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A Year of Amens

by David Anderegg

Choral amens for every Sunday and special occasions throughout the year

Easy, hard, fast, slow, solemn, funny...these amens will give your SATB choir something to sing about!

"Dr. Anderegg's 56 Choral Amens proves that superb beauty can be had in as few as 5 measures! These mini gems are very serviceable to church and synagogue musicians alike, with not a dull moment in any of them. They also add a fun sight-reading challenge to choral musicians in any environment, academic or religious. Bravo!"
Andrea Goodman, Director, Cantilena Chamber Choir, Lenox, MA; Director, Saratoga Choral Festival, Saratoga Springs, NY

"With keys, modes, styles in abundance, these 56 musical bonbons are so varied, interesting, beautiful and full of surprises, it's easy to respond, 'Amen'! David Anderegg gives us an Amen Buchlein resource sure to be helpful in times of need, and for sheer joy."
Jeffrey Honore, Choir Director, Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee

From the Introduction:
      In 2011, our minister of music...

View Videos of three Amens performed
From the Introduction to A Year of Amens:

David Anderegg
In 2011, our minister of music, Sara Jobin, and I were talking about service music. She knew of my work writing psalm settings for my men's a cappella group and my burgeoning interest in writing hymns and anthems for Sunday worship. She was also lamenting the fact that our repertoire of choral amens was so limited. The choir sings an amen as a choral response to the pastoral prayer every Sunday, but the hymnal we use has exactly seven, so they are of necessity over-used. Sara challenged me to write a new amen for every Sunday of the year: "if you write them, the choir will sing them," she said. So I did write them, and they did sing them, almost every one.

The amens contained herein are meant to be a variety: a variety of styles, and a variety of degrees of difficulty. Some are very traditional and some are not. There are some jazzy chords, some calypso rhythms, and also some traditional rounds and canons. Some of the amens are duets for only two voices; some use divisi to bring the traditional four voices to eight. There are bigger amens for big occasions, like Christmas Eve and Easter, and smaller amens for everyday use. They all have but two things in common: brevity, and the sincere affirmation of what has gone before. Each one means to say, in music, "Yes, that is true."

The amens are arranged according to a calendar year. The Christian year starts at the beginning of Advent, but these amens follow a regular calendar. Amen #1 was written right after Epiphany, and therefore the last amen in the collection is the Great Amen for Epiphany Sunday. Special amens for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Christmas Eve appear in the sequence in which those dates appear in the calendar year. But of course one can sing any one of them at any season.

I wish to thank Sara Jobin for challenging me to write these amens, and thank the choir for singing so many of them this past year. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to the music program at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge to help keep the beautiful music going strong. This collection is dedicated to Alice Parker, with whom I have had the privilege of studying. Alice teaches that music is the best way to affirm the truth of God's presence in the world, and the truth of God's promise to the faithful. Amen, Alice.

A Year of Amens, by David Anderegg