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 Jewish High Holy Days. The William Blake poems are religious in their references to the deity. “Angels” and “Chanukah” are settings of my own lyrics.

ListenScoreTitleVoicesSolosAccomp.Dur.Lyrics byYear
view scoreChanukah Tonight!SATB (opt. div.)piano2'45David Avshalomov2011
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 scoreChanukah Tonight! (orch)SATB (opt. div.)strings (or mandolines)2'45
Order This»Version with string orchestra (or mandoline orchestra) accompaniment
view scoreDo You Believe in Angels?SSAAbrief S16 vln, 2 vla9'David Avshalomov2010
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 scoreI Bend the Knee of My HeartSSAATTBBa cappella5'Canticle 14/ Menasseh2006
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
Lyrics»
Notes»
view scoreKedushah SATBT or Spiano, fl 5'Trad1997
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»
(excerpts)view scoreThe Mixed BlessingsSSAATTBBbar and/or low Thandbells (or vibr, glock)13'Matthew/Luke2010
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 scoreO Euchari ColumbaSSATTBbrief S1a cappella6'Hildegard von Bingen2006
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. Recording: International Orange Chorale of San Francisco/Zane Fiala. (Parts predominant practice MP3s also available.)
Lyrics»Notes»
view scorePraise the Lord!SSAATBBorg, opt. sus. cym5'Psalm 1502008
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»

MIDI
view scoreThere Was Another Song to SingSATBAlto (or Mezzo)Piano, cello, opt. harp4'Chaim Bialik2017
Order This»Touching memorial to those who die too young. Slow solo voice start with choral echos, livelier reminiscing middle section, cello interlude, slow reprise with long-arch choral/solo close. Commissioned by St. Edward's Episcopal Church, La Canada, CA.Lyrics»
view scoreWhere You Go, I Will GoSSAAbrief S, Aa cappella13'Ruth and Naomi2003
Order This»Mini-oratorio on the story of Ruth and Naomi. Dramatic, expressive, epic-narrative style, tender ending. Commissioned by Chris Rhodes, Santa Monica HSLyrics»Notes»
view scoreThe Divine Image ISATBa cappella2'Wm. Blake2001-2
Order This»Reverent Prayer, moderate speed. Subject: Tolerance/diversity. Good for single voices also.

Video/Quartet»
view scoreThe LambSATBa cappella2'20Wm. Blake2001-2
Order This»The sweetest Prayer, gentle and sustaining. Subject: The Lamb and Christ. Good for single voices also (see video).
view scoreOn Another's SorrowSATBa cappella1'30Wm. Blake2001-2
Order This»Sweet sentimental variation-Hymn, moderate speed. Subject: Compassion (ours and Christ's). Good for single voices also.

Video/Quartet»
view scoreThe ShepherdSATBa cappella1'30Wm. Blake2001-2
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.