Normally, choir directors tell me that when they attend a reading session, they feel lucky to find one usable piece of music. It’s a gold mine when they find two usable pieces from a session.

After the MusicSpoke reading session at the National ACDA convention, two directors came up to me. One said, “I could easily use any piece on this reading session to great success with my group. Every piece is good.” Another came to the booth later and said, “That was easily the strongest reading session I’ve attended.”

I had the same reply for both of them. “Do you want to know why our reading session was so strong? I didn’t pick any of the music. We put the power back in the hands of our composers and asked them what pieces they would like on the reading session.”

A great deal of the success of the session was also because of the masterful job my friend Pete Eklund did in leading it. He got us through a lot of music very efficiently. He helped the readers through more difficult rhythmic passages. He said something interesting about each piece, and he acknowledged all of the composers. I couldn’t have asked for a more professional and outstanding job. Many thanks, Pete!

My favorite part was just reading through the music of such fine composers together. Dale Trumbore and I even played a little impromptu piano duet on Winged Lullaby, and I haven’t been able to get the tune out of my head since.

Here is a list of the pieces and links to performances on MusicSpoke. Please go check out the music and use it for your choirs.

Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One – Joseph G. Stephens

A Cradle Hymn – David von Kampen

Sky Flier – Josh Rist

Requiescat – Andrea Ramsey

Esa Einai – Kurt Knecht

Winged Lullaby – Dale Trumbore

Lux Aeterna – Saunder Choi

O Vos Omnes – Connor J. Koppin

Stars Over Snow – Timothy Tharaldson

Discovery – Christina Whitten Thomas

Stay – Garrett Hope

I Shall Return – Andrew Marshall

Sicut Cervus – David V. Montoya

Be Thou My Vision – Tinsley Silcox

Holy Mountain – Kile Smith

The Suffering Servant – Ryan Keebaugh

Kyrie – Nick Dahlquist

The Snow I Hated – Jordan Nelson

The Holly and the Ivy – Jason Horner