Settings of: Old Irish Blessing
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 09:35:57 +0000
From: rhouseh(a)uwindsor.ca (Richard Householder)
Subject: An Irish Blessing - Compilation
Since there was some interest expressed in learning the results of my quest
for good SATB settings of the text of An Irish Blessing, here they are. I
included duplicate recommendations so you can see how often some
suggestions were made.
Thank you very much to the thirty individuals who provided information; you
are named at the end of the compilation.
Try "Go Gently From Me Lover", arranged by Robert DeCormier, Lawson-Gould
Publisher (sorry, I don't have the catalogue number at my fingertips)
A great TTBB arrangement is by Williams (Shawnee Press?)
Try "Benediction" by Owen Goldsmith - it's one of the most gorgeous and
non-demanding settings I have ever heard.
A former classmate of mine at St. Olaf College (MN) did a very nice
setting of the Irish Blessing several years ago and it was published.
Although I don t have the publisher information at hand right now, she is:
Katie (Moran) Bart
2328 North Lake Drive
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
I have often used, both with church choirs and school choirs the setting by
Jerome Williams published by Shawnee Press. I have enjoyed it as have my
Actually, my chamber choir has sung an arr. by our band director that is
pretty decent. There are a couple of awkward voice leadings, but, all in
all, the choir enjoyed singing it. I could send a copy if you wish.
Director of Choral Activities
Black Hills State University
Spearfish, SD 57799-9098
I believe their is a less known, beautiful setting by New Zealand
composer David Hamilton.
28 Mewburn Avenue
ph/fax? (649) 6389226
Rutter has an excellent published version. Jerry Ulrich has an
unpublished version, which I quite enjoy. I will be contacting him
shortly, as I have almost finished transcribing it in Finale. When I
do, he is intending to publish, but I believe he would allow you to make
copies in the mean time. -Gus
I wrote a setting of the Irish Blessing for my choir at Lambuth University
last year. It's SSAATTBB unaccompanied and has been very well received by
our audiences. If you're interested let me know.
Ross C. Bernhardt
Director of Choral Activities
Lambuth University See our Web page at http://pages.prodigy.com/Lambuth
Jackson, TN 38301
(901) 425-3248 (w)
(901) 668-1789 (h)
Personal web page: http://www.public.usit.net/bernhard
Although it is an easy one, Joyce Eilers' setting is a favorite of my
choirs at church & school.
Richard, hasn't Rutter done a setting of this? (p.s. I'll do one for
your friend--just need a bit of lead time)
Conrad Grebel College
University of Waterloo
I use a rather pretty setting by Denes Agay, called "Old Irish Blessing."
It's for SATB with piano, optional guitar and bass (I think -- we do it at
school graduations with piano only). Unfortunately, the last I heard, it was
out of print. Good luck!
Plymouth music publishes a wonderful setting in the Henry Leck Choral Series.
I've used it with my church and my community chorus, heard a children's
chorus do it, and also the Anderson (IN) University Chorale sing it. Easy to
sing and pleasant to hear, but not mundane at all.
A good friend of mine did a setting of that text. It was premeired by The
Ink-Still-Wet Ensemble last November.
It is a simple, SATB, a cappella setting. Very appropriate for closing a
concert. It is, as yet, unpublished.
Feel free to contact me or he.
Irish Blessing by Dr. Chester L. Alwes (Univ of IL)
Published by Mark Foster Music Company, Champaign, IL
SATB a cappella w/rehearsal kybd - 16 measures in length, qtr. note = 60
Written for Dr. J. David Wagner and the Hanover College Choir
Schaffner Music has a fine setting of this text by Allen Bonde. It is for SATB a
cappella. I will be happy to send an examination copy to anyone interested. Just
E-mail me at 102057.3355(a)compuserve.com with your institutional snail mail
Steven L. Schaffner
Editor and Publisher
"The Irish Blessing" by Chester Alwes is quite nice. (Then again, it is
one of our publications ;-) )
If your friend is interested, I can arrange for him to get a gratis
reference copy. All I would need is his address.
David Bohn, composer, organist
Assistant Editor/Head Internet Surfer
Mark Foster Music Company, Box 4012, Champaign, IL 61824-4012
800-359-1386 FAX: 217-398-2791 Phone: 217-398-2760
My favorite is by J. Jerome Williams, and it's called A Parting Blessing.
Simple, pretty. It's two pages, and sometimes I use only the first page,
which has the complete text. Can't remember who publishes it, but you
should be able tto find it. If not, holler!
There is a lovely setting for SATB/piano (or guitar and bass)
called "Old Irish Blessing" by Dennis Agay - it has been available for
about 10 years. I don't have the specifics, but I can get them for you if
J. Jerome Williams, "A Parting Blessing"
We have one in our catalog by Dan Schwartz.
SBMP 108 SSA
SBMP 109 SAB
Barbara Harlow, President
Santa Barbara Music Publishing
260 Loma Media
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
There is a nice a cappella setting by Chester A. Alwes (University of
Illinois faculty) published by Mark Foster.
I'm a little behind in my email. If this is still appropriate, I have a
new SATB setting of An Irish Blessing by William Witherup, just published
by Selah - 410-132. Bill's congregation sings it in unison almost every
Sunday. There are many more but this is my personal favorite. If you need
others, let me know and I'll look up what else I have.
Shelley Huston, MusiCopyist, sihuston(a)pathway.net
Dick....you might want to try the Denes Agay setting. I've done it off and
on for over 15 years. Nice choral writing and pretty piano part.
I have used a composition entitled Benediction by Owen Goldsmith SATB
acapella. I do not have it handy but if your music store can't find it let
me know. It is a very fine arrangement of this text. Good Luck!
I am presently preparing a work on that text entitled Benediction by Owen
Goldsmith published by Galaxy Music Corp (SATB). My choir really likes
it and has responded well.
Hi--I don't know how you feel about John Rutter, but he has done a seting of
the Irish Blessing.
Look at "Old Irish Blessing" by Agay, SATB. It is a level 2 anthem, but
My sources were:
Martin Banner Andy Call Meegan Bernstein
Allen Borton Dean Ekberg Steve Parker
Joel Pressman Leslie A. Cothern Ross Bernhardt
Mark L. Williams Leonard Enns Ann Foster
Jeffrey Carter Greg Lapp Jane C. Menkhaus
Steven L. Schaffner David Bohn David Griggs-Janower
Walter Collins Mike Ellingsen Donna Sparks
Barbara Harlow Nancy Menk Shelly I. Huston
Craig Scott Symons Gary E. Morris Arnold Epley
John T. Lankin zosia Lynn Throssell
Director of Choral Activities e-mail: rhouseh(a)uwindsor.ca
School of Music Phone: (519) 253-4232, x2797
University of Windsor Fax: (519) 971-3614
Canada N9B 3P4