For Mixed Voices, A Cappella

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In a "fa-sol-la" style, this setting of the folk hymn tune HOLY MANNA features gender-derived treatment of text for both brothers and sisters. It first appeared in 1825 in William Moore's Columbian Harmony and has been included in more than 200 hymnals since.

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Here is a setting of ALL IS WELL that provides a fine text for All Saints or general use. It closely follows the hymn setting with variations that create special interest for singers and listeners.

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David Seitz said of this piece, "My father was in his final weeks when I asked him to name several of his favorite hymns. His titles included two hymns about the Holy Spirit. I chose a third one on the same theme and arranged them into this sequence. A small group from my Camerata choir recorded these, and Dad heard what he and I had created. The audio included here was then played at his funeral."

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This medley of the hymns “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”, “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow”, and “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” centers on the theme of Christian discipleship. Choirs will find the hymn settings close to the original but with attractive variations and connecting passages. A shaped note edition is available as No. 196a.

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The writing of this music was influenced by groupings of twos and threes found in the speech-like flow of chant. Much of the piece is unison with dialogue between women's and men's voices. Harmony breaks out but recedes to a unison feel for a quiet ending.

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The same triumphant setting of "The Lord Is King, O praise his name!" is sung at the opening and closing of this beloved hymn coming from the Russian Mennonite tradition. In between are two stanzas sung in the original German, simple four-part hymn stanzas, a duet for soprano and baritone, exchange between women's and men's voices, and a glorious descant.

This arrangement was written for the 2005 dedication weekend of the new pipe organ in the Rieth Recital Hall at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. The recording is from a concert given on that occasion by St. Joseph Valley Camerata.

Esther Bergen (1921–2005), of Russian Mennonite heritage in Manitoba, translated The Lord Is King from the German hymnal Gesangbuch of 1955. The original text is by nobleman Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf (1700–1760) who was also a Lutheran minister, a Moravian leader, missionary, avid ecumenist, and author of hundreds of hymns.

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The Master's Touch

(SSATBB a cappella)

No. 082a

The music is original and was written for a text by the prominent nineteenth century Scottish hymn writer Horatius Bonar. David said, "I was especially drawn to the metaphors of the arts of music and sculpture he used. As a bridge I added the art of pottery with 'Have Your Own Way, Lord' employed by Adelaide Pollard in her hymn." For an accompanied version, please look in For Mixed Voices, Accompanied.

Don't miss the video of the Camerata Press Chorale recording this piece!

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In 1995 I was asked to prepare a group for a summer Sunday at First United Methodist Church of Mishawaka, Indiana. My wife Christine had been the organist there since 1987, and my tenure as director of music began in 1999. 

Now to You, Our God was written in '95 for that octet. With the usual short rehearsal time and with Christine, one of the best accompanists anywhere, we sang with support from the Austin pipe organ at FUM. The score has a note explaining possible accompanied or a cappella ways to present the piece. I invite you to listen to both versions. 

This text ends the Epistle of Jude. It is a doxology, i.e., a short hymn of praise to God that in Christian worship often comes at the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns. Jude's epistle concludes with "Amen". Likewise, extensive "amens" end this piece, making it suitable as a benediction for the close of worship.

As with other of my pieces, Now to You, Our God has undergone changes over the years, most of them in preparation for posting on the all-new cameratapress.com. 

–David A. Seitz, August, 2019 

keyboard level 2.5 ♦ accompanied voice parts 3.5 ♦ a cappella 4 

Now to You, Our God

No. 077

(accompanied or a cappella)


Written by the composer as an introit for his college touring choir, this piece employs call and response technique between the men and women. After a middle section with a brief solo for each voice part, this setting of Psalm 95 builds to a dramatic peak before ending quietly on the words "We are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."

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This recent arrangement of the American folk hymn is the SATB version of the men's arrangement that has been quite popular for years. It is very lively using textures ranging from unison to contrapuntal. The "we'll rejoice" ending is truly a climactic statement of confident faith.

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The SSATBB passages add a lush texture, while "the trumpet sounds" is brassy and dramatic. The original added stanza, "My Lord calls me when storms have ended. His still small voice whispers in-a my soul" adds a tranquility.

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This morning hymn by Harriet Beecher Stowe is set to a melody drawn from one of Felix Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words. In this arrangement stanzas one and four use the standard hymn setting. Stanza two is for TTBB, and the third stanza is for soprano solo with a quiet SATBB accompaniment.

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Three Classic Hymns

(published separately)

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go - No. 109a

Lead, Kindly Light - No. 109b

Jesus, Lover of My Soul - No. 109c

This trilogy lies at the core of the arranger's efforts to shine light on time-honored hymns. They exhibit the hallmarks of his style and are among the personal favorites of his works. Directors and singers will find them well worth their efforts.

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Three Hymns for Choirs

(available together or separately)

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need - No. 185a

Be Thou My Vision - No. 185b

For God So Loved Us (Gott ist die Liebe) - No. 185c

"These were written the year my college choir doubled as the Mennonite Hour Singers," David wrote, "and they were included on the album Hymns for a Crowded World. They are lightly arranged to retain their hymn-like quality." Many choirs will find these readily accessible.

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need is an American folk hymn. The arrangement includes a stanza for baritone and tenor duet.

Be Thou My Vision is simply arranged, alternating unison and 2-part passages with those using the standard harmonization. Contrast of dynamics and tempo are key components.

For God So Loved Us (Gott ist die Liebe) has been cherished by Mennonites for generations. This setting includes singing in both German and English.

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Two Hymns on Christian Love

(available together or separately)

In Christ There Is No East or West - No. 186a

Oh Brother Man - No. 186b

In Christ There Is No East or West
Alexander Reinagle's text of 1836 feels modern. Stanzas 1 and 4 are the standard hymn harmonization; stanza 2 is for three-part women and stanza 3 four-part men. There is a brief introduction and coda.

Oh Brother Man has a beautiful text by John Greenleaf Whittier. There are alternate words for those sensitive to male nouns and pronouns. The tune INTERCESSOR by C.H.H. Parry is an English classic.

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This classic spiritual has been given a uniquely poignant setting. It ends with the soulful answer added by the arranger: "Oh yes, we were there."

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Unison, standard harmonization, melody in different voices, imitative entrances, and other counterpoint are techniques used in this appealing but little-known hymn. The text by Isaac Watts is about the changing seasons.

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