Liturgical Works



Hymns Modern (2014-16)

35 hymns with service music for SATB choir (a cappella or with organ ad lib.)

Dedicated with love to Nick, my husband: who saw me writing hymns and said, "Keep going."

Around the time I began composing Anglican psalm chants for my Modern Psalter, I found myself also writing a hymn or two – rather complex and difficult works, surely not approachable by any common church choir or their congregation. These first hymns (some of which still appear in this book in somewhat altered forms) waited patiently on my hard drive until August 2015, when I completed my psalter. That book had become a pet project, a symbol of my religion, and a constant personal challenge, but it was finished – and in many ways, it seemed to demand a sibling. And so, with some trepidation, I returned to hymns. My work continued another year.

This hymnal is comprised of entirely new settings of public domain hymn texts. Although I attempted to avoid those texts which are traditionally associated with a specific tune, I did break this rule twice. On Hymn 1: an old choir friend once quipped, “How could a hymnal not begin with ‘Holy, holy, holy’?” On Hymn 35: I don’t imagine my music could ever match Vaughan Williams, but I wanted the last hymn to be something special all the same. Although these hymns are largely too difficult for a cappella performance, every piece has been written in strict four-part voicing with clear and effective voice leading, and could just as easily be performed in unison with organ accompaniment. As well, those sections of service music where plainchant is commonly used have been freely harmonized, retaining the plainchant in the melody.

This book is best taken as a collection of individual works; despite my best efforts, this hymnal could never truly be adopted by a parish, and perhaps it’s better that way. The hymns and service music are highly idiosyncratic and unexpected, following esoteric turns of harmony and rhythm. Still, this book exists as my own personal expression of faith with a functional purpose, and I am proud of the music contained within. In truth, my hymnal owes a great deal to Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987), whose Hymns and Responses for the Church Year gave me the initial idea of composing a complete hymnal. This work reassured me that a ‘serious’ composer could (and should) bother themselves with a commonplace, practical book of music.

Click here to see the complete score.

The video below is a synthesized version, synced with the score throughout.


Modern Psalter (2014-15)

150 Anglican psalm chants for SATB choir (a cappella or with organ ad lib.)

Dedicated with sincere gratitude to Jeremy Spurgeon and the choristers of All Saints Anglican Cathedral (Edmonton, AB).

In October 2013, I attended my first choir rehearsal at an Anglican church in Edmonton, Alberta. I joined with no knowledge of the Anglican faith, being a lapsed Roman Catholic who had been attending (and was married in) a United church. Thus, at that pivotal moment, I was exposed to the rich and varied musical heritage of Anglicanism, which has profoundly affected my music to this day. However, despite the wealth of glorious hymns and anthems, it was undeniably the harmonized chant, with its endless possibilities and abstract simplicity, which inspired me the greatest. 

This book, the Modern Psalter, is the culmination of a fifteen-month effort to compose 150 Anglican psalm chants in my own contemporary musical language. What began as a personal experiment with little forethought became a project of personal growth, both in music and in faith. Throughout the three sets of chants, I hear a definitive stylistic progression, moving away from a reliance on shocking harmonies and towards more emotionally complex ideas. Although some of the chants written in this book can be at times heavy-handed and clumsy, I feel there are also moments of elegance and grace which will be of great spiritual benefit in a liturgical setting. 

In the index to this book, I have paired each psalm with an appropriate chant. However, this is only one potential arrangement, and should be seen as a starting point as to its uses. I believe this Psalter can and should be used in any desired arrangement and for any religious purpose. Furthermore, as many of the chants betray their supposed key and enter harmonically distant (and theoretically obtuse) territory, organ accompaniment may be necessary – but it is always the pure intonation of an unaccompanied choir (with all its imperfections) which is most desired. 

Click here to see the complete score.

The video below is a synthesized version, synced with the score throughout.


Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis 'Omnium Sanctorum' (2015)

for SATB choir and organ

Duration: 7 minutes

Text: Book of Common Prayer

Currently unperformed.

In my experience as a chorister in the Anglican church, I was constantly inspired by the myriad interpretations the 'Mag and Nunc' could elicit from composers throughout the centuries; this is my attempt to write my own, deeply personal version. The Magnificat is a series of musical episodes, exploring the varying emotions of each verse in this historic text. The Nunc Dimittis, on the other hand, is a thoroughly passionate and sorrowful song. This setting was written for Jeremy Spurgeon and the choir at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Edmonton, Canada.

Click here to see the complete score.


Missa Omnium Sanctorum (2015)

for SATB choir and organ

Duration: 7 minutes

Text: Latin Catholic Liturgy

Currently unperformed.

This brief mass setting was written for Jeremy Spurgeon and the choir at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Edmonton, Canada. Since this particular choir has had plenty of experience singing Renaissance music (and less modern music), I chose to blend homophonic writing with moments of polyphony and a distinctly-modern harmonic language. The music is in three movements: Kyrie, Sanctus-Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. In this setting, the Gloria and Credo - usually part of the standard Missa Brevis - are omitted.

Click here to see the complete score.


Preces and Responses (2015)

for SATB choir and celebrant, a cappella

Duration: 5 minutes

Text: Book of Common Prayer

Currently unperformed.

The preces and responses are a staple of English church music, with settings reaching back to the 16th century. A strictly liturgical work, these responses stand as an important component of an Evensong service in the Anglican Church, wherein the chanted statements by the celebrant are responded to by brief choral interludes. In my setting, I wanted to restrict myself to a concise harmonic realm, never straying far from the tonality of A Major, but I also heavily relied on smooth voice-leading, which results in many lush and unexpected harmonies.

Click here to see the complete score.