February 8, 2017

A reflection on Craig Kingsbury’s 'For the Beauty of the Earth'

Artwork for A reflection on Craig Kingsbury’s ’For the Beauty of the Earth’

This traditional hymn tune has been a favorite of mine since childhood. The arrangement in this octavo was originally commissioned by Lake Grove Presbyterian Church (Lake Oswego, OR), and was scored for SATTBB choir, Brass Quintet, Timpani and Organ. In consultation with colleagues at OCP, I reduced the brass scoring to quartet, and adapted the TTBB vocal parts in verse 3 so that a smaller choir has the option of 2- or 3-part men, with altos covering some of the higher tenor lines. We also added the text as it appears in the OCP hymnal Journeysongs, so that parishes using that resource can use this arrangement and include Assembly singing.

This hymn can be useful most any time in the liturgical year, and would fit in particularly well with any liturgy emphasizing Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’. While the hymn text does not directly address the themes of the encyclical, its overall themes of Creation and Nature tie in very nicely.

Choral Review Service

Craig Kingsbury’s “For the Beauty of the Earth” is included in the Winter 2017 edition of the OCP Choral Review Service. Every year, subscribers receive sheet music and recordings of more than 70 specially selected choral pieces. Whether it’s new music for your traditional or contemporary choir, settings fit for children’s voices or to inspire intercultural ensembles, OCP has the right choral series to help you unite your community in worship.

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