Over the last few years, since arriving at my church in the summer of 2014, I’ve been enjoying leading worship every Sunday morning alongside a wonderful choir whose legacy stretches back many decades. My colleague Andrew Cote and I have been committed to a true partnership and convergence of musical styles, old and new, traditional and modern, choir and band, all together in one unified expression.
To that end, we’ve been on the lookout for anthems that work well for modern choirs and bands to present together. We still use a significant amount of choir-only anthems, dating back several centuries, but we also use a significant amount of anthems designed for choir and band. Below is a long list of those kinds of anthems that we’ve enjoyed using once or twice, or are thinking about using in the future.
First up are anthems/arrangements by my good friend Joshua Spacht.
Nkosi Jesu (purchase here)
This one is really fun. And really hard. A great anthem (in Zulu) for adult choirs, kids choir, and percussion. Our church loved this one.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BlNRUnjD8U
In the Beginning (purchase here, as part of Joshua Spacht’s Fantasia Noel II project)
This is one my favorite anthems of all time. A masterpiece.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K4ASclpfF8
O Come Medley (purchase here, as part of Joshua Spacht’s Fantasia Noel project)
Beautiful medley of Advent hymns.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing (purchase here, as part of Joshua Spacht’s Fantasia Noel project)
Little Town (purchase here, as part of Joshua Spacht’s Fantasia Noel project)
Only Joshua Spacht could take this text and put it to this kind of musical arrangement. It works! We’re doing this on Christmas Eve this year.
Next up are anthems from a variety of authors, with arrangements by my friend Trey Tanner at Mt. Paran Church of God in Atlanta. If you’d like to explore purchasing any of these arrangements/orchestrations by Trey, let me know in the comments and I’ll connect you with him.
Oh my goodness this anthem is ridiculous.
This one is super fun.
This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it. We did this on Easter in 2017 and I still get comments about it. Really powerful when/if you can pull it off.
God, Great God
Fun call to worship or mid-service anthem for choir and band.
This is Trey’s arrangement of this Prestonwood anthem, and I love it.
The following anthems were arranged by Bradley Knight.
Jesus Brought Me Out (i.e. Now I’m On My Way) (purchase here, as part of Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s “I Am Reminded Project. When/if it becomes available as a stand-alone piece, I’ll update the post)
This is such a great, fun, joy-filled anthem.
Psalm 34 (purchase here, as part of Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s “I Am Reminded Project. When/if it becomes available as a stand-alone piece, I’ll update the post)
We haven’t used this yet, but I’ve heard many churches already incorporating it. Very well done.
Psalm 23 (purchase here, as part of Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s “I Am Reminded Project. When/if it becomes available as a stand-alone piece, I’ll update the post)
Another great setting of a Psalm for band a choir. Not easy! We haven’t used it yet, but I love it.
He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need (purchase here)
Bradley Knight outdoes himself on this one.
Praise His Holy Name (purchase here)
Our choir has grabbed onto this anthem well, and with piano/organ accompaniment, it really soars towards the end.
Thou Oh Lord (purchase here)
This is another one of my favorites. Our people have loved it.
Sold Out (purchase here)
Super fun gospel anthem.
The Cross Medley (purchase here)
We haven’t used this one at my church yet, but I love this medley of cross-centered hymns. Would be great for Holy Week and/or Good Friday.
Holy (Sanctus) (purchase here)
Another one we haven’t used, but it’s an anthem that shows how it’s possible to have a choir sound like a choir, and a band sound like a band, and to have it work when you put those pieces together.
You Are Worthy (purchase here)
We haven’t used this one yet – and it will be a fun challenge when we do – but I love this convergence of choir and band, with a great text!
We’ve also enjoyed these anthems out of Prestonwood Church in Plano, Texas:
Let the Redeemed (purchase here)
All the Praise (available for purchase as part of Prestonwood’s “Horizon” project. If/when this song becomes available as an individual purchase, I’ll update the post)
Psalm 103 (also available for purchase as part of Prestonwood’s “Horizon” project. If/when this song becomes available as an individual purchase, I’ll update the post)
And finally, here are anthems from various sources that we’re either planning on using in the coming year, or have used and enjoyed.
Is He Worthy (purchase here – I recommend the Brentwood Benson arrangement)
I’ve been listening to Andrew Peterson for his whole career – and I think this is his best song yet. Absolutely stunning. We will use this on the fourth Sunday of Advent this year.
A great call to worship. Easy for choir, fun for band, and a great way to start a service.
How Excellent (to purchase this Bradley Knight arrangement, I recommend going to www.davidbscott.com and using the “contact us” link. That’s what we did!)
I saved one of the best for last. This is an absolutely amazing anthem for choir and band, and I love the spoken word portions at the end as well.