Remember the Children

Remember the Children


Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: piano and drum
Text: Kyle Pederson

Mama hears you cryin’ as you try to keep it inside,
as you want to wear a brave face to the world.
Mama hears you prayin’ as you say goodnight and lay there,
as you bare your soul to God and seek your place in this world.
Papa hears you playin’ when you think no one’s payin’ attention,
when there is no mention of tears, and you’re free to laugh.
Papa sees you dreamin’ of a new day of freedom
for a new way of being a child in this world.

Explore the hopes and dreams we all share for the youngest in our midst. Remember the Children presents a seamless blend of pop ballad and gospel groove, with both English and Swahili text. Accessible piece for high school or college choirs, arching solo lines for both a male and female singer, and a rockin’ piano and drum accompaniment.

 Commissioned and premiered by Choral Arts Initiative at the CAI Premiere Project Festival in 2018.

 

Featured on the Choral Arts Initiative Series on MusicSpoke.

 


There’s Gonna Be a Homecomin’

There’s Gonna Be a Homecomin’


Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: piano
Text: Kyle Pederson

There’s gonna be a homecomin’
Oh, I’m headin’ home
To the people and the places that I know
Gonna have me a homecomin’
It’s where I wanna be
Where the places and the people all know me

Somewhere that I can be fully free
No front and no façade, where I can just be me

Ain’t no jealousy, ain’t no judgin’ found
Just whole-hearted love, and hope to go around


NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

This piece was inspired by an episode of the television show, Queer Eye (Season 2, Episode 1).  In this episode, a young man had recently come out as gay, and was reluctant to return to his small hometown, understandably nervous that the people he grew up with (and others) would be less than welcoming and affirming.  The show explores how an entire community came together to walk alongside this man (and his mother), surrounding them with love, grace, and acceptance. This was a homecoming in all the best ways—and when the credits began to roll I immediately went to the piano to start noodling. This piece affirms the power of any community (church, school, town) to surround its members with love and be a voice and force for wholeness, reconciliation, and hope.


Since I Laid My Burden Down

Since I Laid My Burden Down


Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: piano
Text: traditional, adapted by Kyle Pederson

Glory hallelujah, since I laid my burden down
I have joy now like a fountain
I have joy deep in my soul
I have joy now like a fountain
Since I laid my burden down.

I have peace now, like a river
I have peace deep in my soul
I have peace now like a river
Since I laid my burden down.


NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Full-on fun, mashing up Glory Hallelujah with the chorus to Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.  Includes an exciting piano accompaniment—with everything building to an epic finish.  Ideal as a concert closer.


Exsultate, Jubilate!

Exsultate, Jubilate!


Voicing:
Arrangement for SATB
Arrangement for SSAA

Accompaniment: piano
Text: Kyle Pederson

Exsultate, jubilate!   Exsultate Deo, omnis terra!   (Rejoice and shout to God, all the land!)
For the gift of breath in our lungs,
For waking our spirit when morning comes;
For your light which illumines our night,
For shaking the darkness away with your Son;
Give us voice the skies may sound,
And give us voice to shake the ground; Alleluias fill the air, for joy has chased away despair.
Shouts of joy now shape our prayer.

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Lively and rhythmic, with a mix of English and Latin text.  Appropriate for sacred and secular environments. Arrangements available for SATB and SSAA.


Hands are Knockin’

Hands are Knockin’

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano and Drums
Text:  Kyle Pederson

Text/Translation:

Naftahhu athhanana, Alhamdulillah  
Naftahhu qulubana, Alhamdulillah   
Namuddu aydeeyana, Alhamdulillah

We open our minds, thanks to God (Alleluia)
We open our hearts, thanks to God (Alleluia)
We reach out our hands, thanks to God (Alleluia)

Additional text:

Hands are Knockin’
Brother, will you let them in?
Sister, will you let them in?

Notes: A Blessing of the Hands ceremony prior to the start of the school year proved to be a moving experience bringing to light the incredible power of our hands—hands that can heal, support, comfort, and give, and also hands that can just as easily hurt or push away. It is my hope that this piece might make those who experience it become more deeply committed to using their hands to offer hope and wholeness in the world.

About the piece: Hands are Knockin' was born from a collaborative effort with the Kindred Chamber Choir and their director, Melanie Brink, and staff members of the The American International School of Muscat (TAISM). The piece was commissioned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the school's opening, and was premiered at the 16th annual TAISM Festival of Choirs in the Sultanate of Oman. Because the school and festival are nestled in the heart of the Middle East in Oman, where Arabic is the official language, it seemed appropriate to incorporate several beautiful Arabic phrases throughout. Alhamdulillah is a very common expression in Arabic and, like alleluia, used frequently to verbalize joy or gratitude in many situations. The juxtaposition of English and Arabic text throughout the piece is intended to reinforce the universality of the message—an invitation to all to open our minds, hearts and hands to each other.

Bringers of Noise

Bringers of Noise


Voicing:

*Arrangement for Men’s Chorus (TB)
*Arrangement for Middle Level voices (recording and score coming soon)

Accompaniment: Piano and drum
Text: Kyle Pederson

The Oracle at Draydok murmered these words before falling silent. Faint echoes can still be heard rumbling in the cavernous depths of Mount Olympus herself.

sheevah cheenak kahyee mah zano mway
shando kaizah molvum kya hu saba
kyalah sana hya


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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Notes: Features drumming, narration, vocal percussion, driving piano accompaniment, and a whole lotta awesome. Lends itself to a variety of choreography/story-telling possibilities. Super accessible and entirely unique.

Opening narration:

In the time before time, all was silent. Hushed tones, soft rains, still waters.  Sounds muted. Then WE arrived. We brought the clap of the thunder. We brought the pound of the wave. We exploded the mountain top.  We crushed the ground under the feet of beasts. You hear a blast? We are there. You hear a howl? We are there. You hear a rumble and a roar? We are there.  We are….the Bringers of Noise!


Give me Oil in My Lamp

Give Me Oil in My Lamp


Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano
Text: traditional, adapted by Kyle Pederson

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burnin’
Give me oil in my lamp I pray
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burnin’
Keep me burnin’ ‘til the break of day

And when the oil runs low, come in, Lord, and fill it up high
And when my lamp runs dry, come in, Lord, and fill it with oil

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singin’
Give me joy in my heart, I pray
Give me joy in my heart, keep me singin’
Keep me singin’ ‘til the break of day

And when the joy runs low, come in, Lord, and fill it up high
And when my lamp runs dry, come in, Lord, and fill it with oil

Give me peace in my soul, keep me restin’
Give me peace in my soul I pray
Give me peace in my soul, keep me restin’
Keep me restin’ ‘til the break of day

And when the peace runs low, come in, Lord, and fill it up high
And when my lamp runs dry, come in, Lord, and fill it with oil

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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Notes: This arrangement is a mash-up of two iconic melodies—Give Me Oil In My Lamp and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot—with a rockin’ piano accompaniment.  Pure fun for the choir, accompanist, and audience.


I Need Thee Every Hour

I Need Thee Every Hour


Voicing: SATB with optional solo
Accompaniment: a cappella
Text: Annie Hawks (1835-1918)

I Need thee every hour, most gracious Lord
No tender voice like thine can peace afford.
I need thee every hour, stay thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when thou are nigh

I need thee, oh, I need thee
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now my Savior,
I come to thee.
I need thee every hour, in joy or in pain.
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need thee every hour, most holy one.
Oh make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.

I need thee, oh, I need thee
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now my Savior,
I come to thee. 

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Non-Profit Organizations


Were You There

Were You There

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: piano
Text: traditional

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble.
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

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Non-Profit Organizations

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano and optional cello
Text: Traditional

Text:

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium
Veni, Redemptor omnium
Ut salvas tuos famulos
peccati sibi conscious.
Gaude, Emmanuel.
Nascetur prote Israel, Emmanuel. 

Translation:  

O Come, Desire of Nations
Bind in one the hearts of all mankind,
Bid every strife and quarrel cease,
And fill the world with heaven’s peace
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O, Israel.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lowly exile here;
Until the Son of god appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O, Israel.

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Non-Profit Organizations

NOTES: This arrangement melds the traditional melody, sung in English, with a new chant-like melody, sung in Latin.  

Repeat the Joy

Repeat the Joy

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano
Text: Kyle Pederson

Text:

Let there be joy; sound joy, live joy, repeat the joy!
Put away your sadness,
put away your hate;
Put away the problems that you make that steal your joy. 

Have hope, be peace,
give grace, live love,
and let there be joy.

Repeat your sounding joy; sing it out, give it out, live it out!

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Non-Profit Organizations

NOTES: Commissioned by Beau Chant and premiered at the 2017 MN-ACDA convention, this piece has drive, rhythm, a rockin’ piano accompaniment, and a whole lotta joy. 

I'm Going Home

I'm Going Home

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano
Text:  Kyle Pederson

Text:

There is no mountain whose peaks will brush the sky,
no sweeping valleys unwinding beyond the eye,
no towering white cliffs who pierce the steely sea,
no frosted forest unveiling snow on evergreen;

But there is kindness waiting at the door--eyes wide, I am known.
Faithful friends grant mercies of love,
I am born once more. 

And there's a meadow where shadows rise and fall,
memories were cast--etched in paths worn on the grassy pall;
And there's an old brook who babbles when I near,
whispers of stones thrown while dreaming on an evening clear;

There is kindness waiting at the door--eyes wide, I am known.
Faithful friends grant mercies of love,
I am born once more.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano
Text: W.B. Sandys, adapted by Kyle Pederson

Text:

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ the avior was born on Christmas day;
To save us all from satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray;
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O, tiding of comfort and joy. 

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessed babe was born;
And laid within a manger upon this blessed morn;
Of which his mother did nothing take in scorn.
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O, tiding of comfort and joy. 

God rest all you who seek for life, go seek and ye shall find.
For on this day a savior is born to humankind.
His life he’ll give so you can live where chains no longer bind.
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O, tiding of comfort and joy. 

“Fear not!” said the angel, “Let nothing you affright,
this day is born a savior to Mary, pure and bright!
To free all those who trust in Him from satan’s pow’r and might.”
O, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O, tiding of comfort and joy. 

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Non-Profit Organizations

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano and optional cello and flute
Text: Original lyrics by Horatio Bonar (b.1808)
Additional lyrics by Kyle Pederson

Text:

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
In me your soul will find its peace, in me you draw each breath.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary and so worn;
I found in him a resting place,
where peace and hope are born. 

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold I freely give; 
I am the living water, quench your thirst, come drink and live.” 
I came to Jesus and I drank of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul renewed, and now I live in Him.

Speak now, Spirit. 

I hear the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light; 
look unto me and night will fade,
and all your mornings rise.” 
I come to Jesus and I find in him
my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk
‘til trav’ling days are done. 

I hear the voice of Jesus say, 
“I am life, I am light, I am love;
now come and live.” 

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Non-Profit Organizations

Amen/This is My Father's World

Amen/This is My Father's World

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: Piano and optional flute
Text: 
Amen: additional lyrics by Kyle Pederson
This is My Father's World: lyrics by Maltbie Babcock

Text:

In the morning when I rise,
at the evening’s last light and all through the deep night,
Amen

Through joy and jubilation,
through trial and tribulation,
Let all creation sing,
“Amen.”

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings
and ‘round me rings the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,
He shines in all that’s fair; 
in the rustling grass
I hear him pass,
he speaks to me everywhere. 

This is my Father’s world,
oh let me ne’er forget; 
That though the wrong
seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet. 

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Non-Profit Organizations

Notes:

This mash-up of two popular melodies proclaims that God works for good—in the good, the bad, and the in between, God’s spirit works for healing and wholeness. 

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment: piano and electric guitar
Text: Martin Luther, adapted by Kyle Pederson

Text:

A Mighty Fortress is our God, a refuge never failing. 
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal winds prevailing.
For still our spirit’s foes doth seek to work us woe;
They lure with pow’r so great, with judgment and with hate;
Shield us e’er, guard us as Thy own.

If we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who this may be? Christ Jesus it is He. 
Emmanuel His name, from age to age the same;
Who was, Who is, Who e’er shall be. 

Thy Word above all earthly pow’r; Thy Love above all earthly pow’r;
Thy Hope above all earthly pow’r; My God above all earthly pow’r.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also.
The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still. 
The Kingdom is forever.                    

Notes:

This arrangement is a re-imagining of Martin Luther’s iconic melody. New harmonies and ambient electric guitar accompaniment create an ancient/modern feel giving new life to this classic hymn.  (A piano-only accompaniment is also available.) 

Last Words

Last Words

Voicing: SATB divisi, with octet
Accompaniment:  a cappella

Text:

Why have you, God, forsaken me?
(Mark 15:34)           
Father, forgive. They know not what they do
(Luke 23:34)
Today you will be with me in paradise.
(Luke 23:34)
Woman, behold your son.
(John 19:26)
I thirst.
(John 19:28)             
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
(Luke 23:46)
It is finished.
(John 19:30) 
                                           

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Notes:

Spread among the three Gospel crucifixion stories are seven evocative statements by Jesus, collectively known as the Seven Last Words of Christ.  In this piece, these statements are set using a blend of English and Latin text--the combination designed to evoke a sense of timelessness.  The use of an octet within the larger choir serves to reinforce the personal, intimate nature of these words.  Harmonically, the piece seeks to capture the inherent tension and drama of the story as told in the Gospels.

Studio Recording:  Matthew Curtis and Choral Tracks studio recording

In the Beginning

In the Beginning

Kyle Pederson (2015)

Voicing: SATB with divisi
Accompaniment:  a cappella, optional clarinet

Text:

In the beginning.  
In the beginning, God. 
In the beginning, God moved.

And then God spoke.  
God spoke creation into being. 
And of the new creation, God declared it good. 

Good were the earth and the waters.
Good were the evening and the day.
Good were the living things that first drew breath.
Good were the creatures made in God's image.

And in the beginning was the Word.  
The Word would become flesh and dwell among us.

In Him was light.  In Him was life.  
The light was given for us; it overcame the darkness. 

In Him was grace and truth. 
And we have seen his glory. 

Emmanuel. 
In the beginning.  
In the beginning, God.

Notes:

Lyrically, this piece seeks to bridge the Old and New Testament stories of creation.  

Musically, the piece establishes a deliberate cadence and pacing--symbolizing the centrality of God in the beginning--and then gradually adds elements of the creation story with increasing movement and complexity.  Intentional pauses at the end of most measures throughout the piece add weight to the text and help establish a rhythm of the creative process.  The free-flowing clarinet accompaniment (optional) symbolizes the creative movement and spirit that blows through all of creation.

Five Solas

Five Solas 

Voicing: SATB with alto and soprano soloists
Accompaniment:  a cappella

Text:

Credo in fidem solam, pensito
Credo in solam gratiam, meditor
Credo in Christum solum
Credo in solam scripturam
Deo soli gloria

Approximate translation:

Faith alone. Grace alone. Christ alone. Word alone. 
To God alone be the glory. I ponder all this in my heart.

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Notes:
2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.  The "Five Solas" are five Latin phrases that emerged over the course of that Reformation, and are (summary) principles of that history-defining movement.  This piece seeks to evoke a bit of the ancient vibe associated with these phrases, integrating a recurring chant-like mantra throughout.  At the same time, the piece seeks to capture a sense of modernity with the modern chord progressions and harmonic suspensions.  In this way, the piece seeks to bridge the ancient and contemporary--and affirm the power of these timeless, credal beliefs.

Audio Recording:  Matthew Curtis and Choral Tracks studio recording

Can We Sing the Darkness to Light

Can We Sing the Darkness to Light

Kyle Pederson (2016)

Voicing: SATB
Accompaniment:  Piano

Text:

What if instead of more violence
We let our weapons fall silent?
No more revenge or retribution
No more war or persecution.

It could be beautiful.

What if instead of our judgment
We soften our hearts that have hardened?
Instead of certainty and pride
We love and sacrifice.

It could be beautiful.

Can we see the other as our brother?
Can we sing the darkness to light?
Sounding chords of compassion and grace
Set the swords of judgement aside

Let mercy's eyes
See the other human face.

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Notes:
The text invites the listener to imagine a world without weapons or war--where the human experience is defined not through continued judgment of others, but through the lens of mercy and compassion.  It could be beautiful. 

Recording Choir:  David Ostenso Moore directing the First Readings Project

Video Courtesy St. Olaf College. Used By Permission