Crystal Ball, Apr-Jun 2018

Crystal ball, by J Waterhouse. Image Wikimedia commons

This ‘sticky’ post is intended for South Woden readers. Scroll down for weekly blog posts.

Subject to the choices of worship leaders, here are ideas for the Easter season and following months of 2018.

1 Apr. Ps 114. First up is a challenge. Nothing in my fairly extensive online Dropbox library, nothing in TiS, NCH asks us to tremble before God, TEP asks us “What alarmed you that you fled?” What a choice! PFAS has the best bet with a South African refrain ‘Freedom is coming’. Verses will run to a tone similar to the tune.

Psalm 133 in the Vespasian Psalter; British Library

8 Apr. Ps 133. Spanish swing reigns here with PFAS 133D, Miren que buono (O look in wonder) in the limelight. Fun.

15 Apr. Ps 4. Tempted to use TiS 2 with its easy refrain, but the Gelineau verse setting fails to grab me. NCH has interesting words and harmonies ahead of close competition from PFAS 4A, the sole offering in this source. A nice Malawian call-and-response appears in PFAS 4A alt but we use a home-grown tune.

22 Apr, Ps 23. Paul Kelly’s Meet me in the middle of the air, with young women’s voices.

29 Apr. Ps 22:25-31. This is not Good Friday with its wounded call of “Why have you forsaken me?” (v.1); it’s a different selection. TiS 727 ‘In the presence of your people’ is a suitable choice;  the verses could be sung to a tone, such as a descending chant on the same chords.

6 May Ps 98. ‘Sing a new song’ was the beginnings of the short refrain that became known locally, at least by the author, as the South Woden Communion Chant. It’s easy to refit with chosen words from the selected psalm of the (communion) day.

TiS 166 is also a well-known fall-back option.

Psalm 1, Beatus vir, in the Bedford psalter MS 42131 British Library.

13 May Ps 1. I cannot recall singing TiS 1, which is a Thai melody. We should do it. Also a Genevan duet available for anyone who wishes, preferably a sight-reader.

20 May Ps 104:24-35. Sticking with TiS, try 65 ‘Send forth your Spirit’, with its theme of renewal — and a sub-text of conservation? TEP also has a lively little number.

27 May Ps 29; PFAS 29D suits; but TiS 17 is by Willcock — safe hands, although it omits a few verses.

3 Jun. Ps 139:1-6, 13-18; Bruce’s rendition of Search me O God by Michael Card has always been well placed and well received. However, we felt it should not be overexposed, so turn to the NCH refrain, with verses sung to a simple tone.

10 Jun. Ps 138PFAS responsorial 138B has reasonable chords but that’s about the extent of its merit, for me at least. I quite like TiS 86 but would prefer the verses sung rather than spoken. TEP refrain is also a good choice.

17 Jun. Ps 20; A cantor’s word-sheet on Dropbox reminds me we have done PFAS 20B sometime. Simple chants throughout. For a more upbeat message about the futility of warfare, go for TEP‘s ‘Some take pride in horses’.

24 Jun. Ps 9:9-20. Anything Latino catches my eye; in this case it’s the Paraguayan tune in PFAS 9A. Pick a tone for verses.


Crystal ball, Feb-March 2018

Crystal ball, by J Waterhouse. Image Wikimedia commons

This ‘sticky’ post is intended for South Woden readers. Scroll down for weekly blog posts.

Subject to the choices of worship leaders, here are ideas for the opening months of 2018.

21 Jan, Ps 62. As explained in the recent post for this week, TiS 33 offers a nice refrain “Rest in God alone”, with verses sung to a double tone. Excellent potential for four-part harmony if singers are available.

28 Jan, Ps 111. Our choice is adapted from a Marty Haugen refrain, with tone for the verses from New Century Hymnal — unashamedly replacing “the fear of God …” with: “To honour God is the beginning of wisdom”.

4 Feb, Ps 147. TiS 92 has not been sung at SWUC for some time, it seems; so, encouraged by the fact that it’s from the safe hands of John Bell, we should do it.

11 Feb, Ps 50. Psalms for All Season 50B(alt) or 50C seem to win the vote here — but subject to the plan from the Carers who lead today. Your webmaster / cantor will be absent on this occasion.

18 Feb, Ps 25 (Lent). Either (i) TiS 1, safe hands again, this time Christopher Willcock; or, if singers are available (ii) a little swinging number on descending chords Dm, CΔ, Bb, A7.

25 Feb, Ps 22. A young women’s group will lead us in TiS 727 with variations, In the presence of your people.

Psalm 51
Detail of voice entries to Psalm 51:20 by Lassus

4 Mar, Ps 19. TiS 7 is another somewhat neglected setting. Such neglect has been in a good cause, however; International Women’s Day which lands about this date has been duly and appropriately recognised with songs by women such as the inimitable Hildegard von Bingen.

11 Mar, Ps 107. Trying again for a three-part refrain by Everett from The Emergent Psalter. We need leaders for the three parts.

18 Mar Ps 51 (or 119). The Lassus setting of this much-used and central Penitential Psalm is probably beyond our reach. (Similarly a setting by Gabrieli — but note! This one will be performed by the Oriana Chorale together with other Penitentials on 20 May. Be there!) The choice at SW is one of the many included in PFAS.

25 Mar, Ps 118 and 31. Our young women’s group takes us back to Paul Stookey’s Building Block, assisted by stalwarts Brian and Bette.

* * * * *

Crystal Ball Advent 2017

Crystal ball, by J Waterhouse. Image Wikimedia commons

This ‘sticky’ post is intended for South Woden readers. Scroll down for weekly blog posts.

Subject to the choices of worship leaders, what is in store?

  • 12 Nov. Psalm 78. Listen to my teaching; see the post for this psalm published recently. Chorus meet early Sunday.
  • 19 Nov. PFAS 123A suggested – draw a copy of the blue book from the SWUC library. Webmaster is away this week and next; (Stephen leads)
  • 26 Nov. Psalm 100 (Bruce leads)
    • The Old 100th is the traditional approach, TiS59;
    • however the next song in TiS 60, for which sung verses are in the TiS music edition, is preferred.
    • There are many, many choices in the mix of cultural tastes in PFAS 100A to H in our library.
    • Some of the SATB setting by Josquin des Prez would be inspirational if singers are available. We sang it three yers ago!
  • 3 Dec. Advent begins with Psalm 80. PFAS 80A ‘Restore us again’ with word-sheet on Dropbox library would fill the bill nicely again. Verse singers volunteer please.
  • 10 Dec. Go direct to Psalm 85 and the SWUC Communion chant, adapted.
  • 17 Dec. We omit Psalm 126 in favour of a carols and readings service which appropriately includes the Magnificat, led by women and young people. Ladies please note the date.
  • 24 Dec. The Magnificat is the Lectionary song on this date. So;
    • repeat it, or
    • take up Psalm 126 from last week
    • Ps 89 is also set, for which TiS 46 by Christopher Willcock is the choice.
    • We’ll try for a male voice rendition of another Slavonic Orthodox chant, Psalm 126. Men, note the date.

[Note: No. We are going for Ps 98, Sing a new song! – Ed.]

  • The geese are getting fat. More anon…

Singers are needed on many occasions. Rehearsals are @5:00pm on the Saturday before, as usual.

Crystal Ball; Oct ’17 and Advent.

Crystal ball, by J Waterhouse. Image Wikimedia commons

This ‘sticky’ post is intended for South Woden readers.

Scroll down for an important notice at the end of this post.

The year has flown and the Crystal Ball tells me that October is nearly here, which means Year B is coming down the track. So, subject to the choices of worship leaders, what is in store?

  • 1 Oct. We start with Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, and TiS41. As we did on 10 Sep, all sing as a congregational antiphonal; the two sides sing alternating lines.
  • 8 Oct. Psalm 19 (‘Let the words of my mouth‘) comes up. TiS 7 is nice with a double tone. But habit prevails; we return to By the rivers of Babylon. Two verse cantors required.
  • 15 Oct. Psalm 106. A soloist leads us in PFAS 106A.
  • 22 OctPsalm 99:4 ‘O mighty God, lover of justice; it was you who created equity’  is the ‘long pole in the tent’ celebrating justice in the Psalter. It’s also the SWUC 50th anniversary. Party! Everett’s refrain in TEP is a good one but, since there are no verse tunes, we follow a local composition on that key verse 4.
  • 29 OctPsalm 90. The old favourite hymn O God our help in ages past, found at Together in Song 47 is an easy solution. The male voice quartet version of an Orthodox Slavonian chant is held over to next week.
  • 5 Nov. See above – an Orthodox chant. Could also to reprise the Psalm 107 setting in PFAS 107C (also in TEP) for three parts. It’s fun.
  • 12 Nov. Psalm 78. Maybe TiS 636, or revisit TiS 41 from 1 Oct.
  • 19 Nov. PFAS 123A suggested. Webmaster is away this week; leader required
  • 26 Nov. Old 100th, perhaps in TiS. Some of the SATB setting by Josquin des Prez if singers are available.
  • 3 Dec. Advent begins with Psalm 80. PFAS 80A would fill the bill.
  • 10 Dec. Go direct to Psalm 85 and the SWUC Communion chant, adapted.

Singers are needed on many occasions in October; we will recruit singers for Nov/Dec a little later. Rehearsals are @5:00pm on the Saturday before, as usual. Besides a chorus for refrains, we need:

  • Cantors for verses on 8, 15, 22 Oct. (REGISTER BELOW PLEASE)
  • All on deck for Anniversary 22 Oct.
  • Male voice group 22 and 29 Oct.

Crystal ball Aug-Sep 2017

Crystal ball, by J Waterhouse. Image Wikimedia commons

This ‘sticky’ post is for the information of South Woden readers.

Warm the cold weather with a tuneful and harmonious setting of the chosen psalm on coming Sundays. Subject to the decisions of the worship leader of the day, here’s Plan A:

  • 6 Aug: We are going with the alternative reading, Psalm 145. While we have a local composition available, our choice at SW will be the refrain in New Century Hymnal, with nice chord progressions and the opportunity for singers to add harmony. 
  • 13 Aug. A men’s quintet introduced my setting for 105 in fine form last week. We enjoy this same song and the same capable singers on 13 Aug, with a slightly different selection of verses. It comes up again on 3 and 24 Sep.
  • 20 Aug. Psalm 133 is one of those short and sweet songs of ascent. “How good it is when people live together in peace!” We turn to PFAS for a Spanish song (Miren que bono) that just begs us to move to the rhythm.
  • 27 Aug. Psalm 124. Most books use verse 1, ‘My help is in the name of God’, as a refrain. This is very suitable but present plan is to follow previous practice and sing ‘Guide my feet while I walk this path‘ to capture the idea of the psalm.
  • 3 Sep. Reprise of Psalm 105 by our male voices.
  • 10 Sep. The Psalm 149 in our book, TiS 95, is an opportunity for a traditional antiphonal approach, alternating phrases sung by sections of the congregation.
  • 17 Sep. PFAS 114C is attractive. However, in deference to the Resonants’ concert on Saturday evening, the requisite rehearsal time is problematical. Instead we turn to a home-grown paraphrase on the theme of our responsibility for the environment. Tune of the refrain will be taken from TiS 65. Singers welcome to meet Sunday morning early.
  • 24 Sep. You won’t believe it, but 105 pops up again. Thanks to the enthusiastic gentlemen presenting Psalm 105 (four times!) in those rich a cappella harmonies.