By Robert C. Mann
Resource Library Director
Gordon Young (1919-1998) was a prolific American composer of choral and organ music familiar to several generations of church musicians. Young was born in McPherson, KS and took a bachelor’s degree in music at Southwestern College, Winfield, KS. He later studied organ with Alexander McCurdy at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA and enjoyed a formidable reputation as an organist. Now, he is remembered as a composer and church musician. He served First Presbyterian Church of Detroit as Music Director for 15 years and published more than 800 choral and organ compositions (Prelude in the Classic Style is his best known organ work). His music was quite popular, and Young received eighteen consecutive composers annual awards from ASCAP.
Primary reflections on his sacred choral music are simplicity, repetition of melody and text, and brevity. The short pieces, many under two minutes, make excellent Introits (Call to Worship). The CMI Choral Library has almost 100 of Young’s anthems. If you don’t know the composer’s music, search out a few titles and see if his style of anthem fits your worship service. To those of you already familiar with his music, perhaps you will find new titles to use as Introits or within the worship service. I list several titles below that are appropriate for Christmas for your consideration along with other titles of a general, non-seasonal nature.
Christmas Fanfare SAB Harold Flammer A-5799 (CMI #15546)
Lullay, My Jesus SATB Neil A. Kjos 5469 (#15560)
Manger Song SAB Harold Flammer D-5282 (#5966)
Sing We Now a Song of Christmas SATB Harold Flammer 84840 (#8889)
‘Twas in the Midst of Winter-time (w/ O Come All Ye Faithful) SATB Fred Bock
BG 2072 (#11077)
Arise, O God, and Shine 2-part Mixed Galaxy GMC 2232 (#15541)
Joyful Alleluia SATB Shawnee Press A-794 (#8931)
Let Heavenly Music Fill this Place SAB Harold Flammer D-5265 (#6195)
Now Let Us All Praise God and Sing SATB Galaxy 1.2108.1 (1882)
Praise Song SATB Harold Flammer A-5826 (#15567)