AcWriMo 8 & #10eleven12: Leyton DCM

I completed this on Saturday, 10th November as my contribution to 10eleven12 but didn't get a chance to transcribe it and upload it until today. Words by Thomas Thurman: Elijah thought he stood alone; you spoke of his mistake, but took no form throughout the storm nor showed within the quake. O Lord, whose peaceful whispering within the silence stirred give now to those who bear your name an ear...

AcWriMo 7: Old Street CM

I like these words by Isaac Watts, but the only sung version of them I know is a bit difficult for congregational singing. You can hear it about 33 seconds into my Easter Journeys contribution from spring 2012: Now, I'm sure there are other tunes. "Martyrdom" is certainly used sometimes, but that is now so closely associated with "As pants the hart for cooling streams" that it feels a bit odd....

AcWriMo 6: Domine, fac me servum pacis tuae CM

I'm pleased with this one. Some months ago I asked a few friends if any of them would like to write a metrical version of the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, as I've long been mildly dissatisfied with "Make me a channel of your peace". Alex Roberts obliged with this lovely Common Metre version: Make me an instrument of peace, To do your bidding, Lord. With love let me bid hatred cease, And bring...

AcWriMo 5: Cholsey

This one is to words by Ally Barrett, written for the closing ceremony of a supervision course for ministers. Be present, Lord, among us here, And speak to drive away our fear, And as a stranger seeking rest Be with us now as host and guest. Our mind and spirit, flesh and bone, Our past and present, things to come: To you, O Lord, we now present – We gladly spend, are gladly spent. Our...

AcWriMo 4: Milley 87 87 D

This one is to some words by Kit Smart: Where is this stupendous stranger? Gentle shepherd now, advise. Lead me to my Master's manger, show me where my Savior lies. O Most Mighty! O Most Holy! Far beyond the seraph's thought, art thou then so weak and lowly as unheeded prophets taught? O the magnitude of meekness! Worth from worth immortal sprung; O the strength of infant weakness, if eternal is...

AcWriMo 3: “Farringdon”

Here's the third tune, to this text by Alex Klages: Behold your King is coming! So prophets spoke of old, The blessèd birth foretelling As ages did unfold, The Lord of all creation, His perfect promise made; To bring the world salvation His plans, in order, laid. Behold your King is coming! So sang the joyous throng! As Jesus, lowly, riding A donkey heard the song. The greater son of David Into...

AcWriMo 2: “Harringey”

I asked Doug Chaplin if he had any hymn texts suitable for AcWriMo, and he sent me this text, saying it's not quite finished but I'm welcome to have a go: From the Jordan to the desert, from the crowd to barren place, Spirit-driven, Satan-tempted, Lord, you sought the Father’s grace: show us now your pow’r, in weakness, presence in the empty space. Out of Egypt with God’s people, freedom...

AcWriMo 1: “Mile End”, a metrical setting of the Benedicite

I'm not doing too badly with AcWriMo so far: I've written five tunes, and harmonised, er, some of them. Here's the first. The words are Chris Upton's metrical setting of the Benedicite, originally written with plainchant in mind. I hope that this setting will be more accessible for congregational singing, particularly where plainchant is unfamiliar. Many of the 11 11 11 5 tunes available are...

So why does a poor East London church need a pipe organ, anyway?

At St Andrew's Leytonstone we're hosting a hymnathon this weekend, to raise money for the repair of our pipe organ. Fundraising is going well, but there have been some questions. In this time of austerity, unemployment and recession, what are we doing raising money to pay for the repair of an instrument a century old? Can't we just get an electric organ, and spend the money on more useful things,...

Transfiguration

One of the challenges of my job is finding music appropriate for our small choir at St Andrew's. The Anglican choral tradition is wonderful and beautiful and has a tendency to assume you have altos, tenors, basses and a positive horde of boy sopranos at your disposal. The reality is a bit different, and attempting the music of a large, well-stocked cathedral when we are a tiny parish with an...