Palm Sunday at COS, 2007

What is a blog but a slice of one’s life? So you want a fresh slice of music from Greg’s life? I thought so.

Here are a few things we sang at Church of the Servant this Sunday. We’ll start with a choir piece called “Ride On.” It was published as a vocal solo piece by Augsburg Fortress a while back, and I thought I’d see how it would work for SATB choir. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this piece–I love it, but everyone else hates it. Just kidding. It started as a pop/gospel setting of the old text “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty” for congregation. But then I realized it was too hard for congregation, so I gave another go at it as a vocal solo. But then I realized that the archaic text was at odds with the contemporary music (you just can’t groove words like “strewn”), so I wrote a new text based on the same theme and meter. But then I realized that if was writing something for vocal solo, I should vary the verses a little, so I turned verse 3 into a bridge. But then I was planning choir music for Palm Sunday, and I realized that I could turn that the vocal solo into a choir version. But then we tried it in rehearsal and I realized that it was much harder for a choir to sing all the syncopations than a single vocalist. Or a married vocalist, but it really depends on the vocalist more than their marital status. But that’s really beside the point. The point is that I have a love/hate relationship with the song, and I’ll be glad to hear your opinion. So without further ado, click to listen to Ride On.

Next up on our three slice meal of worship wurst is Sanna & All Glory, Laud and Honor. These two songs were used during the palm procession. Nothing too fancy, but it gives an idea of our style at COS. I like the way the South African “Sanna” (which is a shortened version of the word “Hosanna”) sits alongside the traditional “All Glory.” And the drums and strings really make things festive. Try to ignore the cantor. He’s not really as big of a windbag as he sounds on this recording, it just happens that his mic was high in the mix.

Finally, what church service recording would be complete without a child crying in the background? What makes this recording so exquiste is that this particular little screamer has such impeccable timing. You’ve got to love it: “This is the day the Lord has made (waaaaaaah!!!!) Hallelujah!” And of course the juxtaposition of the seren Taize chant with the primal scream is priceless. Give a listen: This Is the Day.

Having trouble with the above links? Try these: Ride On, Sanna & All Glory, This Is the Day.

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2 Responses to Palm Sunday at COS, 2007

  1. Laura Smit says:

    Discovered your post 5 minutes ago while trying to share a recording of Sanna with my church’s worship planning team. Turns out I was also planning to have the choir sing Sanna leading into All Glory, Laud & Honor. Ours is a copy arranged by Roger C. Wilson in 1969 that I dug out of our weighty choral library. Glad to feel less crazy and maybe even inspired…

  2. gregscheer says:

    Hey Laura, I’m glad to hear that my post confirmed your own plans. Now let’s just hope that our idea was inspired rather than idiotic! (Actually, I’ve used the combination a few times, so whether it’s inspired or not, I know it works.)

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