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, weddings, and general use. I hope you find these valuable additions to your choral program.
Managing Music Editor for OCP
and music director at St. Mary's Cathedral in Portland, Oregon
Panis Angelicusby César Franck | Arranged by Andrew Wright
This timeless work by César Franck, written in 1872, is well loved by many. Performed most often as a solo, it received renewed attention thanks to tenors Luciano Pavarroti and Plácido Domingo. Franck’s setting of the Saint Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225–1274) text was sung at the funeral of Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 and at the funeral of his brother, Senator Edward Kennedy, thirty years later. Andrew Wright’s choral arrangement of “Panis Angelicus” (Latin: bread of angels) is set for SATB choir and solo (tenor or soprano). While there are other choral arrangements available, this setting truly preserves the solo aspect of Franck’s original work; the SATB choir serves as “accompaniment” to enhance the solo line. The keyboard (piano or organ) accompaniment is identical to that of the composer’s original. Appropriate at any eucharistic liturgy, in particular the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), this offering is accessible for most SATB choirs. It is not chorally challenging. This arrangement will prove useful at weddings and funerals (it is commonly requested) and other celebrations throughout the Church year.
|Difficulty Level: Easy/Medium
No Assembly Edition | SATB | Solo
||$2.00||Add to Cart|
||$2.00|| Add to Cart
by David Hurd
Taste and See
Psalm 34 is one text of which a choir can never have too many settings. One of the best-known choral settings is by Ralph Vaughan Williams. His setting, composed in 1952, does not include inclusive language. David Hurd’s composition, written in 1995, uses inclusive language, replacing “blessed is the man that trusteth in him” with “happy are they who trust in you.” This interesting choral setting is composed in an A-B-A form, so once the first section is learned, you’re half way through! The B section, only seven measures long, is composed in an imitative way. Beginning with the sopranos, the music moves in a triplet figure through each voice (to the text “happy are they who trust in you”), becoming, in the process, ever more lively and joyful. Contrary to expectations, the first three notes move downward, a half-step followed by a whole-step, to the text “happy.” It’s easy to lose pitch in this section, so experiment with ways to keep the pitch up. One exercise I often do with my choir, though they think it feels silly, is to have them point their index finger toward the ceiling as they are descending in pitch. Simply thinking of ascending while descending can make all the difference toward making clean interval changes. What I find most appealing about this anthem is its unique, original sound. The composer uses the parts to achieve a fresh and contemporary choral experience. The end has a bit of a Manhattan Transfer feel to it, but in a well-crafted, choral sort of way! Only thirty-seven bars in length, this unaccompanied SATB choral anthem is useful any Sunday of the year as a short anthem after Communion.
|Difficulty Level: Medium/Difficult
No Assembly Edition | SATB | a cappella
||$2.10||Add to Cart|
Looking for new choral music to work into your seasonal repertoire?Look no further.
Choral music expert Angela Westhoff-Johnson, OCP’s Managing Music Editor, will provide choral music suggestions every month--right here on OCP.org.
Sign up and be the first to know when a new edition of Choral Music for the Season is up on the website.
Browse sheet music by Choral Series
Choral Anthems and Motets
Choral Hymns of Praise
Expanded arrangements of traditional hymns
Treble Choir (adults)
Music for women's choirs
Treble Choir (children)
Music for children's choirs
Jubilate Deo (children)
Music for children's choirs
View all sheet music in alphabetical order
View all our songs
We value your feedback
Did you find this information helpful? Or did you use the songs in a different way?
Let us know!