Some time ago, I queried the list about possible processional pieces for a
very large liturgical service. Thankfully, I was inundated with
suggestions. So, at long last, I share with all of you what was shared with
By the way, I ended up using the Monteverdi, Campra, and Wolf pieces, which
worked well. Many thanks to all of you who lent me your expertise...
Dukas: FANFARE from La Peri
Handel: ENTRY OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA from Solomon
Walton: ORB AND SCEPTRE MARCH, CROWN IMPERIAL MARCH
Elgar: the POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE marches
Rimsky-Korsakov: PROCESSION OF THE NOBLES from Mlada
Mendelssohn: WAR MARCH OF THE PRIESTS from Athalia
Meyerbeer: CORONATION MARCH from Le Prophete
F.J. Haydn: MARCH FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MUSICIANS
Tchaikovsky: CORONATION MARCH
Saint-Saens: CORONATION MARCH
Saint-Saens: MARCH HEROIQUE
Andre Campra: RIGAUDON
Strauss: FESTIVAL INTRADA
Eugene Gigout: GRAND CHOEUR DIALOGUE
Mussorgsky: GREAT GATES OF KIEV from Pictures at an Exhibition
Dan Locklair: PHOENIX FANFARE AND PROCESSIONAL
Monteverdi: DEUS IN ADJUTORIUM from 1610 Vespers
Martin Shaw: PROCESSION
Christopher Walker: LAUDATE DOMINUM (multiple persons recommended this one)
S. Drummond Wolf: PROCESSIONAL ON FOR ALL THE SAINTS
Josef Suk: TOWARD A NEW LIFE
David J. Puderbaugh
Director of Music & Liturgy
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
As usual, the combined wisdom of this wonderful mailing list has produced a
wealth of suggestions for a grand processional. Many thanks to those who
shared their ideas.
A great piece is
Personent Hodie, by Lara Hoggard EC Schirmer
Brass and Organ...wonderful processional
Hudson High School
(suggested also by others)
"Great, Wide, Beautiful, Wonderful World" by William Copper. It was
written for children's choir, but would make a perfect processional for
men and boys. At one point, there is a four-voice canon which could
easily be extended depending on how long you would want the processional
to last. This is new, in preparation for printing now, never premiered.
As you'll see, the accompaniment is piano at the moment -- any composer
would beg to be allowed to orchestrate!
A demo recording is available online, mp3 format:
How about "The Promise of Living" from the Tenderlands by Copeland.
Although this piece isn't a processional, it might serve your purpose.
I have two suggestions for you to use. First, if it is able to split the
choir into two entities, try the Parry "I was Glad when they said unto me"
Written for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. If not, I would try the
Coronation Anthem "Zadock the Priest" by Handel. Both are beautiful anthems
with a great empowering spirit written within the musical lines.
I live loudly and dangerously...DEAL WITH IT!
'04 Westminster Choir College
There is a wonderful piece called All Praise to Music by Ron Nelson. I
have used it as a processional piece with men and boys. Sometimes we
precede it with a big fanfare.
David R. White, Artistic Director and Conductor
The Atlanta Boy Choir
I have found a great solution for something like this is to have several
hymn-like procession numbers interspersed with a recurring shorter hymn or
refrain that ALL in attendance can join in, ending with a big ALL number
when the procession is finally in place. Gives an opportunity for varying
the orchestral/organ/choral texture, as well as involving everyone.
Depending on the nature of the event, and how the procession proceeds, the
changeable numbers might be timed so that they are sung by various entering
groups, while the those already in place join in the ALL repetition. A
number of possibilities - but I have found that attempting one extended
piece to be very laborious and tiring -- for singers and listeners alike.
Charles Q. Sullivan
I just used Mack Wilberg's Cantus in Harmonia published by Oxford for a
processional on my last concert. It works very well for this purpose and
includes percussion parts that may be augmented as deisired. We used hand
drum, finger cymbals, triangle, and hand bells.
Thomas J. Rinn
Clear Lake HS Choral Department
At the risk of promoting my own compositions, you might take a look at "I
believe" and "All one". Text are written by Richard Holdworth.
You can find them at
Thanks for considering!
-- Jacques Guyader
I don't know whether or not you would consider "Adiemus" by Karl Jenkins,
but it might be something worth looking at. It's published by B&H and (I
think) works well as a processional.
Choral Activities Director
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
Try Flor Peeters' Entrada Festiva (Peters). Mostly brass & organ,
but with some choral stuff in it too. Big and grand, and of variable
length. If needed, you can insert some other appropriate music into it
as interludes, if the procession is really long.
Brooks Grantier, The Battle Creek Boychoir, Battle Creek, MI
The processional music from Die Meistersinger comes to mind,
altlhough I don't know whether the text would be appropriate.
John & Susie Howell
Virginia Tech Department of Music
I am always on the lookout for such works! Especially those with a
non-specific text &/or non-religious! The only ones I can think of are "See
the conquering hero comes" from Judas Maccabeus (Handel) and "Zadok the
Priest" (again Handel), although, their texts are a little specific. Maybe
Britten's "Festival Jubilate" or "Academic Overture" might be appropriate,
depending on the occasion. Is there anything by John Rutter?
If there's enough lead time, would you consider commissioning a work by an
Australian composer? Or, try contacting Morton Music (in Qld) or the
Australian Music Centre (The Rocks, Sydney), for Aussie choral works.
I'd be very interested in reading a compilation.
Director, Macquarie University Singers
My African Processional: "Jambo rafiki yangu" (Welcome my friend) has sold
many copies here in the U.S. It has been a very popular piece with
audiences and singers alike. It is scored for unison choir, 4 part choir,
and percussion. If you wanted a grander accompaniment, a keyboard part
could be easily improvised on organ or piano. . .this would be fine with me.
It is available in SATB or TTBB and is designed for both beginning and more
advanced groups to sing together.
You can learn more about me and my music at my website:
Please call me and let me know what you think. I would love the opportunity
to work with your festival in contributing my music. I would also be very
interested in composing for you, if the opportunity ever came up.
Thanks for your time!
David V. Montoya
Grand processional by Martin Shaw
arr. Dale Wood, Praise To The Lord, for Organ, Orchestra, brass,
and Timpani. Wonderful piece. The Sacred Music Press,
501 E. Third Street, Dayton, Ohio 45401 US Phone 513-228-6118
1976 and still in print. $5.95 All parts included and copy license.
You could also Arrange Robert Wetzler's Processional on
Westminster Abbey for choir and organ. #97-4574 Concordia
Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri $3.25 organ part only.
You would need to provide a singers arr. but perfect for a big
mens and boys chorus.
I hope this helps,
Los Angeles, California
One that springs to mind immediately is the
Entrata Festiva by Flor Peeters (I think that's how the last name is
spelled). My recollection is that it is big and noisy and can be
repeated ad libitum.
While I cannot suggest anything already written, perhaps your needs would be
best filled by commissioning a new work. I think of the great pieces
written for the opening service at the Olympic Games, and also for Royal
Occasions in the UK.
Mack Wilberg of Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) has demonstrated a great talent
for composing, arranging, and orchestrating works for large choral forces
and orchestra. He did most of the music for the Salt Lake City Winter
Olympics a few years ago, and many of the arrangements currently performed
by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
John Rutter of England is another possibility.
Richard Webster of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois (USA)
is another suggestion. He has arranged many festive hymn tunes for choir +
A search on www.google.com for any of the above names should provide further
details and links to their websites.
All the best,
Webmaster - NYC Chapter of the AGO
Grand Processional - Martin Shaw - ed. Dale Wood - Sacred Music
Press, Dayton, Ohio (ends with "Praise to the Lord" Lobe den Herren)
"Pipe Up and Be Heard!"
PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics
Thank you to all who responded to my inquiry about choir processionals. I
have included my original request and followed it with the many
responses. For those interested in more processionals, check the choralnet
website for more suggestions. I also want to add that Sing Dem Herrn
written by Praetorius was arranged by Wallace DePue. Hope this compilation
helps those who emailed. Happy planning for your choirs!
Assistant Director of Choirs
Hilliard Darby HS
4200 Leppert Road
Hilliard, OH 43026
>Greetings from the Midwest!
>I am spending some time this summer researching new choir
>processional possibilities for our top high school choir to perform
>this upcoming school year. In the recent past, the group has
>performed: "Keep your Lamps" - Thomas; "Helleluyan" - Ulrich; "O Sifuni
>Mungu" - arr.
>Maddox; "Sing dem Herrn". We perform the processional at every major concert
>throughout the year and are particularly interested in ones where
>candlelight and torches could be used.
> I am interested to learn if your choirs have
>favorite processionals that we have not performed as of yet. If
>you would forward the name and composer/arranger of the ones that
>you have used and loved to me privately at the email listed below, I will
>be happy to compile a
>listing if there is an interest.
>Lora Lynn Moore
>Asst. Director of Choral Activities
>Hilliard Darby HS
4200 Leppert Road
>Columbus, OH 43026
>Whitney, A Pentatonic Alleluia, (Santa Barbara, 137 SSSSAAA). I got this
>from SF Girls chorus, slightly aleatory, very haunting.
>Please PHONE 358-0702 if email needs attention today.
>Joyce Keil, Artistic Director
>Ragazzi Boys Chorus
>Home address: 729 Sequoia Ave. San Mateo CA 94403
>Office: 20 N. San Mateo Dr. Ste. 9 San Mateo CA 94401
>Home phone: 650-358-0702
>We had great luck with ALLELUIA (SATB & organ) by Richard Keys Biggs,
>"Praise the Lord" (French Cameroon folksong) - arr. Johnson pub. by
>Earthsongs (includes instructions for special steps as you process)
>"Thank the Lord" arr. Clausen pub. by Mark Foster (in 6/8, but can use
>either one or two steps per measure). Good processional for Thanksgiving
>"Bethlehem Procession" Pepper Choplin pub. by Harold Flammer (Shawnee).
>Great for a Christmas concert.
>Dr. Charles Livesay
>Director of Choirs
>Spring Arbor University
>Spring Arbor, MI 49283
>I have used Singh's Medieval Gloria
>Praetorius's, Jubilate Deo
>Stephen A. Stomps, Director of Choirs
>Auburn High School Choirs
>250 Lake Avenue Extension
>Auburn New York 13021
>PH: 315-255-8300 x2305
>TRy "Halle, Halle, Halle" GIA pusblishing- works well with percussion
>added each go around.
>Hilton Head Island, SC
>*PRAISE YE THE LORD (three-part) is a marvelous processional canon for any
>voice combination. One of Germany's greatest composers, Georg Phillip
>Telemann, wrote this piece and Wallace De Pue arranged it. As an anthem
>in church or as a concert piece, this work is excellent. As a
>processional, it has few peers. Both English and German texts are
>present. This piece is one of Warner Brothers' best sellers. The order
>number is SV8926. The text is:
>Praise ye the Lord! O praise the Lord!
>With all my heart will I praise Him.
>While I shall live, I want to praise the Lord with all my heart, and
>glorify His name.
>Praise ye the Lord! O praise the Lord and glorify His name!
>The vocal range is from C1-e2. (1:52, once through) #EASY
>*SING DEM HERRN (5-voice canon) is published by Warner Brothers; the order
>number is SV8640. Michael Praetorius composed this canon for 2 to 5
>voices in any combination, and Wallace De Pue arranged it. Both English
>and German texts are present. As a processional, this piece is tops! It
>is a "best seller" for Warner Brothers, and was adopted by the Men's
>Chorus of Bowling Green State University as its traditional
>processional. The English text is:
>Sing to the Lord, Alleluia!
>We all love Him.
>Praise to His name! Sing it with timbrel and harp!
>Sing to the Lord, Alleluia!
>The vocal range is (D1-d2) #EASY
>Wallace De Pue
>A favorite processional at Heidelberg College in the 70's was an SATB
>arrangement of All Glory Laud and Honor by Ferris and Dorothy Ohl which
>was published by Plymouth Choral Series. It may still be available.
>The second verse had some nice a cappella scoring and the third verse puts
>the sopranos in descant from what I remember. You'll need a good pianist.
>Traditionally, the St. Olaf Choir, in their annual Christmas Program, uses
>Beautiful Savior arranged by F. Melius Christiansen which is published by
>Augsburg. It may be SSAATTBB. They use candlelight on this processional
>Although I have never used it as a processional, Paul Christiansen's
>arrangement of Lift High the Cross may be appropriate. This may be
>published also by Augsburg.
>Director, Medina Chorus
>Vocal Music Director, Buckeye Senior High School, Medina, Ohio
>Director, Middleburg Heights UCC Chancel Choir
>At the annual Christmas concerts (2), Sandusky (Ohio) High School uses O
>Come All Ye Faithful as a tradiitonal introit, with candles held by each
>choir member, entering the auditorium behind the handbell choir. The
>choir surrounds the audience and sings another carol and then processes to
>the stage, where they finish the first section of the concert with
>traditional carols, lit only by the candles. While this obviously won't
>work thru the year, it's a tradition at SHS that goes back decades.
>Norfolk District United Methodist Men's Chorus
Come to the Water - John Foley is the composer ? This octavo would work
nicely as a processional as well.
>You Nations All arr. By Karle Erickson is a great piece for processional and
>the torches/candlelight would be appropriate to the text.....
>Bel Canto Chorale, Wantagh NY
>There are several ChoralNet resources on this:
>choralnet.org > Repertoire > Other Occasions > Processionals
> Check the website for additional processionals.
>Allen H Simon
>Chair of Web Services
>You might consider Jubilate Deo - a six part canon by Praetorius. I had
>my choir walk in from the rear of the auditorium singing it in unison.
>We then broke up into 6 voices. The audience loved it. It's not very
>difficult, but the effects are wonderful.
>Freedom Come: Inside These Walls, by Ben Allaway, is an excellent
>This was commissioned by Lynda Hasseler at Capital University, FYI. It is
>a South African-style freedom song calling the community into a neutral
>area (the Bandari) to reconcile.You can order direct from Benallaway.com
>by returning this e-mail. 1.50 per copy, cd available.
>Ben Allaway, composer
>Des Moines, IA
>David Stanley York's "Sing Unto the Lord" is always a crowd pleaser!
>E. Joseph America
>We just recently used "Master's in This Hall" for our last holiday concert
>as a processional. . . there are many different arrangements out there
>that work well!
>Pax Christi. . . .
>Siyahamba is a favorite of mine, our choirs, and audiences. Allows for
>audience participation as well...a great way to open a concert or
>Dr. Douglas Rose
>Chair, Music Department
>Albion, MI 49224