"Inspirational music contributes greatly to the spirituality of sacrament meetings and other Church meetings. For this reason, every ward and branch in the Church, should have a choir." (Letter from the First Presidency, 6. Sept. 1974.)
This collection has been prepared for use by choir in Church meetings. It supplements the hymnbook as a resouce for appropriate choir material.
The selections have been arranged in a variety of voicings, many of which should be easy enough for use by small choirs with limited capabilities.
The selections are designed to be used with flexibility. Choir directors should be creative and practical in adapting the material to their own situations, allowing for the abilities of choir members and accompanists. For example , some musical passages written for four-part choir (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) might be effictivly sung by a choir in unison. Sometimes challenging passages can be changed to make them easier for the singers or accompanist.
As important as it is to seek technical perfection, choirs are most successful when they focus on conveying the message and spirit of the hymns and anthems to the congregation.
The music in this collection, published in conjunction with the Church's Sesquicentennial commemoration, has been selected to represent a variety of periods, composers, and musical styles. It is not a definitive selection; material available from other sources may also be used by ward and branch choirs. For example, some songs in Sing with Me could be used as effective choir selections. Appropriate material is also published by commercial sources and is available through local music stores or through Deseret Book Company (44 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111). Ideas on how choirs can alter hymns from the hymnbook have also been included.
Various topical needs are represented in the collection, and choir directors are encouraged to become familiar with all the selections so they can choose those best suited for a particular meeting. The topical index in back of this booklet may be helpful, but use of a selection should not be limited to its listing in the index.