What people are saying about "American Art Song for the Sacred Service":

“Hallelujah! Just when it is most needed--an indispensable source for the serious soloist.”
John Koopman (Critic)

"I think the collection is terrific. I especially like the broad spectrum of literature: some relatively easy, some more complicated and some very demanding. In other words, something for everyone." Dale Duesing (Opernwelt's Singer of the Year)

“Dr. Karen Leigh-Post and Classical Vocal Reprints have done a most valuable service for church musicians and the vocal community in compiling the new collection of American Art Song for the Sacred Service. Dr. Leigh-Post has sought out twenty-four musical jewels---distinctive and uniformly attractive sacred compositions for voice with varying types of accompaniments that represent the diversities of late twentieth and early twenty-first century contemporary American composition. Some composers are celebrated; others, refreshingly, are not so well known. Judiciously, I believe, Dr. Leigh-Post has kept the songs in medium high keys, thus rendering the pieces useful to the widest population of singers. The varied compositional techniques will be welcome to church musicians, as will the second table of contents containing suggestions as to types of service for which the songs will be appropriate. By making available to us a collection of sacred art songs, by selecting music of consistently high quality, of wide diversity, and of our era, this publication answers a long-felt need." Shirlee Emmons (Master Teacher)

“I love this project! It truly fills a former void, and church musicians will find it most useful. I would mention especially the selection of high quality of the pieces chosen, which are also of a type likely to communicate immediately with a congregation. And also, I noticed a healthy inclusion of music from female composers; I like particularly Emma Lou Diemer, Libby Larsen and Judith Zaimont. I know this impressive volume will find the broad use it deserves.” Richard Westenburg (Conductor, Musica Sacra)


At long last there is a genuinely new collection of art song for the sacred service. This important anthology of American Art Song for the Sacred Service compiled and edited by Dr. Karen Leigh-Post (Lawrence University, WI) contains 24 songs by 21 American composers. While you may recognize many of the composer's names (Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Paul Crabtree, Alan Hovhaness) only three of the songs have been published previously.

Disappointed by volumes of the same tired classical repertory repackaged in the guise of new editions, Dr. Post found inspiration for this project when she heard a local composer’s art songs performed in recital. Abraham to Kill Him, by J. Halvor Benson, is just what she had been seeking in a sacred song – the telling of a well known, old testament story with superb poetry in a musical language that gives voice to the modern soul.

For centuries our worship services have enjoyed the solo vocal literature of musical giants such as F. Schubert (Ave Maria), G. Fauré (En priere) or W. A. Mozart (Alleluia) and G. F. Handel (I Know that My Redeemer Liveth). More recently the songs of Ralph Vaughan Williams (The Call) or Benjamin Britten (Ceremony of Carols) have fed our spirits while, with the exception of A. Copland (At the River) or L. Bernstein (Simple Song), American composers have been underrepresented.

In publishing American Art Song for the Sacred Service Dr. Post seeks, at least in part, to fill the chasm between modern concert repertory and contemporary worship and praise music. In addition, this collection provides a much needed new source of songs with organ as well as piano. To assure quality, objectivity and a broad base of knowledge and taste, a panel of judges was gathered to review submitted compositions. The standards were high. Each song had to satisfy the needs of the composer, poet and performer to assure its endorsement by classically trained musicians. Furthermore, in keeping with today’s global awareness, the anthology has embraced a truly ecumenical spirit.