Whether you’re just beginning your search for suitable service music for piano or you want ideas for adding to your collection, the following list of recent publications should give you a good place to start. Churches with several pianists may want to invest in some of these for a “pianist’s library.” Each is marked E (Easy), M (Moderate), or D (Difficult).
Albrecht, Mark. Timeless Hymns of Faith. Augsburg Fortress, 1998. #10-10863. 22 pp. $10.00. M.
Six familiar hymn tunes in a similar quiet style. The composer encourages you to add your own variations during the repeated portions.
Carter, John. You Satisfy the Hungry Heart. Hope Publishing Co., 1998. #8008. 21 pp. $12.95. M.
Nine arrangements of communion hymns from recent ecumenical sources. Each flows well musically and is presented with variety. We both ranked this one very highly.
Cherwien, David. Blessed Assurance. Concordia Publishing House, 1997. #97-6748. 11 pp. $8.00. M.
Three gospel hymn accompaniments that even pianists unfamiliar with gospel style will be able to master. Typical of Cherwien, he suggests that these arrangements be used as a springboard for your own creativity. These will be a delight for both the congregation as it sings and for the accompanist. Try it!
Dengler, Lee. Advent Piano Variations. Concordia Publishing House, 1998. #97-6749. 27 pp. $10.50. M-D.
“O Come, O Come, Immanuel,” “Prepare the Royal Highway,” and “Comfort, Comfort Now My People” are each given three settings that could be combined as variations or played separately at different places in the service.
Larson, Lloyd. With Glad Adoration. Hope Publishing Co., 1998. #2014. 31 pp. $12.95. M-A.
Ten often used hymn tunes arranged with interesting harmonies. These joyous settings will enrich any worship service that includes them.
Reflections of Faith. Unity Books, 1999. #70/1254U. 24 pp. $7.95. E-M.
Eight arrangements of traditional and contemporary hymns including some original compositions for use as general service music. A uniform soft, flowing texture is present throughout.