Sacred Choral

Here are religious or religion-related settings on texts from a variety of sources, scriptural, liturgical, and secular/spiritual. Some are from the Old Testament; the Kedushah is a traditional sanctification for the High Holy Days. The William Blake poems are religious in their references to the deity. “Angels” and “Chanukah” are settings of my own lyrics.

Lyrics by
view score Chanukah Tonight! SATB (opt. div.) piano 2’45 David Avshalomov 2011
Order This» TheC7Prize (Canada) 2014
Quick glimpse of the legend, tradition, and observance of the Jewish Festival of Lights. Exuberant syncopated setting building up to the bright celebration on the eighth night. (Also for high solo voice)
Lyrics» Notes»
view score Chanukah Tonight! (orch) SATB (opt. div.) strings (or mandolines) 2’45
Order This» Version with string orchestra (or mandoline orchestra) accompaniment
view score Do You Believe in Angels? SSAA brief S1 6 vln, 2 vla 9′ David Avshalomov 2010
Order This» Ecstatic, transcendently beautiful, melodious and harmonically rich setting for older children’s or treble chorus and high strings. Original non-sectarian, non-religious poem by the composer on the phenomenon of angelic encounters and the common images of both light and dark angels. Bright start, dark energetic middle, luminous ending. Colorful, evocative string scoring. P/V score gives organ reduction. Youtube video of the premiere by Concerto Delle Donne and string orchestra at Alabama School of the Arts, led by Laura Doss. Lyrics» Notes»

view score I Bend the Knee of My Heart SSAATTBB a cappella 5′ Canticle 14/ Menasseh 2006
Order This» ACDA Silver Platter Award 2012 for Choral Repertoire of Outstanding Quality
“Polifonija”, Lithuania, International Sacred Choral Music Competition 2013 (2nd Prize)
PROJECT : ENCORE Recommended Choral Work of Exceptional Merit 2013
Broad artful expression of awe at Gods’ power and the unworthiness of a famous sinful Old Testament king. Starts slow, solemn, moves ahead to final fervent peroration on “I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.” Commissioned by Richard Beatty for the Anglican Chorale of Southern California, James Person, Director
view score Kedushah SATB T or S piano, fl 5′ Trad 1997
Order This» Formal, serious blessing, ecstatic end, operatic solo part. Commissioned by Cantor Mark Saltzman, Sha’arei Am Synagogue for the High Holy Days. Lyrics»


view score The Mixed Blessings SSAATTBB bar and/or low T handbells (or vibr, glock) 13′ Matthew/Luke 2010
Order This» Ritualized, dramatic dialectic illuminating the paradoxical contradictions of the two sets of Blessings (and Woes) attributed to the Christ. Formalized semi-medieval quasi-Anglican-style start and end, one angry climax, one romantic climax on the word God. Punctuations, ostinatos, flashes of divine light from handbells. Lyrics» Notes»
view score O Euchari Columba SSATTB brief S1 a cappella 6′ Hildegard von Bingen 2006
Order This» Winner, First Prize, IOCSF Choral Composition Contest 2016. Ecstatic meditation on the virtues and works of a little-known saint. Quiet, slow mystical medieval start and end, fast buildup to quasi-Orthodox climax, gentle denouement like the start. Commissioned by Coro Oddyssea, Gonçalo Lourenço, conductor, Lisbon, Spain Lyrics» Notes»

view score Praise the Lord! SSAATBB org, opt. sus. cym 5′ Psalm 150 2008
Order This» Winner, Mountainside Master Chorale (Pomona, CA) Composition Contest 2016 (2nd Prize). Wild, slightly modern, fast, rhythmic (5/8) setting of Psalm 150, with a “Bulgarian Jazz” organ solo middle. Big bright ending. Commissioned by the choir of Westwood United Methodist Church, Los Angeles for their retiring director Gina Shaw. Parts predominant practice MP3s also available. Lyrics» Notes»
view score This Sacred Space SSAATTB brief A organ, 2 tpt 2 tbn, timp (3 dr) 5’30 Holy, Holy, Holy, other lyrics by David Avshalomov 2008
Order This» Tonal consecration anthem with congregational hymn, showy organ part. Mystical start, buildup to big bright celebratory Alleluia ending. Lyrics»
view score Where You Go, I Will Go SSAA brief S, A a cappella 13′ Ruth and Naomi 2003
Order This» Mini-oratorio on the story of Ruth and Naomi. Dramatic, expressive, epic-narrative style, tender ending. Commissioned by Chris Rhodes, Santa Monica HS Lyrics» Notes»

view score The Divine Image I SATB a cappella 2′ Wm. Blake 2001-2
Order This» Reverent Prayer, moderate speed. Subject: Tolerance/diversity. Good for single voices also.


view score The Lamb SATB a cappella 2’20 Wm. Blake 2001-2
Order This» The sweetest Prayer, gentle and sustaining. Subject: The Lamb and Christ. Good for single voices also (see video).
view score On Another’s Sorrow SATB a cappella 1’30 Wm. Blake 2001-2
Order This» Sweet sentimental variation-Hymn, moderate speed. Subject: Compassion (ours and Christ’s). Good for single voices also.


view score The Shepherd SATB a cappella 1’30 Wm. Blake 2001-2
Order This» Sweet Prayer, rocking gently. Subject: Guarding the flock. Solo whistling intro and end. Good for solo voices also (see video). Audio is solo quartet with organ during communion.