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Sing Amen!: The Podcast, Episode 3: A Sacred Choral Sampler from Evoking Sound Choral Series

Sing Amen!: The Podcast, Episode 3: A Sacred Choral Sampler from Evoking Sound Choral Series

Greetings, everyone!

With the NPM conference behind us and the various publisher reading sessions still to come, I’m guessing a lot of listeners are in the process right now of choosing new music for their choirs over the coming year. And I’m here today to just compound further the eternal dilemma of “there’s so much great music, how can we possibly sing it all!?” (You’re welcome.)

My job here at GIA is to be the “Editor for Music Formation Resources.” Part of that is generating new materials—print materials like books and articles as well as this SingAmen! online media project. But another part is exploring the “Music Education” side of what GIA is already doing, something a lot of our church music friends may not be very familiar with, and see if there are materials there that can serve us in our churches.  (Anyone who came to the GIA Fall Institute last year, and got to learn from Dr. James Jordan from Westminster Choir College, got a taste of that—he is amazing, and I’m thrilled that people on the pastoral music side of things got to hear some of what he has to say. And by the way, he will be back for the institute THIS fall, so if you missed him last October you have another chance—and our next podcast will feature an interview with him, so you’ll get to hear a little more then too.)

One of Dr. Jordan’s projects with GIA has been the “Evoking Sound” choral series, part of a whole series of educational materials he has created and curated over the course of many years. There are a huge number of gorgeous choral works in this series—if you sat down with a pile of them and just went through it, you’d discover that many of them are set to secular texts and very many of them composed at a pretty challenging level—a lot of double choir and divisi kind of writing, the sort of thing that many parish choirs would find a little too challenging.  However, a bunch of us went through the entire stack of music and pulled out a subset of pieces that are within the reach of various levels of parish choirs, and I’m going to share a few of those with you today. A lot of this music was recorded by Dr. Jordan with either the Anam Cara chamber choir or his own Westminster Williamson Voices, and it’s just lovely—please see the SingAmen website or GIA publications for more information about the specific works. (And by the way—even though most of this is solid organ-based choral music, I promise I’ll hit some great contemporary resources in a future sampler!)

(Also by the way–if you’ve read this far, you can pretty much skip to about 2:50 in the podcast, because I pretty much say there what I just said here. :-))

So please have a listen! Once the introduction is done, I tried on the podcast to talk as little as possible—only enough to tell you what you’re hearing—and just to let you have half an hour or so of gorgeous choral music. Enjoy!

Music Credits:

Lead me on G-7457
by Brian A. Schmidt
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SATB
Recorded on: Silence into Light, by James Jordan and the Westminster Williamson Voices, CD-1026

Come down O love divine G-7032
by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Text Author: Bianco da Siena
Arranged by: Gerald Custer
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SATB
Accompaniment: Keyboard
Recorded on: Inscape: Choral Music of Gerald Custer, by James Jordan and the voices of Anam Cara, CD-754

Jerusalem My Happy Home G-7031
Arranged by: Gerald Custer
Series: Evoking Sound
Music Source: Early American melody
Vocal Forces: SAB
Accompaniment: Piano
Recorded on: Inscape: Choral Music of Gerald Custer, by James Jordan and the voices of Anam Cara, CD-754

When Jesus Wept G-7033
by William Billings
Text Author: William Billings
Arranged by: Gerald Custer
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SAB
Accompaniment: Piano
Recorded on: Inscape: Choral Music of Gerald Custer, by James Jordan and the voices of Anam Cara, CD-754

Lord Jesus Think on Me G-6237
by Richard Kenneth Fitzgerald
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SAB

O God of Light G-5931
by Richard Kenneth Fitzgerald
Text Author: Sarah Taylor
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SATB
Accompaniment: Organ

Winter’s Cold G-7024
by Gerald Custer
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SATBSoprano Solo
Separate Instruments: 3 octaves Handchimes
Accompaniment: Piano
Recorded on: Inscape: Choral Music of Gerald Custer, by James Jordan and the voices of Anam Cara, CD-754

Come, O Christ G-6235
by Roger Ames
Text Author: Rembert Herbert
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SATB
Accompaniment: Organ

Pange Lingua Bruckner G-6481
by Anton Bruckner
Text Author: Thomas Aquinas
Edited By: James Jordan
Series: Evoking Sound
Vocal Forces: SATB
Accompaniment: Reduction

The Lord Bless You G-8192
by Peter C. Lutkin
Edited By: Joe Miller
Series: Westminster Choir
Vocal Forces: SATB
Accompaniment: Reduction

SingAmen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich

SingAmen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, from Liturgical Suite #4, G-4789.. ©GIA Publications, Inc).
SingAmen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)

 

 

 

SingAmen! The Podcast: Episode 2—Diana Kodner Gökçe, on Cantoring, Children’s voices, and the Fourth Wall

SingAmen! The Podcast: Episode 2—Diana Kodner Gökçe, on Cantoring, Children’s voices, and the Fourth Wall

For more than thirty years now, Diana Kodner Gökçe’s Handbook for Cantors has been “the” book on the ministry of the cantor, used for countless workshops and classes around the country, and by many of the ministers who lead the sung prayer of the community every week. Literally as I write this, Handbook for Cantors, Third Edition has just come off the presses, and it’s absolutely wonderful.

So is Diana, by the way. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago for First Communion and Confirmation liturgies, and in addition to being an authority on cantoring she is also a tremendous flutist and just an all-around stellar musician. And working with her on this book was a great journey—we fell into writer-editor work together as easily as we did making music the first time, and it was a pleasure. In addition to reworking and updating the material from the previous edition, Diana also added extensive supplemental material for the singing priest and deacon, to help them become more comfortable with their own singing and chanting in the liturgy–so this book isn’t just for your cantors, it’s also for your priest who is a little nervous about chanting or your new deacon who’s looking at the Exsultet with a small amount of terror. (And let’s face it, didn’t we all greet the Exsultet the first time with a little trepidation?)

In this podcast episode, Diana and I sat down together, and when we started we intended to have a conversation about the book itself–but as is often the case when we start talking, we went pretty far afield and talked about vocal technique, educational theories, The Voice and other reality-music shows, the changing male voice, and various other topics in addition to the ministry of the cantor. The flow makes sense in context, don’t worry.

So check out the book, and enjoy the podcast!

–Jennifer

 

Handbook for Cantors, Third Edition, by Diana Kodner Gökçe, G-9561.

Magnificat, by Lori True, G-6714, Recorded on As Morning Breaks and Evening Sets, CD-609

SingAmen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich

SingAmen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, from Liturgical Suite #4, G-4789.. ©GIA Publications, Inc).
SingAmen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)

SingAmen! The Podcast: Episode 1—J. Michael Joncas, on Composing

SingAmen! The Podcast: Episode 1—J. Michael Joncas, on Composing

One of the cool things about working at GIA, besides the warehouse full of music that makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop (“look! I need this! And I need this too! And I wonder if my choir could do this? And I didn’t know he had another book!”…that’s my internal dialogue whenever I head into the warehouse with a post-it in my hand. It’s like going grocery shopping—I had two little item numbers written down, but I come back with a big pile…)…

(…one of the things about blogging, is I tend to digress a little from time to time. You’ll get used to it. Or start skimming…) (I am also unapologetically addicted to parentheticals, ellipses, and em dashes—I drive editors crazy, which is ironic, considering I now am one…)

Okay, back to it—one of the cool things about working at GIA is that how frequently these really impressive and even famous people come into the office, working on new books or collections or projects. And one of the cool things about this podcast is that now I have an excuse to sit down with them and ask every question I ever had about how they do what they do, and what they feel about their work, and what they feel is important, and what they love, and what the challenges are…it’s a lovely thing.

For this first full-length SingAmen! podcast episode, we are featuring a recording of a wonderful conversation I had with Fr. Michael Joncas I had last April. When I listen back to it now I think, “Wow, Jenn, you sound like a complete fan-girl,” which isn’t too off-base; this is Michael Joncas, after all. Whatever room he’s in, he’s probably the smartest one in it, and liturgical music today owes him a huge debt for the way he has aided and shaped our song since the Second Vatican Council—and at the same time, he is incredibly humble and gentle, and very easy to talk to. As a composer myself, I learned a lot from this conversation, and I hope it will bring some insight and enjoyment to listeners as well.

–Jennifer

Credits:
You Have Searched Me (Psalm 139), by J. Michael Joncas. ©1989, GIA Publications, Inc. G-3241

SingAmen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich

SingAmen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, from Liturgical Suite #4, G-4789.. ©GIA Publications, Inc).
SingAmen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)

SingAmen! The Podcast is here!

SingAmen! The Podcast is here!

Today we are launching the “trailer” for the SingAmen! Podcast, with a few hints of what’s to come!

The podcast expects to publish a new episode every couple of weeks or so, more or less alternating between interview/instruction type episodes and ones that are more assortments of musical selections. You can subscribe on iTunes or Google Play, and it is always accessible here on the SingAmen! website; if we’ve done this right, you should be able to click on the “podcast” tab above and get to see them all.

As always, props go to the Open Your Hymnal podcast that Matt Reichert and Zach Stachowski do, and the Ministry Mondays one for NPM (also Matt Reichert). If you enjoy this podcast at all, you’re going to love those–so while you’re subscribing to Sing Amen!, if you haven’t already, please check theirs out too and subscribe there as well!

Many thanks to Diana Kodner Gokce, James Jordan, Mary Prete, Bob Moore, and J. Michael Joncas–

Please spread the word! And let the people of God sing Amen!

–Jennifer

 

SingAmen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich

SingAmen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, or mp3 X-49102. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)
SingAmen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)