Category Archives: Choral Music

Cleanse the Thoughts of Our Hearts

The Collect for Purity is the name traditionally given to the collect prayed near the beginning of the Eucharist in most Anglican rites. It was originally drafted in Latin for the Sarum missal and was part of the preparation prayers of priests before Mass.  Thomas Cranmer translated the prayer into English and from there it has entered almost every Anglican prayer book in the world.  My setting for SATB was composed to reflect the solemnity as well as the antiquity of the text. It is available for purchase at giamusic.com.

 ℗ 1999 GIA Publications, Inc.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Earth, Earth, Awake

I was a participant in the American Composers Forum’s Faith Partners Program, during which I worked with a consortia of three faith communities in Birmingham, Alabama.  This exciting opportunity led to number of works which have all subsequently been published by GIA:  As Water to the Thirsty, Come Gladly, Come Gaily, Come Gather Together, Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord, Make Music for Your Lord to Hear, Easter Introit, and the featured anthem, Earth, Earth, Awake.  Scored for SATB choir, organ and trumpet, it is available for purchase at giamusic.com.

 ℗ 2003 GIA Publications, Inc.

Tagged , , , ,

As I Walk with Beauty

As I Walk with Beauty was commissioned by Darren Dailey and the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, and  premiered at Lincoln Center in 2009.  The traditional Native American prayer is scored for three part treble choir and piano.  It will soon be available for purchase from Santa Barbara Music Publishing.

Tagged , , ,

The Singers


Each year, The Longfellow Chorus of Portland, Maine, under the direction of Charles Kaufmann, sponsors an outstanding composition contest.  I was honored to have been awarded first prize in 2007 for my setting of The Singers.  This performance is from the premiere, which took place on February 24, 2008 in Portland.  If you are interested in obtaining the score, please contact the composer:  bobmooremusic@gmail.com.  Here’s a sample:  The Singers

The Singers by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.

The first, a youth, with soul of fire,
Held in his hand a golden lyre;
Through groves he wandered, and by streams,
Playing the music of our dreams.

The second, with a bearded face,
Stood singing in the market-place,
And stirred with accents deep and loud
The hearts of all the listening crowd.

A gray old man, the third and last,
Sang in cathedrals dim and vast,
While the majestic organ rolled
Contrition from its mouths of gold.

And those who heard the Singers three
Disputed which the best might be;
For still their music seemed to start
Discordant echoes in each heart,

But the great Master said, “I see
No best in kind, but in degree;
I gave a various gift to each,
To charm, to strengthen, and to teach.

“These are the three great chords of might,
And he whose ear is tuned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
But the most perfect harmony.”

Tagged , , , , , ,

How Holy This Feast

During the summer of 1998, I attended a liturgical music composition seminar at St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN) with the late Richard Proulx.  Each of the participating composers had the opportunity to study privately with Richard, and to say that it changed my life would not be an understatement.  One of my self-directed projects was to compose a choral work in what I was then calling a minimalist style.  This motet grew out of that effort, and while it went in a slightly more elaborate direction, you can hear a touch of minimalism in the repetitive rhythm and slowly changing harmonies of the outer sections.  For unaccompanied SATB choir, it is available for purchase at giamusic.com.  One last note:  I once performed this successfully with a string quartet doubling the voice parts.

 ℗ 1999 GIA Publications, Inc.

Tagged , , , ,

Christ Is the Day

Christ Is The Day was composed specifically for my recording, This Our Joy and This Our Feast (more info here).  Richard Leach’s finely crafted text inspired a gentle, lilting melody that builds in intensity to a most emphatic conclusion.  For SATB choir with oboe and piano, it can be purchased at giamusic.com.

 ℗ 1999 GIA Publications, Inc.

Tagged , , ,

This Our Joy and This Our Feast

I had the pleasure of directing an excellent parish choir in the late 1990’s, and that pleasure was doubled because of the superb accompanist that was on staff.  Each year I was determined to compose a new Christmas carol as well as a new Easter carol, the latter always featuring “alleluia” in the text.  One such piece was This Our Joy and This Our Feast, whose primary text is derived from the Piae Cantiones, a collection of late medieval Latin songs first published in 1582.  This anthem features a dazzling piano part that I composed to showcase the skills of the aforementioned accompanist… and plenty of “alleluias”.  For SATB choir, piano and trumpet, it is available for purchase at giamusic.com.

 ℗ 1999 GIA Publications, Inc.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Christ Be with Me

An SATB choral setting of a portion of St. Patrick’s Breastplate, traditionally attributed to St. Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century.  Available for purchase at giamusic.com.

 ℗ 1999 GIA Publications, Inc.

As Water to the Thirsty

A masterful text by Timothy Dudley Smith, set for SATB choir.  Available for purchase at giamusic.com.

As water to the thirsty,
as beauty to the eyes,
as strength that follows weakness,
as truth instead of lies,
as songtime and springtime
and summertime to be,
so is my Lord,
my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

Like calm in place of clamor,
like peace that follows pain,
like meeting after parting,
like sunshine after rain,
like moonlight and starlight
and sunlight on the sea,
so is my Lord,
my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

As sleep that follows fever,
as gold instead of grey,
as freedom after bondage,
as sunrise to the day,
as home to the traveler
and all we long to see,
so is my Lord,
my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

© 1979 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.

Performance © GIA Publications, Inc.

Tagged , , , , , , ,