This Month's Newsletter

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Pastor Bruce Benson, along with a listing of music selections for each program and the corresponding scripture readings. If you'd like to receive a complimentary subscription, fill out our online request form for either the print newsletter or the electronic newsletter.

The Sing For Joy Newsletter: October 2016 / Year C
Bruce Benson Host Photo
by Pastor Bruce Benson, host

"Thus the conversation goes on: Bible story, composer, performer and our own hearts and minds, all in conversation together."                                        

Back-to-school season for me this year means just what it says. I’m not observing all the energetic comings and goings from the sidelines of retirement this time; I’m in the thick of it again. Watching from the sidelines has not been bad, I admit, but now I have been (willingly) pressed into part-time service as an instructor in St. Olaf College’s Great Conversation program. It’s a “great books” curriculum that begins with the Hebrew Bible and the literature of the ancient Greeks, continues with the New Testament and Roman literature, and journeys on through the various historical periods of Western culture. I’ve taught in the program before, and look forward to doing so again.

The name of this program — Great Conversation — is interesting to me not so much for the word “great” as for the word “conversation.” The whole idea is that students are more than mere spectators of great works in Western civilization and are invited to enter into conversation with those works, which are themselves in conversation with each other. Students do this in conversation with one another and their teachers as well. When it works, and it has worked very well at St. Olaf for 35 years, it is indeed a great conversation.

I think something like this has always been the spirit of Sing For Joy too. Over the course of weeks and seasons in the life of the Church, there is a great musical and theological conversation going on, and the way each of us listens can truly feel, at least some of the time, like we are participating in this conversation. We are engaged. Each program happens because composers sit down with Bible stories, psalms or other religious texts, and enter into creative, musical conversation with what they read. Then, in both rehearsal and performance, conductors and choirs enter into conversation with the works of the composers. And finally, we listen. Thus the conversation goes on: Bible story, composer, performer and our own hearts and minds, all in conversation together. 

Sometimes this conversational aspect of Sing For Joy is especially pronounced. A prime example of that might be when one week’s program features multiple musical compositions based on the same Bible passage. Then it is as if a round table of composers talk to each other about the meaning, mood and message of a biblical text. “I hear it this way,” says one, and we listen. “I appreciate that, but hear also this,” says another; and again we listen. One by one the various composers speak to us musically about their own conversation with the text. This too is a great conversation!

Life itself is very much a conversational experience. And a life of love is even more so. Bible readers are probably not surprised by that. John’s Gospel tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh ...” We should expect to be in for a great conversation.

We at Sing For Joy are pleased to be in this conversation with you, and hope it nourishes you, as good conversation should.

Peace be with you,

Bruce Benson Signature
Pastor Bruce Benson

October 2, 2016

Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 27 (Year C)

(1R) Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
(PS) Psalm 37:1-9
(2R) 2 Timothy 1:1-14
(G) Luke 17:5-10
(FSF) Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

In Thee is Gladness (IN DIR IST FREUDE) Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi / Johann Lindemann, lyricist / Daniel Kallman, arranger / Catherine Winkworth, translator (G)
St. Olaf Cantorei: Northfield, MN / John Ferguson
(CD) Songs of Grateful Praise / ST. OLAF RECORDS / E-2880
© 2006 St. Olaf Records

Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?African American Spiritual / James Miller, arranger (1R)
Musicians of Melodious Accord / Alice Parker
(CD) Spiritual Songs / MUSICAL HERITAGE SOCIETY / MHS 512412K
© 1989 Musical Heritage Society, USA

Messiah: All They That See HimGeorge Frideric Handel (1R)
Toronto Symphony, ensemble / John Aler, tenor / Andrew Davis
(CD) Handel: Messiah / EMI (ANGEL, EMI CLASSICS, EMI RECORDS, LTD) / 49029
© 1987 EMI (Angel, EMI Classics, EMI Records, Ltd)

Messiah: He Trusted in God George Frideric Handel (1R)
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir / Toronto Symphony, ensemble / Andrew Davis
(CD) Handel: Messiah / EMI (ANGEL, EMI CLASSICS, EMI RECORDS, LTD) / 49029
© 1987 EMI (Angel, EMI Classics, EMI Records, Ltd)

This is My Father's World (TERRA BEATA) English Traditional / Rev. Maltbie D. Babcock, lyricist /
Stanley Oliver, arranger
(1R, FSF)
Choir of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church / Ronald S. Jordan, accompanist / Catherine M. Palmer
(CD) The Joy of God / MARQUIS CLASSICS / ERAD 175
© 1996 Marquis Classics

Make Me a Channel of Your PeaceSebastian Temple / St. Francis Assisi, lyricist /
Martin Neary, arranger
Westminster Abbey Choir / Martin Neary
(CD) Favourite Hymns / GRIFFIN / GCCD 4018
© 1997 Griffin

All Creatures of Our God and King (LASST UNS ERFREUEN)Geistliche Kirchengesänge /
St. Francis Assisi, lyricist / John Ferguson, arranger / William H. Draper, translator
St. Olaf Cantorei: Northfield, MN / John Ferguson
(CD) Songs of Grateful Praise / ST. OLAF RECORDS / E-2880
© 2006 St. Olaf Records


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October 9, 2016

Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 28 (Year C)

(1R) 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c
(PS) Psalm 111
(2R) 2 Timothy 2:8-15
(G) Luke 17:11-19

i thank You God for most this amazing dayElliot Z. Levine (PS)
St. Olaf Cantorei: Northfield, MN / James Bobb
(CD) Sing For Joy Archives / ST. OLAF COLLEGE / Not For Resale
© St. Olaf College

Three Songs of Faith: i thank You God for most this amazing day Eric Whitacre (PS, G)
Conspirare: Austin, Texas / Craig Hella Johnson
(CD) Requiem / HARMONIA MUNDI / HMU 807518
© 2009 Harmonia Mundi

Mass No. 2: Kyrie, D. 167Franz Schubert (G)
Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus: Atlanta, GA / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, ensemble / Robert Shaw
(CD) Schubert: Mass No. 2 & Mass No. 6 / TELARC / CD-80212
© 1990 Telarc, Concord Music Group

All People That on Earth Do Dwell (THE OLD HUNDREDTH) Louis Bourgeois / William Kethe, lyricist / Ralph Vaughan Williams, arranger (G)
The Choir of King's College / The Wallace Collection, ensemble / Benjamin Bayl, accompanist /
Stephen Cleobury

(CD) Best Loved Hymns / EMI (ANGEL, EMI CLASSICS, EMI RECORDS, LTD) / 7243 5 57026 2 3
© 2001 EMI (Angel, EMI Classics, EMI Records, Ltd)


“All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing:
alleluia, alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam,
and shining moon with silver gleam,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!”

-St. Francis of Assisi

October 16, 2016

Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 29 (Year C)

(1R) Genesis 32:22-31
(PS) Psalm 121
(2R) 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
(G) Luke 18:1-8

Standin' in the Need of PrayerAfrican American Spiritual / Daniel Kallman, arranger (G)
Eastern Mennonite High School Chamber Choir: Harrisonburg, VA / Jay E. Hartzler
(CD) Praise His Holy Name / EMHS / EMHS0003
© 2000 EMHS

Come, Ye Disconsolate (CONSOLATOR)Samuel Webbe / Thomas Hastings, lyricist /
Thomas Moore, lyricist / Terre Johnson, arranger
The St. Olaf Choir: Northfield, MN / Anton Armstrong
(CD) Great Hymns of Faith: Volume III / ST. OLAF RECORDS / E-3386
© 2011 St. Olaf Records

Hear My Prayer (Excerpt)Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (G)
The Rosebery Chorus / Gavin Moralee, soloist / Jeremy Barham, accompanist / William McVicker
(CD) Hear My Prayer / IMP CLASSICS / PCD 1047
© 1993 IMP Classics, Pickwick Group, Ltd., England

Psalm 121: Leavi oculosGary Davison (PS)
Cathedra: Washington, D.C. / Michael McCarthy
(CD) New American Choral Music Series: Gary Davison / GOTHIC / G-49289
© 2015 Gothic, Gothic Records, Inc.

Psalm 121 Philip Stopford (PS)
The Ecclesium Choir: Belfast, Northern Ireland / Philip Stopford
(CD) Creation / PRIORY RECORDS, LTD. / PRCD 891
© 2007 Priory Records, Ltd.

Elijah: Lift Thine Eyes, Op. 70Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (PS)
Massed Choirs of St. Olaf College: Northfield, MN / Sigrid Johnson
(CD) Heaven and Earth, Awake and Sing / ST. OLAF RECORDS / E-3504/05
© 2013 St. Olaf Records


I lift up my eyes to the hills —
    from where will my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

-Psalm 121

October 23, 2016

Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 30 (Year C)

(1R) Sirach 35:12-17 (or Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22)
(PS) Psalm 84:1-7
(2R) 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
(G) Luke 18:9-14

King Jesus Is A-Listenin' African American Spiritual / William L. Dawson, arranger (G)
Cantus: Minneapolis, MN
(CD) Deep River / CANTUS RECORDINGS / CTS-1203
© 2003 Cantus Recordings

De profundis (Excerpt) John Muehleisen (1R, G)
Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble: Seattle, WA / Loren Pontén
(CD) From Captivity to the Holy City / LOFT / LRCD 1032
© 2000 Loft, Loft Recordings, LLC

O How Amiable Are Thy DwellingsJeffrey Smith (PS)
The Girls' Choir of Christ Church Cathedral: Lexington, KY / Schuyler Robinson, accompanist /
John Cummins

(CD) Our Heart's Desire / PRO ORGANO / CD 7056
© 1999 Pro Organo

Ein Deutsches Requiem: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (How Lovely are thy Dwellings), Op. 45Johannes Brahms (PS)
Atlanta Symphony Chorus: Atlanta, GA / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, ensemble / Robert Shaw
(CD) Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / TELARC / CD-80092
© 1984 Telarc, Concord Music Group

O How Amiable (ST. ANNE)Ralph Vaughan Williams (PS)
Elora Festival Singers: Elora, Ontario, Canada / Noel Edison
(CD) Vaughan Williams: Mass in G Minor / NAXOS / 8.554826
© 2001 Naxos, Naxos of America, Inc.


“Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!”
-Martin Luther

October 30, 2016

Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 31 (Year C)

(1R) Isaiah 1:10-18
(PS) Psalm 32:1-7
(2R) 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
(G) Luke 19:1-10
(R) Reformation Sunday

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (EIN FESTE BURG) Martin Luther / Martin Luther, lyricist /
John Ferguson, arranger / Lutheran Book of Worship, translator
St. Olaf Cantorei: Northfield, MN / John Ferguson, accompanist / Allison Hall, trumpet / John Ferguson
(CD) Saint Cecilia Organ Festival, Volume III / SCHOLA CANTORUM RECORDINGS / SCR 0303
© 2003 Schola Cantorum Recordings

Psalm 46Martin Luther (R)
The Choir of Winchester Cathedral / David Dunnett, accompanist / David Hill
(CD) Hymns and Psalms from Winchester / HERALD AV PRODUCTIONS / HAVPCD 185
© 1995 Herald AV Productions

A Present Help in Trouble Zach Westermeyer (PS, R)
The St. Olaf Choir: Northfield, MN / Anton Armstrong
(CD) Sing For Joy Archives / ST. OLAF COLLEGE / Not For Resale
© St. Olaf College

Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior (PASS ME NOT) William H. Doane / Fanny J. Crosby, lyricist (G)
St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys: New York, NY / William Self
(CD) The Essential Leontyne Price: Spirituals, Hymns, & Sacred Songs / RCA VICTOR / 09026-68157-2
© 1997 RCA Victor, New York, NY

The Church's One Foundation (AURELIA) Samuel Sebastian Wesley / Samuel J. Stone, lyricist /
John Ferguson, arranger
The St. Olaf Choir: Northfield, MN / John Ferguson, accompanist / Anton Armstrong
(CD) Great Hymns of Faith: Volume II / ST. OLAF RECORDS / E-2651
© 2004 St. Olaf Records


Sing For Joy is back by popular demand on WSCL 89.5 FM out of Salisbury, Maryland, Sundays at 6 a.m.

WKLK 1230 AM in Cloquet, Minnesota has switched their broadcast time to Sundays at 7:30 a.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day.


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In Memory Of:

my husband, Melvin Abel
my best friend and companion, J. Robb Bartlett, who passed away on August 2, 2016
Maureen Harrington Delamar
Reginald Evans (alum)
Laura Kohlman
Reverend Dr. Alvin Rueter
Michael S.

In Honor Of:

Miss Judy Hanlen
Rev. Jay Parkins

Sing For Joy® is sponsored by:

Sing For Joy Sponsor Logos

Sukup Manufacturing Co., St. Olaf College and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)