Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘choir’

Our Top Anthems and Solos for 2013

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

At Worship Sounds Music, all of our music is designed to be much more than a song.  Each Choral Anthem, Vocal Solo, or Congregational Worship Song is, most importantly, a message of God’s love.  Our mission is to provide very affordable music for worship that is Biblically sound, memorable, worshipful, and meaningful.  Our music is the work of Worship Pastor and composer Travis L. Boyd, written with a heart for local church ministry.

We are blessed to know many worship pastors and worshippers throughout the United States and to have made friends through our website and blog with many others in the U.S. and around the world.  May God bless those who lead God’s people in worship with a heart for Him, a love for God’s people, and compassion for those who need to know him.

Our downloadable music is very beneficial in these times of tight music budgets.

Choral Anthems are priced between $10.00 and $15.00, with no “per copy” fees, allowing an unlimited number of copies to be made for your choir in either Octavo or Full Page format.

*  Our Accompaniment Tracks are $10.00 and come as a downloadable Mp3.

*  Our Full Orchestrations range from $25.00 to $35.00, with the bundled PDFs including a Director’s Score, String Reduction for keyboard, and reproducible parts for all instruments.

Worship Paks for our Congregational worship songs are priced at $15.00.

We strive to keep our prices as low as possible (considering the expenses of our website, shopping cart, and Pay pal); and we hope to be able to share some special offers for our friends who serve in very small churches during 2014.

At Worship Sounds Music, we seek to provide a resource for music that will bring glory to God
and be a blessing to your worship ministry participants and to your church family.
We count it a joy to partner with you in sharing the good news of God’s love and salvation
through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Looking back over 2013, here are our
Top Anthems, Orchestrations and Trax, Worship Paks, and Vocal Solos
(as reflected by music purchases from WorshipSounds.com)

TOP  TEN  ANTHEMS
2013

1.  He Put the Joy

Click to view Video Demo

Click to view Video Demo

(SAB, optional A Cappella, general use anthem for Student Choir or Ensemble)

2.  Early in the Morning

Click thumbnail to view demo.

Click photo to view demo.

(SATB, general use, anthem of praise)
Full Orchestration available, Anthem Trax available

3.  A Mighty God

Link to Video Demo

Link to Video Demo

(SSATB, general use anthem)
Full Orchestration Available

4.  A Prayer for the Saints
(SATB, general use anthem)
Full Orchestration available
Worship Pak available for use in Congregational worship
{Recorded by The Sons of Jubal, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan,
for their new CD, “Washed Away”,  during 2013}

5.  Greater
(SSATB or SSAA general use anthem)
Full Orchestration available, works w/ both voicings
{sung by The Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan}

6.  Where You Want Me to Be
(SATB or TTBB, general use anthem with Solo throughout)
Full Orchestration available, Anthem Trax available
{sung by The Sons of Jubal, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan,
and at the 50th Anniversary Concert by The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma,
then under the direction of Dr. Ken Gabrielse and Dr. Bill Green}

7.  A Joyful Doxology
(SATB, general use anthem for Adult or Student Choirs)
Four brief Solos within anthem

8.  I Am Here
(SATB, general use or for memorial service)
Full Orchestration available, Anthem Trax available
{sung by The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green}

9.  O, For a Thousand Tongue to Sing
(SATB, general use anthem with hymn text)
FREE flute obbligato is ordered separately

10.  I Am a Child of God
Easy SATB for Sr. Adult or small Choir

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TOP  ANTHEM  ORCHESTRATIONS  AND  TRAX
2013

1.  We Have Met to Worship
(Worship Pak includes SATB vocal parts, Rhythm Section parts, & String Reduction)
Full Orchestration available, Accomp. Trax also available

2.  Early in the Morning
Full Orchestration, Accomp. Trax both available

3.  A Mighty God
Full orchestration

4.  A Prayer for the Saints
(Worship Pak includes hymn sheet, Vocal / Piano score, and lead sheet)
Full Orchestration also available

5.  O, For a Thousand Tongues
(free Flute Obbligato, ordered separately)

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TOP  CHRISTMAS  ANTHEMS
2013

1.  O, Come, O Come, Emmanuel
(SATB, Fresh, new arrangement of the traditional Carol)

2.  Christmas Joy
(SATB, joyous 6/8 celebration of Christ’s birth)

3.  Glory to the Newborn King
Bluesy, rockin’ SATB anthem
Anthem Trax available

4.  No Room
SATB anthem about the search for lodging before the birth of Christ

5.  The Praises of the King
SATB, Rhythmic Christmas praise

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TOP  CONGREGATIONAL  WORSHIP  PAKS
2013

!.  We Have Met to Worship
 (Worship Pak includes SATB vocal parts, Rhythm Section parts, & String Reduction)

2.  A Prayer for the Saints
(Worship Pak includes hymn sheet, Vocal / Piano score, and lead sheet)

>*<*>*<

TOP  VOCAL  SOLOS and SOLO  TRAX
2013

1.  Where You Want Me to Be

2.  Much More Than a Song
(sung by The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green)

3.  A Mother’s Love

4.  A Prayer for the Saints
(Vocal Solo is included in the Worship Pak)

5.  The Father’s Beautiful World
A medley of beloved Creation hymns, with a new melody for
“All Things Bright and Beautiful”
and incorporating a portion of, “This is my Father’s World”

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Why I Love to Sing in the Choir

I have always loved music, and I love to sing; but the reasons that I love to sing in my church choir are are so much deeper than that.  Here are the top ten reasons why I love to sing in the choir at my church:

MY  TOP  TEN  REASONS
FOR  JOYFULLY  SINGING  IN  THE  CHURCH  CHOIR

choir smiling1.  Singing in my church choir gives me an opportunity to express my love for the Lord.

I am so thankful for God’s love and mercy and for the sacrificial life and death of Jesus and the victory of His resurrection.  How else could I express the profound spiritual understanding of the goodness of God that goes beyond words and is only revealed in my heart through the work of God’s Holy Spirit?  Someimes, within the congregation, it is only through musical praise that I feel I have done all that I can do, with God’s help, to share the message of God’s salvation and His incredible love for me and for all of mankind.  

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people.  Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works.  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”   Psalm 105:1 – 3 sing a new song to the Lord

2.  Singing in my church choir is more than a hobby or an activity.  It is a calling.

What an incredible privilege it is to know that God has allowed me to have the ability to participate in something that brings Him glory as those who love the Lord assemble together for worship!  He has made each of us with particular gifts and talents.  I believe that the calling to minister through these gifts is what gives faithful choir members the passion to continue their service and to strive for excellence in expressing their praise to the Lord.

There is a lot of  * JOY  * in fulfilling your calling and in giving praise to the Lord, who has given us everything we’ve ever had and all that we ever will have!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my soul!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn!  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth.”  Psalm 108:1 – 5

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

3.  Singing in my church choir allows for a type of expression of praise to the Lord that could not be accomplished in any other way.

Although I love all kinds of music and all kinds of arrangements, there are some songs, some lyrics, and some messages that just would not have the same intensity of expression if they were shared in any other way than through choral singing.  The Hallelujah Chorus is one such example.  Can you imagine it as a solo?  It just would not have the same impact.  There is something about voices joined together as a choir to share a message for God’s glory that is just a very unique means of expression.  Although Tom Fettke’s “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” or Heather Sorenson’s “God of Heaven” would still have a beautiful melody when sung as a solo, the impact would not be as great as if a choir were singing these worshipful anthems and joining their hearts and souls to bring glory to God in a soaring or contemplative or victorious or joyous choral arrangement.

“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”   Psalm 107:21 & 22

Serve Him with gladness4.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in the overall ministry of leading in worship, which is a joy and a privilege.

As long as I have a voice, I want to use it to praise God.  I don’t want to miss an opportunity to use my voice and even the expression on my face to proclaim God’s goodness through all of the musical praise during congregational worship.  I realize that the choir is not just there to sing an anthem or to perform.  We are there to worship and to lead in worship.  Whether we are singing a new song or an old song, a hymn, a worship song, a choral anthem, or a musical benediction, it is a joy to share these messages of hope and faith with the people of God and to gather in God’s name for the purpose of bringing Him glory.  

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”   Psalm 107:31 & 32 Sing to the Lord a new song all the earth

5.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has given me many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ in many settings, throughout my home country and in other countries as well.

Whether a choir is singing in an outdoor setting, a shopping mall, a small church, a prison, a nursing home or assisted living center, a juvenile detention center, a community center, a state capitol building, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C., or in a great concert hall in Australia or a public school in Russia, the opportunity to bring glory to God and to share the message of His love and mercy is a blessing and an incredibly humbling miracle of God’s grace!  If God had not saved a wretch like me, I would have no message to share anywhere!  

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good:  His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

Psalm 107:8

Psalm 107:8

6.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has implanted incredibly profound messages within my heart and soul through the lyrics of the songs that I have been able to sing.

I have been incredibly blessed to invest time in learning these wonderful words and then have had the blessing of remembering them so often as the Lord uses them to speak to my heart over and over again.  Often, the words of sacred choral anthems are either entirely scripture, based upon scripture, are paraphrases of scripture, or contain some scriptural content.  Singing them helps me to learn and to remember scripture passages and spiritual truths.  As a choir member, I am not just singing these songs once a week on Sunday morning.  Because of the work aspect that goes into preparation for sharing these messages in worship, we really live with these incredible words, and they have a deep impact in our lives.  What a joy it is to sing these messages, live these truths, and share these words of truth and hope, faith and love, blessing and victory, challenge and mercy, and ministry and grace!

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord all the earth.  Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.”   Psalm 96:1 – 4a Bless the Lord O my soul

7.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has allowed me to get to know so many wonderful people who love the Lord and have a heart of service.

A choir becomes a family as we serve together and care for one another.  We pray for one another.  We love each other and share God’s love with each other.  There is an incredible bond when you have worshiped and cried and smiled and laughed and worked and learned and prayed together.  I can sing a wrong note or sing in the wrong place, and my choir family just considers such things to be part of the process of learning the music and growing in faith and in musical expression together.  I have never heard anyone groan or complain about singing the same portion of a song over and over in order to get it right.  We embrace our humanity as we strive to sing beyond our own abilities in order to bring God glory.

“Blessed are those who dwell in Thy house, ever singing Thy praise!   Selah”    Psalm 84:4

8.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in something that is so much bigger than my self.to God all praise and glory

The spiritual and emotional and mental messages that flow out of the marriage of music and lyrics in each song become so much more meaningful as I sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I know something of their stories and their lives.  I know when someone is singing about God’s healing for broken hearts with deep emotion that flows from their own fountain of personal pain.  I know when someone is singing of the joy of the Lord even when they have just experienced a personal loss.  I know when the message of Christ’s victory over death has very personal meaning to one of my dear sisters or brothers.  I know when the hearts of all of us are touched with God’s mercy and when the joy is so real that I am amazed that it is not visible in the air around us.  So, not only is the sound and the arrangement something that I could never accomplish on my own.  The collective testimony of this group and the way that God is ministering to our individual hearts as we sing (and to us and through us as a choir) create an impact through the very real and heartfelt sharing of musical testimony that extends far beyond myself or any one individual.

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also.  The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”   Psalm 95:1 – 7a give God the glory

9.  I believe that singing praise to God is the closest thing to Heaven that I can experience on this earth.

What could be better than the times when I have the blessing of joining my own voice and heart with the voices and hearts of a group of people whose desire is to praise God, encourage God’s people, share the story of who God is and what He has done, tell the good news of Jesus, and bring blessing and honor and glory to God?  The Bible speaks of the singers and the musicians and of choirs.  The scriptures talk about the voice of God and how He rejoices over us with singing.  There is something special about the way that God created us to use music as a form of expression that goes far beyond words.  If is much more that the music itself.  It is about how God Himself speaks through the music and then allows us to speak to Him and about Him through the music.  

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4 Praise continually

10.  I love to sing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs because of the incredible songs that God has inspired men and women to write, which then become part of my own spiritual journey.

I believe that before a spiritual song can touch the hearts of people, God must first touch the heart of the song-writer (composer) of the song.  I believe (and know!) that every song begins with a revelation of truth from God or a new way of looking at or expressing a truth already known.  It is like experiencing my own spiritual journey as I try, then make mistakes, and then try again in rehearsal, while simultaneously experiencing the revelations that flow from the spiritual journeys of others.  I have learned so much, and my own journey has been blessed beyond words by the profound spiritual truth that I have learned through the songs I’ve been priveleged to sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  To me, a choir rehearsal is not just working on music.  It is a time of worship.  I have wept as my heart has been moved by the message of a song.  I have reached out to grab the hand of a friend.  I have felt my heart swell until I thought I might burst.  I have experienced joy so great that I was amazed to find my feet still on the floor.  My soul has been convicted and stirred.  My heart has been broken and mended and strengthened and challenged.  My faith has grown.  I have walked through deep valleys and enjoyed the view from some mountaintops… all while praising the Lord through the songs that he has inspired men and women to write and then to arrange for choir, for the blending and unity of hearts and minds and souls as we learn and grow and rejoice together in this lovely, human expression of the eternal and divine that we call choir.

“The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.  Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar.  And when the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.  The whole assembly worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.  When the burnt offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped.  And Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.  And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshipped.”  II Chronicles 29:26 – 30

What a blessing a joy it has been to sing in church choirs and in other choirs made up of my brothers and sisters in Christ!  I will continue to praise the Lord through choral music for as long as I have the opportunity.  I am so thankful to God for my salvation and for His presence in my life.  I cannot help but sing.

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with thanksgiving to God for giving me something of eternal meaning and worth to sing about, and with love and appreciation for my favorite Choral Director, Travis L. Boyd, for giving me a love song in this life.

I am also thankful for all of the wonderful choral and band directors and voice and piano teachers who have taught me so much about music and then about singing and playing music for more than the here and now.  They include:  Dr. Jon Duncan, Dr. Bill Green, Dr. Terry Segress, Eugene Beck, Steve Westmoreland, Dr. Charles Jurrens, Mrs. Betty Westomoreland, Dr. Robert Reynolds, Faye Casey, John Robinson, Steve Smith, John Casey, Dr. Charles Chapman, Dr. Merle Taff, Lillian Loe-Stoddard, Eugene Butler, Dr. Irving Bunton, Lloyd Pfautsch, Wynn Anne Hook, Ron Stanton, Eph Ely, and John Gerber, who was directing the invitation hymn when I laid down my music and left the choir loft to say “yes” to Jesus.

Sharing this post:  In order to share this blog post with your choir, congregation, or worship team, a link to this post may appear in a newsletter, bulletin, or e-mail.  In addition, reprint information is provided below (as a result of the volume of inquiries). Link to the post:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/why-i-love-to-sing-in-the-choir/

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REPRINT INFORMATION FOR THIS ARTICLE

Non-paid publications:   This article may be re-printed in non-paid publications (church newsletters, bulletins) without further permisson, provided that the author’s name is posted at the end of the article, along with the link to our blog:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com

Paid publications:  To reprint all (or a portion) of the article in a paid publication, permission must be obtained.  You may comment on this post in order to request permission, stating the type of publication (and terms) plus providing a return e-mail address for a reply from us.  Your comment will not be seen by others since comments to our blog are not seen publically unless we approve them, and we will reply within 48 hours (unless providentially hindered).

Internet postings:  In order to post this article online on your own site (other worship blogs, music ministry or church websites), you must have a working link back to our blog, with a notation that states: This article, and many others, can be found on the Worship Sounds blog at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com  In addition, the article must be posted in its entirely.  If it is going to be online, we prefer that the original wording stays intact.  An edited version might read differently from our intent.

So, online postings must:

1.  Contain the statement previously mentioned.
2.  Be un-edited, posted as written.
3.  Contain the author’s name at the end of the article, as it appears in the blog post.

We will stand by our words and prefer to have the opportunity to answer any inquiries about the content of the article ourselves. Let us hear from you! We would love to hear about how the Lord has used the message of this article to encourage and inspire your choir, worship team, or congregation.  If you can do a follow-up comment after sharing it, that would be a real blessing to us. Thank you so much for your interest in spreading the word about the very vital and incredible experince of being a part of a worshipping choir and worship ministry in general.  It is an indescribable blessing.

…And we all thank You, Lord, for allowing us to have a part in leading others to worship You!!”

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Here are two of my favorite choral anthems, written by my husband, Worship Minister and Composer Travis L. Boyd.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Jesus, My Redeemer”.  There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Praise God”. There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

Information about additional Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Vocal Solos, and Congregational worship music by Travis L. Boyd, which can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website, is below.

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Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Find Worshipful  CHORAL  MUSIC  for your Choir at  WORSHIP  SOUNDS  MUSIC! Worship Sounds music offers downloadable Choral Anthems for Adult Choirs, Senior Adult Choirs, and Student Choirs in several voicings (SATB, SAB, SSATB, 2-Part, SSAA, and TTBB).  Many of our anthems also have Full Orchestrations available, and some also have downloadable Mp3 Accompaniment Tracks.  In addition, we offer Vocal Solos, with most available in 3 keys, Solo Accompaniment Tracks, and Congregational worship music. You can find all of this at http://www.worshipsounds.com

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend? Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/ Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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New Orchestration on our Website!

Click the photo above to go directly to our WorshipSounds Music website!

Click the photo above to go directly to our WorshipSounds Music website!

Travis has added a new orchestration to the WorshipSounds Music website!   The Director of a large choral group which is singing Travis’ modern hymn and choral arrangement of “A Prayer for the Saints” in TTBB voicing requested a full orchestration for his group.   The new orchestration for “A Prayer for the Saints” was added to our website this morning.  Like all of Travis’ orchestrations, it is written to be practical for church orchestras as far as difficulty level and to work well with Church Orchestras with varying instrumentation.  Travis is always very careful to make sure that the instrumental parts complement the choral arrangement well without covering up the choir.  He has had more than one Director remark about the fact that his Orchestrations are very well written in that they enhance the choral parts without overwhelming them.

The Sons of Jubal in concert at First Baptist Church of Lilburn, Georgia, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan

“A Prayer for the Saints” is a through composed modern hymn that voices a prayer of longing to draw near to the Lord.  It essentially puts into words the desires of the heart for every Christian who wants to walk more closely with the Lord and live in a way that glorifies Him.  The TTBB anthem arrangement was selected by Sons of Jubal Director, Dr. Jon Duncan, as the theme song for this year’s annual Sons of Jubal retreat in January, 2012.   “A Prayer for the Saints” is also in the current repertoire of The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, directed by Dr. Randy Lind.  On our website, we currently have available the anthem arrangment of this hymn in SATB and TTBB Voicings, the full Orchestration, and a Worship Pak, which includes hymnal or bulletin size reproducible hymn sheets,  a Vocal Solo/congregational arrangment with piano accompaniment, and lead sheets for rhythm section.

Here is the link to our Adult Choir music page where “A Prayer for the Saints” can be found:  http://www.worshipsounds.com/Adult_Choirs.php

Link to Video Demo

Look for this identifying thumbnail photo on the website.  It will help you locate the song more quickly on the Adult Choir page.  Additionally, each of the items associated with this anthem on our shopping cart page have the same identifying photo.

Generational and Cultural Relevance in Worship Ministry

 The message of the gospel always matters. 

 It is always relevant to every life, every heart, every age, every culture, and every generation. 

 Sharing the truth of God’s love, as demonstrated through the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ matters more than anything else in the world. 

However, it’s not easy to find a way to communicate the life-changing and eternal message of saving grace in a world where there are is so much divisiveness.  It can be difficult to overcome generational and cultual attitudes to the extent that what really matters (the gospel message of salvation and new life in Christ) is clearly shared and understood.  In our homes, in our churches, and wherever we go, Christians need to demonstrate the love of God and apply His grace in responding to situations where a lack of generational or cultural understanding seems to be a barrier to communication.  In doing so, we need to remember that everyone wants to feel that they matter and that their opinions and beliefs are relevant.  The reality is that adults are sometimes dismissed by teenagers and children as irrelevant to contemporary culture and to the lives of the younger generation.  In the same way, adults can sometimes dismiss younger people as lacking enough maturity to be relevant to serious discussions and decision making.  If God’s people, the church, are going to make a difference through sharing the eternal truth of salvation in Christ, we have to be willing to take a fresh look at everything we do.  In light of the pre-conceived ideas and differing backgrounds on both sides of every generational and cultural issue, is it possible to find a way to unite the generations in powerful, life-changing worship?  Can the adults to whom church leadership has been entrusted become open enough to make any necessary changes on the path to reaching the hearts and minds of younger generations?

Webster defines the word relevant as:  “bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; to the purpose; pertinent.”  In other words, when we are living and relating, worshiping and sharing in such a way that our ministry becomes relevant for reaching up to God and out to others, what we do matters!

People always matter!  We have intrinsic value because we are created by God in His image and redeemed by God through Jesus Christ, which means that our lives have eternal and infinite value.   The value of our lives or the message that we share is never the question.  However, true relevance that allows God to speak to the hearts of others through us without the barriers of cultural and relational obsolescence brings eternal value to our ministry.  In other words, God can use lives and ministries and talents and hearts that are surrendered to Him to bring about real spiritual fruit in our hearts and lives and in the lives of others.  When we are surrendered to God’s Kingdom purposes, He makes us more aware of changes that we can make to effectively minister to all of the people who make up our congregation.

The message of the gospel is always relevant.  God’s love and mercy always matters.  The problem of perceived irrelevance has never been about the message itself.  When it comes to our relevance in sharing spiritual truth, what we do relationally and the message that we project to those around us (through our lives, our words, our posture, our attitudes, our musical preparation and choices, and even the expressions on our faces) impacts their willingness to hear the message of the gospel.  When we learn to care more deeply about how God can use our lives and our willingness to seek His purpose than we do about what is comfortable and easy for us, God can indwell our hunger to bring Him glory in such a way that His Spirit brings not only relevance but Divine power to the ministry that we have been given.  This process will take some thought on our parts.  We never intend to get comfortable and begin to resist change, and we often don’t even recognize those tendencies in ourselves.  It will take awareness of where we are and a passion for becoming all that God made us to be to prompt the uncomfortable process of change (where change is necessary) and allow us to become more open to considering the types of changes that will make our ministry more effective with people of all ages.

As the chief worship leaders in our church, it is incumbent upon anyone who is a part of worship ministry to be as “relevant” to those we serve as we can be.  If we are going to really allow the Lord to use us to have an impact upon the lives of others, we must be open to new forms of expression and to refining the overall worship experience so that people are drawn to the message of the gospel rather than bored by the absence of passion and a seeming lack of commitment to excellence in what they observe and hear.   In my experiences working with teenagers through the years,  I have discovered that I have to “earn” the right to be heard by them.  The same is true of virtually any age group.  We want to know that whoever is leading us is relevant to the lives we live and is sharing a message with eternal relevance.  Most pertinent to this discussion of relevance, we want to know that these eternal truths mean so much to those who are sharing them that there is evidence of a heart of passion in the sharing process.

The kind of relevance we need as worship and ministry leaders involves bringing clarity, purpose, prerparation, and passion to all of our efforts in leading worship.  

1.  CLARITY
We need clarity because God is not the author of confusion.   Everyone on the worship team should have clarity in their thoughts and attitudes about worship and should understand that the purpose of worship is to bring glory to our God.  Every worshiper should be able to follow the music that you are sharing without confusion so that they can focus on the Lord and worship Him.

2.  PURPOSE
The purpose of everything that is done in the worship service (not just singing!) must also ultimately be to bring glory to God.  If a worship service is planned carefully, one message in song or in testimony or prayer can lead right into the next almost as a progression of thought as we worship the Lord.

3.  PREPARATION
This involves spiritual preparation for all ministry staff and worship minisry personnel.  A lot of prayer time should be invested before we ever reach pre-service rehearsals, ministerial pre-service prayer times, and, expecially, before the worship service itself begins.  As the planning takes place, all of the details should be a matter of prayer as well.  Worship ministry personnel should spend some time in prayer during rehearsals as well.

When it comes to the actual carrying out of the plan for worhip during the service, all of the leadership team should be well prepared so that the service can flow from one thing to the next and not interrupt the focus on our eternal God.  Every worship team member should know what has been planned to happen next.  What Travis calls an “expanded update” for the musicians and ministerial staff can be helpful.  Our church does publish an order of service in the bulletin.  However, the order given to those who are involved in ministry contains more information.  For example, for the staff, it might list who will be welcoming guests and who will lead a prayer.  For musicians, it might tell who is “in” on the first verse, where others come in, how many repeats of a certain song, etc.  However, this planning does not prevent sensitivity to God’s spirit.  Sometimes things change during a worship service; but if your original planning was clear, it is easier for everyone to go with the flow of God’s spirit.

4.  PASSION
Finally, we must have passion in order to be relevant as worship leaders.  Our passion for the Lord is expressed not just through musical excellence and preparation but in a transparent desire to bring glory to God.  We are all individuals, so this focus on bringing glory to God will be expressed in many different ways.  However, our passion should be far more than skin deep.  True passion is not for the sake of appearance.   True passion for the Lord must permeate our hearts and should impact our thinking, our prayer lives, our expressions of worship, and the way that we live and relate as people.  We are worshipers and seekers of God first and worship leaders second, in answer to His call on our lives.  The deep desire and passion of our hearts should be to bring glory to God, fulfilling our calling to lead worshipers and seekers of God in a relevant manner that God can use to draw others to Himself and to inspire believers to seek a closer walk with Him through a more profound understanding of worship.

When we are willing to do whatever it takes in order for the Lord to indwell our worship and use it to impact the lives of others, the spiritual foundation of understanding that the goal of worship is to bring glory to God is primary.  However, without consideration of some practical things that should also enter our awareness, we risk leaving our congregation behind and neglecting the simple relational things that could help to communicate with them more effectively.   We essentially have a dual role as worship leaders of relating to and worshiping the Lord while also relating to and leading God’s people.   This can be a difficult balance, but we can do all things through Christ.  The practical elements of relating to our congregation and thereby becoming relevant to them as worship leaders are not difficult but do require some initial thought and then continued awareness.

First of all, we must realize that there has always been and always will be a “gap” between musicians and non-musicians.  Regardless of whether we are formally trained or simply have learned by years of participation, we will always view our role as a worship ministry leader differently from the way it will be viewed by those who have never participated in music organizations or in worship ministry.  Procedures that we take for granted as normal can seem strange, irrelevant, and even boring and archaic to non-musicians.  We have our own unique language (musical terminology), as well as our own set of expectations when we evaluate what we are doing (our own musical standards).   We must not get so caught up in the use of musical skills and expressions that we leave God’s people behind.  Every song for congregational worship should be singable and in a practical key, for example.  We just need to put some thought into relating musically to people who are not formally trained musicians.

The Apostle Paul always tried to become relevant to those whom he was trying to reach and serve.  (I Cor. 9:19-23)  Paul observed the culture around him in order to reference things that the people knew and build upon their knowledge with spiritual truth in his preaching and in his conversations.   Jesus was effective in ministering to people of all walks of life because they felt he was relevant.  He used stories that related to daily life in order to explain spiritual truth, and he demonstrated continual compassion for the hardships and difficulties and losses of life.  He also saw the hearts of the people with whom he came in contact and was able to speak to their deepest needs.  When Jesus communicated with people, I believe that He gave them His full attention and was fully engaged in communicating spiritual truth.  He could draw a crowd due to more than just His healing power.  People wanted to hear what He had to say.  The truths that Jesus spoke and taught were eternal, and He must have used all that He was to communicate them clearly and with passion.  We, too, can use all that we are to communicate spiritual truth and to focus on genuine worship.  We can relate to the daily lives of people so that they know we care about the joys and sorrows in their lives.  We can relate to people by speaking to their needs and clearly demonstrating genuine compassion and agape love for them.   When led to do so, we can use appropriate cultural references and even current events to share God’s truth in a relevant manner.   We can follow the example of Jesus to become more aware of the manner in which we relate to God’s people so that no only our worship leadership but also our lives make a difference and are relevant in ministry.

When it comes to worship ministry, the need for relevance is evident even in the Psalms.  The musicians who wrote them referenced events central to the history of Israel when talking about how God had protected and preserved the nation in every circumstance they faced.  There was a continual focus on remembering all that God had been to them (Savior, Lord, Refuge..) and all that He had done.   Throughout the centuries since the Psalms were written and since Jesus walked the Earth, there have been all kinds of situations surrounding and impacting the ministry of the local church.  Churches have utilized all kinds of worship leadership and musical expression of various types; and cultural surroundings have been a key factor in influencing changes.  It would be unrealistic for us to fail to recognize the fact that worship ministry has always been in the process of change.  It is Biblical and valid to sing to the Lord a new song, inspired by the way that He is working in our lives.  Christians in our congregations as well as those who have been called to the task of worship ministry leadership have done just that throughout the centuries of church history, singing the new songs of their own generation.  In recognizing that change is a constant process, we must also recognize the resistance to change in our own lives.  It is a challenge for any of us to accept change.  Change can be painful.  Change can take us out of our comfort zone.  Change can be threatening.  However, if we are to be relevant in worship ministry leadership, we must continually ask ourselves what contemporary elements of worship and new songs could be useful and meaningful in worship ministry.   We must also be aware of traditional worship practices and songs which might serve as a barrier between the worship ministry and many people in the congregation, and thus might have a negative impact on our relevance in the church today.

For example, choral praise is an element of worship ministry that has always been dear to my heart.  The Lord continues to give new songs for church choir ministry through those he has gifted with the ability to compose, so I don’t believe that He is finished with the use of choirs in worship ministry for His glory.  In order to be relevant in contemporary worship however, choirs will have to relinquish the role of a performing group and exchange it for the dual role of personal worshipers and leaders in worship ministry.   (The word “contemporary” here is not being used to describe a musical style but rather in the context of an overall worship ministry that is relevant today, no matter the style of the song that is being sung.)  Though there are some excellent examples of choral praise as a part of a vital contemporary worship ministry (such as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir), there are several reasons that many churches are no longer including traditional choral praise as part of their ongong worhsip ministry.   The following facts are true of many church choirs and represent the type of disconnect that prevents some elements of worship ministry from being relevant to the hearts and lives of people of all ages in our congregations.

  1. Choirs hold music folders when they sing, pulling heads down and limiting eye contact with the congregation.  This also creates a physical barrier between the choir and the congregation.  In viewing photos of choirs, one discovers that singers who are looking down at music appear to have their eyes closed.  When music must be used, choir member need to raise the music up so that their heads do not have to look down to see the music, and they can actually look over the folder as they are singing.
  2. Choirs often “file in” in single file into the choir loft like some formal processional.
  3. Choirs are usually physically placed as far away from the congregation as can be, due to the design of most church buildings.
  4. Traditional seated choral risers do not allow for effective miking of the choir.  As a result, sound is often covered by instruments (and it’s not always their fault!), which means that the message that is supposed to be conveyed is not coming through.
  5. Our emphasis is on the “performance” of an “anthem” instead of on leading our congregation in singing God’s praises.  (Would we be as committed if we weren’t singing an anthem every Sunday?)
  6. Our body language is often stiff and formal.  We are concentrating on a posture that produces the maximum choral sound.
  7. Our facial expressions are often lacking due to our desire to concentrate on singing the music correctly.  (This very disconnect with the congregation, by the way, means we are not singing correctly even if vocal and choral technique is exemplary!)  It is true that God looks upon our hearts, and genuine worship is always the most important thing.   However, we must remember that the congregation is not blessed with x-ray vision to see inside our hearts.  They must rely instead on their senses in order to receive a message that is being spoken, sung, dramatized, danced, or played during a worship service.  As worship leaders, we should in turn use all of our senses and all of our being to communicate so that the message goes forth with the emphasis of all that we are capable of doing in order to express it.

What a difference! This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression. They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

While you may or may not agree with all of the statements above, I think we can all agree on the fact that in order for overall worship leadership to really effective in making an impact in our churches and in the Kingdom of God, all people who are involved in worship leadership must do everything possible to relate to our congregations.  In other words, we must be aware of the need to be relevant.

The same kinds of visual and audible disconnect that can limit the effectiveness of choral praise also exist in other areas of worship ministry.  The entire worship ministry team must have an attitude of humility and desire to continue to learn and grow in order for God give us the direction we need so desperately.  Everyone who is on the platform in a worship leadership role must be aware that there is a need to be as involved in the message of the music visually as one must be in focus and mental awareness on the technical aspects of music.  The message must speak to our own hearts first and then be communicated through our facial expression, eye contact, posture, and attitude.   It ‘s never just the music that speaks to the heart.  It is God’s spirit working through the music that makes an eternal difference in the lives of people.  If a seeming lack of interest distracts from the message, people may be so bored that they are not open to the truths that are being communicated, thus inhibiting the work of God’s Spirit.

In a time when opinions about what a true worship ministry should be vary widely, we must continually seek God’s wisdom.  A recognition that all music itself and all musical gifts come from God and that the highest expression of music is ultimately to give all glory to God must permeate our hearts and inform all that we do, including planning and preparation for worship.  We must all be aware of the visual picture we present when elevated on a platform in front of God’s people.  What kind of message is being given by our posture and our facial expressions?   How obviously involved are we in the elements of the worship service that do not require our musical gifts?  Are we listening?  Praying?  Hearing from God?  Are we seeking to give Him glory?  Are we doing all that we can do to prepare for worship leadership so that our eyes don’t have to be downcast onto the music when we are singing praises to God?  For musicians, when we are not playing as part of the worship team on a particular song, are we still involved in worshiping God?  When we sing or speak of joy or grace, does our face portray the beauty of these gifts?  When we tell of the sacrifice and agony of our Lord, is the passion we feel for Him evident on our faces?  In everything that we do, we must endeavor to avoid the distractions of complacency, seeming boredom, lack of passion, and poor preparation.  These things focus attention on the question of whether we really believe what we are singing rather than opening hearts to the truth.  Rather, we must first be genuine worshipers and then seek to convey the truth of God’s love through full awareness of our role as a part of a worship leadership team.  Only then can our vulnerability before God and before our fellow worshippers allow us to connect to His life and theirs in a manner than brings relevance to worship ministry as a true reflection of relationship rather than as an artificial performance.

God is real, and our message of His love and salvation is eternally relevant.   Lord God, help us to worship You as we seek to lead effectively and to encourage others to worship You as well.

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This post was written by Travis L. Boyd and adapted by Cynthia Boyd

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Here is a particularly well composed response by an experienced Worship Minister to a question about how a choir should function as worship leaders.  This discussion took place on the forum in the “Music in Worship”  Community on Choralnet.org , and you may view the discussion in it’s entirety by becoming a Choralnet user and a member of the “Music in Worship” community.

“There are some simple universal truths about the choir’s role as worship leaders that I believe apply in any situation.  The first is obvious but so often overlooked and disregarded that it has spawned thousands of conference presentations, books and articles over the last forty years; the choir’s primary role is to lead the people in worship.  Whether the “liturgy” (“work of the people”) is formal or informal, screens or no screens, Catholic or Reformed, Denominational on Non-Denom, hidden in a choir loft or visible front and center it is the same.  Just the fact that you recognize this and want to learn more about it says a lot about your heart, integrity, and training.

First you should have a well defined theology or Credo of the Ministry of Music because everything you do should flow out of that.  Mine is not unique and I share it here so that you might think about developing your own: Glorify, Proclaim, Minister; Glorify God, Proclaim God’s word through song, Minister to and through those who serve.  Think of Glorify as a straight line of praise from the singer upward to God; Proclaim could be seen as a line in the shape of an L—proclaiming the Word to God’s people (horizontal line outward) which brings glory to God as His word is revealed (vertical line upward); Minister to and through those who serve (an inverted T)—I think you get the idea.  We do all of these things throughout worship at different times and sometimes different styles of music.  But to do any of them since the Old Testament the choir has been set apart to perform these roles.  Therefore the choir is in a position of servant leadership.  Next:
Modeling-what the choir does and how they do it sets the example for the congregation in the “what” and “how” in a worship service.  And of course that modeling begins with the director.  Every group reflects their leader.  Our choir is in front of the congregation.  When I want the congregation to stand the choir stands first, when the offering plate is passed in the congregation it is passed in the choir (if we are not singing) even though many singers give their offering on-line or in the mail.  The choir leads the congregation in confession, responsive readings, and of course singing.  Because our liturgy is informal and varies week to week that means we take time in rehearsal to run those things, and “talk” through the order of worship, rather than leaving it to chance.  That models to the choir the importance of those things.  This of course includes the hymns (an essential and extended topic around the choir’s leadership responsibilities).
Authenticity-we often think of this in relation to our own feelings but the choir is charged with the role of leadership which may require one to set their own personal feelings aside.  What I mean is this: one must be authentic to their role, the mood and the message of the music they are making.  I always strive to motivate genuine, personal expression from the personal faith of the singer.  But let’s face it, sometimes we may not feel so joyful on Sunday morning, or mournful on Good Friday.  One principle that seems to represent the greatest level of leadership is a willingness to sacrifice and sometimes that means sacrificing your own personal mood or feelings in order to communicate.  This not acting or “faking it”.  This is about understanding one’s role, their job, and sacrificial leadership.
What flows out of authenticity is expression and that, I think, is a tougher nut to crack.  How do you “free” people up to be expressive?  (For me, this pertains to choirs “seen and unseen”.)  Try to motivate first from personal experience and faith and teach to the idea of their role of leadership, responsibility to authenticity, selfless singing, and embodiment of the music.  They really have to understand and believe in their role and the business of authenticity to their role (above). Address the business of what do you do when your feelings don’t align with the music (answer: sacrifice self for the role of being faithful to the text); share how you feel sometimes.  Maybe you need to “prime the pump”–one of my mentors, Howard Swan, was first a psychologist.  He used to say “act enthusiastic and pretty soon you’ll be enthusiastic”.  Whose spirit hasn’t been transformed by the expressive power of music?  It’s not magic, it’s a gift from God!
Practically speaking they have to lift their folders up so mouths point up and out in order to be heard and faces to be seen; you may need to look into devices or activities that drama instructors use to teach expression.
Our church has been streaming our services for some time now.  The choir has really responded to seeing (and hearing) themselves.  Even though I’ve been at this church 23 years they have a new appreciation for my musical and expressive corrections because they have seen and heard themselves. Video the choir in worship and show it to them in rehearsal.  Is their countenance aligned with the music?  Then take the same piece of music and practice embodying the character of the music.
I hope this epistle has been of some value to you.  And if you like, I’d be happy to continue this discussion with other ideas and experiences independently.  You can contact me through ChoralNet or simply go to www.Belpres.org then navigate through the drop downs: About Us/Church Staff/Worship and Music (on left hand side of page).”
Blessings on your ministry
Scott Dean
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Song Story: “For the Glory of God”

“For the Glory of God”  is a choral anthem written by Travis L. Boyd, which can currently be found on our website’s Adult Choir music page in SATB, SSAA, and TTBB voicings.  There is also a full orchestration available for this anthem.   “For the Glory of God”  features gently syncopated verses which lyrically extol the character and person of our great God, along with a strong chorus that begins with a statement of who God is in our lives, leading into an “Alleluia”  section that ends with a description of our praise for Him and a re-statement of the reason for our praise.  This anthem is in the current repertoire of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan

First Baptist Church of Dublin, Georgia

A SONG STORY
“For the Glory of God” has been a demonstration of love that began as a desire to glorify God while also encouraging the heart of a Georgia Minister of Worship.  Travis was contacted by some people who were active members of the Chancel Choir at First Baptist Church of Dublin, Georgia.  They wanted to commission an anthem in honor of the 25th Anniversary of service to the Lord and to their congregation by their Minister of Worship and Music, Dick Burrell.  It was the desire of these good people to encourage the heart of this dear servant of God through a worship song that could be sung by the choir on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary and would also then be sung by countless churches all around the world for the glory of God.  Travis normally takes as inspiration for any commission work the favorite scripture and favorite hymn title of the person or group the song is being written for.   In this case, there were no specifics given along these lines.   Travis was told that Dick likes rhythmic choral anthems.   Of course, the ultimate purpose of the piece would be to bring glory to God while also being a personal expression of love and encouragement from the choir members to their Director and Minister of Worship, who had served faithfully for many years and had recently lost his dear wife, Vicki.

The First Baptist, Dublin, ministry team did a great job pulling off the surprise for our brother Dick Burrell.  What a great testimony of love from these people, who began working on this surprise months in advance.  I know that brother Dick and all of their church would join with Travis and myself in praying that this song will go on to touch and reach hearts that we will not know on this side of Heaven.  Here is the thank you
e-mail that brother Dick sent to Travis on Monday, Jan. 9th, 2012, after he been surprised with the anthem the day before:

Dick Burrell leading in worship, with the FBC Dublin Chancel Choir

“Dear Travis,

Thank you so much for the anthem, For the Glory of God.  The Chancel Choir (over 40 voices yesterday) sang it in our morning worship.  They had rehearsed whenever I was out of town at our church and other times when I was in town at either Pine Forest Methodist or FUMC.  They did a wonderful job.  Our pianist was a piano performance major at Shorter in the early 70’s and did post grad work at the Mozarteum in Austria.  They all got such a kick out of keeping this from me—-I had no clue.  I look forward to a bit later working on it with them and doing the anthem again.  You may not know that the Jubals sang God Is Faithful at my sweet Vicki’s memorial service last March, so, it was most appropriate that they commissioned you to compose the anthem for my 25th anniversary.

Dick Burrell

Thank you, again.

Dick Burrell”
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May God use this anthem and all who direct or sing or play it for His glory!
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“For the Glory of God,”  like all of Travis’ anthems, is written to be performed with or without the full orchestration.  The piano part is supportive, and chord symbols are included on the music for a rhythm section.   The orchestration is written to be practical for church orchestra and will work with a wide variety of instrumentation, though all of the parts are available for full instrumentation.  Travis is always careful in the writing of an orchestration to allow the orchestra to meaningfully enhance the performance of the anthem but also to make sure that the choir is not “covered up” when the orchestra plays.  You will be more than happy with the results of this attention to detail and to the communication of the message.

“For the Glory of God” is available on our website’s adult choir page @ http://www.worshipsounds.com   You purchase the PDF master copy in your choice of full page or octavo format for $15.00, and then you are allowed to make an unlimited number of copies (for your own choir and rhythm section only).  The orchestration, which includes parts for all instruments, a full score, and a string reduction for keyboard, is $30.00.

“For the Glory of God” can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website, on the Adult Choir music page.  http://www.worshipsounds.com

Or, to view the VIDEO DEMO without going to the website, “For the Glory of God,”  go to:  https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=419798804706616&saved
There is a link to the website page within the information for the video demo, so you can still get to the page for purchase if desired.

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about a relationship to God through Jesus Christ or about life and eternity.

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?
Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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Song Story: “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”

“Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”   Music and lyrics by Travis L. Boyd

“Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”  is a choral anthem and modern hymn, published by the Lorenz Corporation, that shares the full message of the gospel.  The publishers’ description of the anthem states, “This memorable theme steadily builds throughout, forming a powerful statement of praise.”

(NOTE:  Scroll down just below the John 3:16 needlework picture to the “Publisher’s Information Page” heading for a link to the anthem, orchestration, & accomp. trax on the Lorenz website.)

The anthem was inspired by the most beloved scripture verse and the favorite hymn for so many Christians.   Travis wrote this song using as his inspiration John 3:16 and the message of the hymn, “Amazing Grace.”   This is the story of how “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”  came to be written.

In 2002, Travis stated that he wanted to write an anthem in honor of and dedicated to my Dad, who was valiantly fighting cancer (first diagnosed in December of 1999).   Travis asked my Mom to find out what Dad’s favorite scripture verse and favorite hymn were, and to try to do so without arousing any suspicion.  When Mom asked at first, Dad wanted to claim the entire book of John as his favorite scripture passage; but Mom was able to get him to name his favorite verse from the book, John 3:16.  Mom called back to let us know his favorite scripture and also that his favorite hymn was “Amazing Grace.”  Travis began the writing process, and he was blessed with a beautiful melody and a text that powerfully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.  As soon as the song was complete, Travis immediately began arranging the song for SATB Choir.

When “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” was finished, my family began making plans to surprise Dad with the song.  The son of some long time family friends was being married in Tulsa in early 2003.  Since that was near our home, Travis and I invited everyone in our family who could come for the wedding to stay with us while in the area.  While all were at our house, we would make the surprise happen.  My sister, Linda, and brother, Rich, were both able to come, flying in from Washington State.  Though Dad had endured two cancer-related surgeries by this point in his treatment and was still dealing with ongoing chemo and radiation, he was able to do some light travel.  He and Mom drove the 3 and a half hours to our home.  While we were together, we celebrated Dad’s birthday, which was very close to the date of the wedding.  After the festivities, we surprised Dad with “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”   Travis and Mom shared the story of the way they’d been able to learn Dad’s favorites and use them as inspiration.  Then, all of us who were there helped to share the song with Dad for the first time.   Our daughter, Meredith, sang Soprano with me.   Mom and Linda sang alto.  Rich and Travis handled the men’s parts while Travis accompanied on piano.   It was an all-family production, and Dad seemed to be blown away.   Travis told him that he would contact the Choir Director at Mom and Dad’s church to see if the premiere of the anthem could take place at their home church with their own church choir.

The date of the anthem premiere at Mom and Dad’s church (pictured here) was in November of 2003.  Dad had a few months of feeling really good over the Spring and Summer of 2003, and on into the early Fall.  He even felt well enough to drive all the way to South Carolina to visit relatives for almost a month, play a lot of golf, and drive back to Oklahoma.  However, by October, the chemo that had been well tolerated had stopped working.  The next regimen he was placed on seemed to immediately sap his strength, and it later became apparent that his heart had been damaged.  By the time Travis and I and our two boys drove down for the premiere week-end, Dad had already lost both his hair (which had grown back w/ the former chemo med) and his strength.  He was pale and not feeling very well, but he did make it to church that Sunday morning.  The church had chosen to use the occasion of the anthem premiere to say ‘thank you’ to my Dad for his years of faithful service as a Sunday School teacher and in many other capacities.  Dad was rather embarrassed about this.  He felt that there were many others in the church who had served just as faithfully.  My Mom and Travis and I sang in the choir.  My sister, Linda, was able to come, and she sat with Dad, as did our son, Jared, age 10, who had just lost his other Grandpa in May of that same year.  Dozens of Dad’s friends and colleagues were there, as well as his church family.  Everyone present that morning heard the gospel message clearly presented as “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” was sung by a choir for the first time.   The song is much more than a tribute to one man.  It is a testimony of God’s saving grace demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Travis had submitted “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” to one of his publishers, and he got word that it had been accepted for publication by the Lorenz Corporation in the Spring of 2004.  My dad was very pleased to know that.  The anthem went to press bearing a first page inscription in honor of my Dad.  Travis had also been asked by Lorenz to write a full orchestration for the anthem, as he had done for  “God is Faithful”  previously.   So, when “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life” was published as an SATB anthem, Travis’ full orchestration for it was published as well.  Both are still available from Lorenz Music.  (See info below)

Dad passed away in the Fall of 2004, less than a year after the anthem premiere at his church.  The lyrics to “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”  were read by Dad and Mom’s Pastor at his memorial service.  Singing was never Dad’s thing (though he could whistle beautifully).  He left the singing to other members of the family, though he did his best in the congregation at his church.  He always had an appreciation for music and for the power of words.   We hope that his heart was touched by this gift of his favorite expressions of spiritual truth, combined with new words and music.   Our hearts were touched and challenged by his life and by his brave battle with cancer.   And, far beyond anything that we could ask or think, we pray that the message of “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” will continue to touch the hearts of people around the world.

NOTE:  “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life” was on the Lorenz best-sellers list after it was released, and it continues to be a well-loved anthem for choirs all over the world (translated into 3 languages that we know of).  There are Youtube and Vimeo videos that we have discovered of choirs singing the anthem in English, Mandarin, Korean, and Italian.  See additional information below.

Here is the audio from my Sound Cloud set of Pulisher’s Demo Recordings of the Lorenz Studio Demo of “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”   See the publisher’s info page link below for ordereing the music.

LYRICS  FOR  “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”

There is a love sent down to man,
A rugged cross, a spotless lamb,
A life laid down, a sacrifice.
Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!

Here's the first page of "Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!", published by the Monarch division of the Lorenz Corporation.

Here’s the first page of “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”, published by the Lorenz Corporation (Monarch Division).  The inscription at the top reads, “Dedicated to Dr. Harold McCoy White, in celebration of 38 years of faithful service as a layman of The First United Methodist Church, Weatherford, Oklahoma.

There is a hope beyond the grave,
With love so deep and pow’r to save.
Rising above all earthly strife,
Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!

There is a peace that all can know.
It calms the heart and heals the soul.
“Come unto Me!,” the Savior cries!
Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!

(bridge – a paraphrase of John 3:16 – 17)
God so loved the world that He gave His Son,
For us to believe in Him.
For the Son was not sent to condemn the world,
But to save us from our sin.

There is a home prepared for all
Who on the name of Jesus call.
A place of rest, a throne on high!
Amazing grace!  Eternal life!

(repeat last 2 phrases)
Amazing Grace!

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lorenz_logoPUBLISHER’S INFORMATION PAGEHere is a link to the Lorenz Music product page for “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”, where you can hear the entire studio demonstration recording of the anthem with the complete orchestration.  Click on the music note icon to hear the recording or on the Adobe icon to view sample pages.
Information is also provided about the related products available for the anthem, including the orchestration and an accompaniment/performance CD.  http://www.lorenz.com/product.aspxid=10_3228M

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TRANSLATED INTO MANDARIN LANGUAGE:
“Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”  has been translated into Mandarin Chinese and included in a book for Chinese choirs.  It has been posted on Youtube by choirs from several churches singing in Mandarin.
The youtube videos are a little hard to find because as soon as you type in “Amazing Grace,”  hundreds of versions of that song come up first, but here’s one of our favorite videos of the anthem in the Chinese language, sung by the choir at the Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYnchYmXVoI)

Here are the lyrics to “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”  in Chinese characters:

奇異恩典!永恆生命!Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!

有一大愛降臨世上,古舊十架,純潔羔羊。為人捨命犧牲奉獻, 奇異恩典!永恆生命! 有一盼望超越墳墓,深厚至愛全能救主,勝過一切塵世爭競。 奇異恩典!永恆生命! 有一平安人皆可知,靜人心神,治人靈魂。「來就近我」救主邀請。 奇異恩典!永恆生命! 上帝愛世人,賜下祂愛子,好讓我們信靠祂, 神差愛子降世不是要定人罪,是為救我離罪愆。 有一天家為眾而備,靠主聖名天家可歸,安歇美地,寶座天庭。 奇異恩典!永恆生命! 安歇美地,寶座天庭,寶座天庭。奇異恩典!永恆生命! 奇異恩典!
Here’s a link to our playlist of 9 videos of Choirs singing “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” in Chinese:  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMJind8w21aQfYQbS6eVWPVXgyZGBuNqV

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TRANSLATED  INTO  KOREAN:
“Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!’ has also been translated into Korean.  Numerous Korean churches have posted videos of their choirs singing this anthem on YouTube. The video below is of the Choir and Orchestra from New York Presbyterian Church.

See our playlist of over 20 choirs around the world, singing “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!’ in Korean (church locations include South Korea, the United States, and New Zealand) at this link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMJind8w21aQ2kRrM5f9bcc80ZUpOAvlc

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TRANSLATED  INTO  ITALIAN:
 In the video below, the Coro Tre Ponti (Three Bridges Choir), directed by Rino Adam, is singing “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!” in Italian at the Festa di San Giorgio (@ Terdobbate, Italy, April 21st, 2013).  This is the only video we’ve found of “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!” in Italian.  We are not sure whether other choirs have access to this translation, “Sorprendente Grazia!  Eterno Vita!”

The Coro Tre Ponti is based in Arona, Italy.  Their facebook page can be found at:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/CoroTrePonti?fref=ts

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The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Baptist Symphony share worship anthems, including "Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life") at the "Foundations" worship concert, directed by Dr. Bill Green.

The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Baptist Symphony share worship anthems, including “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life”) at the “Foundations” worship concert, directed by Dr. Bill Green.  Over 700 musicians filled the platform, the staircases leading to the balcony on both sides of the platform, and the first section of pews on both sides of the platform.  What a glorious night of praise!

“FOUNDATIONS”  CD and DVD RECORDINGS:  “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” was chosen as part of the concert repertoire for the ‘Foundations’ concert presented by The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Baptist Symphony, directed by Dr. Bill Green,  in May, 2005.  The entire concert was recorded on both a CD and a DVD called “Foundations.”  Our post about the blessings of worshipping together all through the day of rehearsals and the evening’s concert at this event is called, “The Blessings of Worshipping Together.”  There is a photo of the event included in the post as well.  Here is the link to that post:
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/blessings-through-worshipping-together/

Here is a link to the audio recording of the previously mentioned BGCO groups singing, “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!” during the “Foundations” worship concert.
https://soundcloud.com/#travis-l-boyd/amazing-grace-eternal-life-bgco?in=travis-l-boyd/sets/recordings-of-my-anthems-by

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TITLE SONG ON RECORDING BY TOURING GROUP:  “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”  has also been recorded by The Farrells, a ministry of the Tom Farrell Evangelistic Foundation, as the title song on one of their CDs.
One website that offers this CD can be found at  http://www.mbbcbookstore.com/SPD/amazing-grace–eternal-life—9015751555667820287.jsp

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“Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”  was included in the repertoire for the Atlanta Choral Guild’s May, 2012, concert.  The program was titled “Georgia:  The Past Meets the Present.”  There is a blog post about this event @ https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/blessings-through-community/

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EPILOGUE

My mother and several of her friends were able to attend the “Foundations” concert and hear the song that was first inspired by my Dad’s favorites as it was being sung and played by over 700 musicians.  The ladies loved the entire worship concert, and especially “Amazing Grace! Eternal Life!”   My Dad would have enjoyed that evening as well, but he probably would still have cherished the initial family performance of the anthem and the premiere at the church where he and Mom had attended and served for decades even more.

Happy 80th Birthday, Dad!

I wrote this to honor the Lord and in your memory.

Love, Cindy

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Post written by Cynthia A. Boyd, February 1st, 2012

In honor and in memory of Dr. H. M. White, longtime professor of Organic Chemistry at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, founder of the SWOSU Summer Science Academy, graduate of Clemson University (Bachelors, Masters, and PhD), Army veteran and Reservist (served in the United States and in Germany), crossword puzzle pro, community volunteer, golfer, Sunday School teacher, active layman, Founding Board Member of Weatherford YMCA, Rotarian, Paul Harris Fellow, Weatherford Golf Course Board member, a faithful son and husband, father, brother, uncle, great uncle, cousin, nephew, Grandaddy, and friend.

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Do you know Jesus? 

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?

Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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* FREE * Choral Anthem PDF for your Choir or Ensemble!

WELCOME,  MINISTERS  OF  WORSHIP  AND  CHORAL  DIRECTORS!

Click on the photo above to go directly to our Worship Sounds Music website.

Click on the photo above to go directly to our Worship Sounds Music website.

At Worship Sounds Music, we are currently offering a special deal for first time customers and for those who have purchased our music before.  We would love to give you
one free Choral Anthem PDF
with the purchase of an Anthem PDF

from our Worship Sounds Music website.

We have no additional “per copy” fees, which means that
you can have 2 new Anthems, with copies for all of your choir members, for $15.00 or less!

Why are we making this offer?

*  We love to praise God through Choral music and help others do the same!

*  We want to say “Thank You!”

At Worship Sounds Music, we want to say “Thank You!”  to Choir Directors or Ministers of Music and Worship who take time to look over our music and make a purchase.  We know that you are committed to choosing music that lifts up the name of the Lord and that will encourage your choir and congregation as they meet to worship.  We are humbled by your decision to consider some of our music.  However God has led you to Worship Sounds, we are grateful for you and for your passion to lead God’s people in worshipping Him.  It is an incredible blessing when God takes what each individual can do for His Kingdom and multiplies the impact far beyond anything that we could ask or think.

Many of our friends in worship ministry have known about Worship Sounds Music for a while, and others are just learning about us.

We appreciate all of you, and this free anthem offer is our way to show it!

Note:  We’re offering this promotion as long as this blog post remains.  So, whether you are a repeat customer or you are new to Worship Sounds, you can  buy one, get one FREE  with this promotion of our Choral Anthem PDFs!

With your free anthem, you will get all the copies you need of  BOTH  Choral Anthems for the low price of $10 – $15!
(plus your printing costs)

AFFORDABLE!  Our Choral Anthem PDF Masters cost between $10.00 and $15.00 each, with permission to make an unlimited number of copies for your group.  Your total cost for both anthems will depend upon which anthems you choose.  Your free one will be the anthem which costs the least from the 2 you have selected.

CONVENIENT!  With our e-delivery of your PDF Master copies, there will be no mailing costs!

YOUR CHOICE!  All of our Choral Anthem PDFs are available in your choice of Full Page or Octavo format.  Choose what works best with your copier and your choir folders.

ALL THE COPIES YOU NEED!  There is no ‘per copy’ fee

NEVER  PAY  MORE!  You will be authorized to print all the copies needed for your church or organization and can even print more later if your choir grows.  There is no additional fee whatsoever.  The one time cost of your PDF master copy is all you will ever pay!

(Note:  If you cannot use Pay Pal for your order, contact Travis directly through his webmail address to make alternate arrangements.  Travis@worshipsounds.com

In 2 easy steps, here’s how our buy 1, get 1 free promotion works:

TWO STEPS TO GET YOUR FREE ANTHEM!
Purchase one anthem PDF from our Worship Sounds Music website, and you will receive a second anthem PDF (of equal or lesser value) for your choir or ensemble ABSOLUTELY FREE by doing the following:

Step 1.  Choose and purchase your original anthem PDF. 

Note:  You can choose from your anthem from either the “General Use Anthems”  music page or the “Seasonal Anthems” music page.  Both pages have music suitable for Adult Choirs, Student Choirs, and Senior Adult Choirs.  The “General Use” page also has music for Women’s Choir and Men’s Choir.)  Our featured anthems that are on the Home Page are also on the other pages as well.  Choose any anthem! 

Step 2.  Use our webmail address to order your free anthem PDF directly from Travis.   The second anthem doesn’t have to be the same voicing or be on the same website page.(See the info on how to order below in order to make sure you give us all of the info we need to send the correct free anthem to you.)
The web mail address (for ordering your freebie or for any questions about our music) is found on our website’s Home Page.  Travis@worshipsounds.com

*  HOW  TO  ORDER  YOUR  FREE  ANTHEM  *

Use the webmail address above, and be sure to send us all of the information requested below (Anthem name, voicing, desired format, and e-mail address we are to use to send download instructions).

A.  Remember that the cost of your free PDF should be equal to or less than the cost of the PDF that you purchased.

B.  When you contact us via webmail to request your free anthems, be sure to let us know the specifics.
*  1. The name of the anthem
*  2. Your preferred format for the free PDF (octavo or full-page format)
Note:  S
ee the paragraph at the top of our website’s Shopping Cart page for info about Copier capabilities to help you decide which format will work best with the copier you will be using.
*  3.  What voicing you prefer (if there is a choice with the anthem you selected).

C.  Remember to let us know which e-mail address you prefer to use for our response (it should match the e-mail address used for the purchase so that we can verify the offer).  Send your e-mail when you are sure that all of the needed info is there.  (Don’t worry!  If you forget something, we’ll just e-mail and ask for the needed info so you can get your music!)

We will send you an e-mail, telling you how to download your free anthem.   If you have any difficulty, please let us know through the web mail address so that we can honor our pledge to you.

Click on the photo above to go to our Worship Sounds Music website.

Click on the photo above to go to our Worship Sounds Music website.

To Qualify for this FREE OFFERYou DO need to be the Director of a Choir or Ensemble in order to take advantage of this free Choral anthem PDF offer.

FULL  ANTHEM  ORCHESTRATIONS  and  ACCOMPANIMENT  TRACKS  AVAILABLE:
Many of our Choral anthems have Full Orchestrations available, and our Anthem Orchestrations are priced very affordably at $25.00 or $30.00, depending upon length and difficulty level.  All of our Full Orchestrations (in bundled PDFs) include a Conductor’s Score, a string reduction for keyboard, and reproducible parts sheets for all winds, strings, and percussion (rhythm section).  In addition, some of our anthems have accompaniment trax available, and we will be adding additional accompaniment trax as time permits.  The accompaniment tracks are in the form of a downloadable Mp3 and are $10.00 each.

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ABOUT  THE  COMPOSER:

Travis L. Boyd is a former High School Band director who has been serving as a Minister of Music and Worship for many years.  As a Choral Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, and Orchestrator, he has Choral Anthems, praise songs, Anthem Orchestrations, and Brass and Rhythm Charts published with Shawnee Press / Hal Leonard, Lorenz, Inc., Lifeway, Choristers Guild, and Broadman.  His works have been translated into Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, and Italian and have been sung, played, and recorded by the following Choral and Instrumental groups:

Travis L. Boyd

Travis L. Boyd

*  The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma
*  The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma
*  The Oklahoma Baptist Symphony
*  The Sons of Jubal
*  The Jubalheirs
*  The Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters and Orchestra
*  The Atlanta Choral Guild
*  The Farrells
*  InOvation

…in addition to having been recorded by several individuals on custom CDs and shared in worship and concert settings, on Vimeo, and on YouTube by Adult, Children’s, and Student Choirs in Churches and Schools worldwide.  It is such a privelege to be a part of choral ministries, and Travis counts it a blessing to both direct and sing in choral organizations.  He loves to worship and praise the Lord and to lead God’s people in worship.  There is no sweeter sound!

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HELP  US  SPREAD  THE  WORD  ABOUT  Worship Sounds Music!

Like any new company, we’re unknown to many people who would be glad to hear about an affordable choice for quality choral music for choirs and ensembles of all ages,  as well as music for congregational worship, solo music, and orchestrations.  They would especially love to hear about our free anthem offer.  Feel free to share this page with your friends.

*  We welcome new subscribers to our WorshipSounds blog, which shares inspiration and practical information as well as info about WorshipSounds Music.

*  We also welcome new subscribers to our Constant Contact list for occasional e-mail updates about new Anthems, Solos, Trax, and Orchestrations added to our Website.  (Click the “Join my List” button on our Home Page.)

*  We also have two facebook pages for our company.  You’ll find both in the sidebar of our blog.  We’d love for you to “like” either the “Worship Sounds Choral Music” page or the “Worship Sounds Music & Ministry” page (or both!).   We keep them updated with info about new Choral Anthems, additional voicings, new Orchestrations and Accompaniment Tracks, and new Vocal Solos.  We also promote our worship-related blog posts and often post worship scriptures or quotes for inspiration.

If you have any questions about our company or our music, or if you’d like to share a testimony about how you have been able to praise God using some of our music with your choir, ensemble, or soloist, please send your questions, testimonies, or choir photo and info to our webmail address, as found on the homepage of our Worship Sounds Music website.

Travis@worshipsounds.com

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our Worship Sounds website.

Blessings to you in your life and ministry from Worship Sounds Music!

Travis L. Boyd
Worship Sounds Music,
for your Choirs, Ensembles, Orchestra, Congregation, and Soloists

Be sure to check out some of the helpful and inspirational posts on the Worship Sounds blog while you are here!

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This blog post was compiled and edited by Cynthia A. Boyd

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jeusu?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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