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Music of the Month: Light Divine: Three Pentecost Hymn Settings for Organ

This year, the Church celebrates the Day of Pentecost on May 23, marking the end of the season of Easter. The word “Pentecost” literally means “fifty,” as it falls fifty days after Easter Day.

On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and given the ability to speak in many languages, which they used to spread the Gospel to all people and cultures. The Day of Pentecost marks the beginning of the “Time of the Church” in the Church Year—that half of the Church Year where the paraments in the sanctuary remain green and God’s people hear, in more detail, about the works and ministry of Jesus.

Music of the Month: Notes of Gladness

This collection by Benjamin Kolodziej features Easter organ settings of moderate difficulty. Each employs various musical textures to convey the spirit of the hymn texts to the congregation. From meditative and lush treatments of LANCASHIRE and VRUECHTEN to a sprightly trio arrangement of BESANÇON to a setting of DUKE STREET suitable for showcasing a solo trumpet, organists will find these settings invigorating and fun to play.

Music of the Month: Good Friday Suite

Good Friday Suite features four hymns: “O Perfect Life of Love”; “Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle”; “The Royal Banners Forward Go”; and “O Darkest Woe.” The suite may be played from start to finish or each as an individual prelude. The suite is especially useful for a Tre Ore service.

Music of the Month: Cross of Jesus: Six Preludes for Lent

Robert J. Powell has composed a well-crafted and accessible organ collection for Lent, Cross of Jesus: Six Preludes for Lent. This book offers settings that are appropriate to the season, such as “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now,” and “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow.” Each setting offers a series of key and tempo changes. The final setting, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me,” offers a joyful, majestic ending to an otherwise somber piece.

Music of the Month: O Rejoice! 25 Hymn Introductions for Organ

Are you in need of some fresh and innovative music for Sunday morning worship? Bring creative variety to your hymn playing with these artistic hymn introductions for organ. Some of these introductions explore the hymn tune in full, while others use only a portion of the tune. All of them set the tone for the hymn and prepare the congregation to sing.

Music of the Month: Jesus Has Come—Eight Organ Preludes for the Church Year

This collection contains an array of settings that will appeal to organists of all ability levels and sensibilities. The melodies are set in alluring, recognizable ways and are suitable for preludes, voluntaries, and postludes. Matthew Machemer uses a variety of styles: Baroque writing with clean, contrapuntal lines; dramatic settings with lush harmonies; and elegant, understated treatment, useful throughout the Church Year.

Composer of the Month: Charles Ore

Charles Ore is a renowned organist, music teacher, and composer. His storied career spans more than sixty years, and his passion for liturgical music and education is unmatched. Ore’s notable work includes 11 Compositions for Organ and several choral pieces. 

Music of the Month: Three Lenten Chorales for Organ

A set of Lenten chorale preludes based on themes of repentance, Christopher M. Wicks’s settings are composed in variation style and are inspired by Bach’s partitas and the Orgelbüchlein.

Music of the Month: Proclaim! Preludes for Christmas

The Proclaim! series provides organists with substantive service music and hymn harmonizations for the Hymn of the Day, as found in the One-Year and Three-Year Lectionaries of Lutheran Service Book. Since this series features a broad representation of composers, the expression of different composers’ voices provides a variety of artistry and style. With this volume, organists have service music and alternate hymn accompaniments for every Hymn of the Day during Christmas.

Music of the Month: Lord of Our Life

The music of the month is Lord of Our Life, a sturdy partita by Kenneth T. Kosche, which uses the mighty tune ISTE CONFESSOR. The first four movements include “Theme,” “Trio,” “Bicinium,” and “Chorale,” and are interpretations of the first line of each stanza. The partita closes with a bright “Finale.”

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