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Choral music is one of my favorite and most personal mediums. When we sing, we use what God has provided; nothing else is necessary. I spent my early years singing in choirs of all kinds, both in school and in church. These associations continued through college and graduate school, where I had the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors of the day. 

The “selected” list below is long; hopefully it demonstrates my love of choral writing. Many fine musicians have come to my aid in performing these pieces, too many to mention. I thank all of them, and cherish the many wonderful moments that we shared in the creative process. 


I owe a special debt of gratitude to the late John W. Williams, (1940-2011) one of the finest choral conductors that I have ever known. I first worked with John as a college student at Wittenberg University; for more than 20 years, he provided opportunities for me to work with his choirs and master my choral writing skills. More importantly, he was a mentor and teacher; his programming taught me a great deal about the art of writing for voices. I also owe much of my choral conducting skills to what I learned from this man. 


John’s own passion for music making inspired him to take on enormous projects at times, ones with considerable risk, both professional and personal. Some people would urge caution, but John was not the type of man to stand down! His determination rubbed off on this student. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Take those risks and live a life that is worth remembering, one that serves others and changes lives. 






Songs of Celebration  (Expanded version  2022-23)
Soprano, SATB Choir, organ, chamber orchestra
     Resurrection Day
     The Paschal Presence
     Song to the Holy Spirit
Come, Beloved of the Maker (2022)
Anthem, SATB choir, organ
Christ Be With Me (2022)
SATB, Unaccompanied 
The Lockless Door (2019)
SATB, Chorus, Piano
This Little Light of Mine (2019)
SATB Chorus, Piano
This Day of Being (2018)
SATB, unaccompanied 
O Mistress Mine (2017)
SATB, unaccompanied 
Blessed are the People (1981; revised 2017)
Two-part chorus, Solo flute, organ
Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing (2016)
SATB Chorus, organ
Pied Beauty (2014)

SATB Chorus, Solo French Horn, piano.

Great Spirit Come…… (2012)

From The Trinity Suite, for trumpet/flugelhorn and organ. 

Lord, Make Me An Instrument (2011)

SATB Chorus, piano.

I'm Nobody!: Three Songs of Emily  (2010 - 15)
SATB Chorus, Piano
     I'm Nobody! 
     Hope is the Thing with Feathers 
     A Little East of Jordan 

Elijah and the Raven (2008)

SATB chorus, a cappella.

O God Our Help in Ages Past (2007)

SATB chorus, a cappella.


Set Me as a Seal (2004)

SATB chorus, a cappella, with solo flute.

Ballads of Grace (2001)

SATB chorus, a cappella

    1. Zacchaeus (2001)
     2. No Room (2001) 

Nu sculon herigean (1999)

SATB Chorus, soprano solo, organ.

Psalm 103 (Bless the Lord, O my Soul) (1998)
SATB chorus, a cappella
      1. Bless the Lord, O My Soul
      2. As for Man, His Days are Like the Grass
      3. The Lord Has Established his Kingdom

A Message from Paul (1997)

Double-chorus, a cappella.

Dying at My Music! (1992)

SATB chorus (4-8 parts), flute choir, piano.

Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair (1989)

Arrangement of a song by Stephen Foster for SATB chorus, a cappella. Published by Hinshaw Press

Magnificat/Nunc dimittis (1991)

Unison / 2-part choir.

Live Always in this Knowing (1990)

SATB chorus, organ.

Absolute and Nothing (1989)

SATB chorus, flute, viola, soprano and tenor soloists, piano. 

Shenandoah (1989)

Male chorus, a cappella

The War Prayer (1989)

Narrators, Mixed chorus, piano, percussion ensemble. 

Antigone/Creon (1987)

Male chorus, orchestra. Doctoral dissertation.

Songs of Celebration (1986)
Soprano, SATB chorus, string quartet, organ. 
      Resurrection Day
      The Paschal Presence
      Song to the Holy Spirit

What Sweeter Music (1984)

SATB chorus, organ. 

Look to this Day! (1987)
Published by Gentry Press (Hal Leonard)

SATB Chorus, piano.

Annabel Lee (1984)

Male Chorus, piano.

Monotone (1983)

SATB Chorus, piano.

Christmas Joy (1980)

Mixed chorus, baritone solo, orchestra.



Writing for solo voice, like choral music is a great source of personal satisfaction.  My work in this area encompasses both sacred and secular music, simple songs and larger song cycles. Some of the works in this section have been published in the past, but are currently out of print. I hope to resolve this situation in the future; for now, please contact me directly for more information regarding these works.

Writing song cycles is a particularly strong interest; my wife Joan says that I work best with the large scale stuff!  I do like the opportunity to create a larger dramatic structure, and to look for ways to make connection between movements. Working with the poetry of Langston Hughes has afforded me this pleasure; not only in the Langston's Lot cycle that is listed here, but also in a new follow-up collection that will be online soon!  In years past, I have also benefitted from similar experiences with texts taken from the Song of Solomon (Songs of the Beloved) and civil rights leader Benjamin Chablis (Psalms from Prison). Some of these latter works are sold and pre-computer, but I hope to have them available online in the not-so-distant future. 

In recent years, I have enjoyed a return to smaller projects, courtesy of the talents of my Heidelberg colleague, Bill Reyer. The Simple Songs that are listed on this site are based on original poems written by Bill over the years.  

I have also spent a considerable amount of time setting the words of the American poet Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933).  For more information on this project, please see the Teasdale Songs listing on this page, recordings of selected songs in the Recording section, and articles in the Ruminations section of this website. 

Teasdale Songs (2019-2024)

Soprano, piano


     At Night

     A Ballad of Two Knights


     Christmas Carol

     Faces (Version I)

     Faces (Version II)


     Gifts of Love

     In a Cuban Garden

     The Kiss

     Let it Be Forgotten

     A Minuet of Mozart's

     Morning Song

     Peace Flows Into Me



     The Rose





Simple Songs (2016 - 2023)

Baritone, piano


     A  Summer Lizard

     A Prayer for this Day

     Your Lullaby: Words to a Newborn

     Still the Same

     Wise Mother Fox

     A Moment in November

Additional Reyer Songs

      The Weight (Soprano). 2022

       A Rose for the Christ Child (Soprano) 2021

       I Can't Breathe........ (Baritone version)  (2020)

       I  Can't Breathe........ (Tenor version) (2020)



Balm (2015)

Soprano, organ

Langston's Lot: Song is a Strong Thing (2015-16)

     Dream Variations


     Breath of a Rose

     Listen Here Blues

     Troubled Woman

     Alabama Earth

     Spring Song

I Will Lift Up My Eyes (2011)

Soprano, piano. 

Blooming in Eden (2004)

Soprano and piano.


Langston’s Lot (1996)

     I’ve Known Rivers


     Conservatory Student Speaks of Higher Instrumentation

     Blues at Dawn

     Song for Billie Holiday


     Daybreak in Alabama

Tenor voice, alto saxophone, piano.


Songs of the Beloved (1992-93)

     Kiss Me!

     Dream Images (Upon my Bed by Night)

     My Beloved, My Friend

     Set Me as a Seal Upon Your Heart

     My Garden, My Vineyard


Soprano, flute, (C flute, alto flute, piccolo), piano, chamber women’s chorus.


Three Baptism Songs:


Cradling Children in His Arm (1992)

              Tenor, flute and organ.


The Good Shepherd (1989)

              Soprano duet, choir, organ.


Baptized into Your Name Most Holy (1986)

              Medium voice, organ. 

              Available through Augsburg-Fortress Press


Set Me as a Seal upon Your Heart (1987)

Soprano, flute. 1987.


Songs of Celebration (1986)

     Resurrection Day

     The Paschal Presence

     Song to the Holy Spirit


Soprano solo, SATB chamber chorus, string quintet, organ.   


Psalms from Prison (1985)


     Blessed are the People Oppressed

     How Long Will These Walls Stand?

     Harken to the Cries

     Chains and Leg Irons/Where Do We Go From Here?

     Thou art my Cosigner; Thou art my Shepherd

     I am Compelled to Protest

     We Are Marching


Bass-baritone, piano.


Four Wedding Songs  (1977 – 1980)


     A Wedding Blessing

      Psalm 100

      Hear Us Now Our god and Father

      I Will Sing the Story


Medium/high voice, organ; piano accompaniment is also possible.

 NOTES: Vocal Works


 William Reyer, Heidelberg University


Sara Teasdale

Langston Hughes

Organ:  Hymn-based Compositions


Adoro Te Devote

Beach Spring



Christ the Savior is Born




Easter Hymn

Good Christian Friends Rejoice


Go Tell it On the Mountain

Holy Manna




How Brightly Shines the Morning Star

I Wonder as I Wander




Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine


Joy to the World



Meditation on Divinum Mysterium

Ride On, King Jesus


Simple Gifts



Twas in the Moon of Wintertime


Multi-Movement Works for Organ

As the Light of Light Descending 

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Lord of All in Human Vesture

The Host of Angels Spreads its Vanguard on the way.....

Christ our God to Earth Descending....

Alleluia, God Most High! 

Partita on “Wittenberg New” 

Introduction/Theme: Wittenberg New

Variation I: Bicinium

Variation II: Trio

Variation III: Fantasia/Interlude

Variation IV: Finale


Additional Compositions



Soprano and organ

The Trinity Suite

C Trumpet/Flugelhorn and Organ

(Additional forces are required for the middle movement)

Children of Creative Purpose

Great Spirit, Come 

Their High Communion Find 


Your Morning Rises as a Song

Alto Saxophone and Organ








Works for Solo Harpsichord


Travelin’ Music (2012-13)

Prelude: Goin' Get Ready

Goin' Joyful

Goin' Away

Goin' Alone

Goin' to a better place

Goin' to settle down

NOTES: Travelin' Music


















Selected Works for Solo Piano


Poems for Piano (2022-24; in progress)



     Calm, Serene

     Fast and nervous

     Slowly with expression

Prelude on a Familiar Tune (2000)


from Just a Few Trifles, Some Hymns and a Prayer  (1995)



     Variations on a Mode


Buxton Farm (1982)

Piano, four-hands



Works for Solo Accordion

Pablo's Waltz (2014)


Toccata and Polka in D Minor (2001)




Works for Organ


For years, my Christmas traditions involve writing a new piece for my wife, Joan.  As you can see, the pieces are hymn-based; this reflects my interest in not only the tune itself, but also the hymn-text that I associate with it. I love hymn texts; they are like mini-sermons. The best ones have a lot to tell us about our relationship with God.


Some of these works were designed for use as service music; others are appropriate for recital use. My wife has used these settings for both purposes, but other organists can decide for themselves. The timings are very approximate but are listed to provide a general idea of the piece’s length. I am trying to find time to send these off to publishers; for now, please contact me if you would be interested in performing any of these works.


For the convenience of performers, the pieces are listed in alphabetical order by hymn tune title. 

             Joan Holder McConnell, organ

    With Jackie Edwards Henry, harpsichord



My interest in writing instrumental music has grown in recent years. I have spent more time revising these compositions, perhaps more often than I have done with my vocal or keyboard works.


A few pieces exist in multiple versions; other works are re-considerations of earlier projects. Overall, I wish to offer the best of my efforts; some pieces or movements from larger works have been removed from my listings.


My instrumental works also show my interest in borrowed source material, hymn tunes, folk material, etc. that inspires my imagination.

With Chi Chen Wu, piano and Gail Lewinsky,

saxophone, after a performance of Happy


Three Pieces Found Missing2022-23)

Trio for oboe, Alto Saxophone, piano

        A Joyful Sadness
         A Cool Passion

         Alone Together

A Shining Symmetry (2021)

Duo for soprano and alto saxophone

While I Run This Race (2019-20)

Piano Trio, 6 movements

         Bring Me Joy, While I Run This Race...

         Stand With Me, While I Run this Race...

         Guide My Thoughts, While I Run this Race...

         Ease My Doubt, While I Run This Race...

         ...For I Don't Want to Run This Race in Vain....

         I'm Your Child, While I Run this Race...


Langston's Lot: Song is a Strong Thing  (2015-16)

Mezzo-soprano, alto saxophone, piano

         Dream Variations


         Breath of a Rose

         Listen Here Blues

         Troubled Woman

         Alabama Earth

         Spring Song


Ruminating (2014)

Oboe, piano.  (6’)

Four States of Mind (2013-14)

Oboe, piano, four movements.






Happy Endings (2014-15)

          Song of Human Fraility and Woe

          Novelty Song

          Torch Song

          The Beggar's Scherzo


Tenor saxophone and piano

Your Morning Rises With a Song (2013)

Alto saxophone, organ.

The Trinity Suite (2012)

C Trumpet, flugelhorn and organ, three movements.  One movement also features two solo voices, choral voices, and triangle percussion.

          Children of Creative Purpose

           Great Spirit, Come 

           Their High Communion Find 

Triptych (2011)

Trombone, piano, three movements. February 2012


          Hymn for Jan B. 

          Drinking Song 

Another Fine Mess (2011)

Flute, guitar. Three movements

          A Normal Deviation

          The Vices of Our Virtues

          Sweet sorrows…….such

Go My Children With My Blessing  (2010)

Violin, piano (4')

Piano Trio (2006)

Violin, piano, cello




          Song Without Words 

Fantasy for the Beloved (1999)

Solo flute.


Langston’s Lot (1996) 

Tenor voice, alto saxophone, piano

           I’ve Known Rivers


          Conservatory Student Speaks of Higher Instrumentation

          Blues at Dawn

          Song for Billie Holiday


          Daybreak in Alabama


A Burgundian Jazz Suite (1994)

Alto saxophone, piano, three movements

          Hommage to Gulliaume (4’)

          Chanson à l’amour (4’)

          L’Homme Armé  (3”30)




Measure for Measure (2023)

Incidental music for the  Shakespeare play (fixed media)

Music for solo song in Act IV (Take O Take)

Eurydice (2021-22)

Incidental music/sound design, designed for productions of a play by Sarah Ruhl (fixed media). Optional singing parts for appearances by the Stones in Hades scenes.

Oedipus Rex (2019)

Incidental music designed for productions of the ancient play by Sophocles (fixed media)

Lysistera (2019)

Incidental music designed for productions of the Greek comedy by Aristophenes, in a new, contemporary adaptation (fixed media, live vocals)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2018-19)

Incidental music designed for a play by Mark Haddon (fixed media)

Picasso at the Lapin-Agile (2014)

Solo accordion incidental music provided for a play by Steve Martin

Lily (1996-98)

A full length one-act opera for children and their families, based on a short story by Walter Wanerin, Jr. 





Two Preludes on American Hymn Tunes
Solo organ. Published in a special anthology produced by the Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. (copies are available through the AGO) 2009.

Look to this Day!
SATB Chorus and piano. Roger Wagner Choral Series, Gentry Publications, 2005

Flute and piano. Published in The South Central Journal of Music Scores, Fall 1995.

Invention (from Three Trifles, A Hymn and a Prayer)
Solo piano. The South Central Journal of Music Scores, Spring 1995.

McConnell, Doug, and Levinsky, Gail, “Technology Forum”, Mississippi Music Educator, Spring, 1995.


Buccaneers of Buzz (from A Symphony of Bees)

Women’s chorus (SSAA) and piano. 1990, Earthsongs, Inc., Corvallis, Oregon.

Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair
SATB chorus, a cappella. 1990, Hinshaw Publications, Inc.
Also published in Estonia, 1990, publishing house “Eesti Raamat.”

Baptized into Your Name Most Holy
Medium voice, organ. 1988, Chantry Press, Springfield, Ohio.

Set Me as a Seal upon Your Heart
Soprano, flute. 1987, Chantry Press, Springfield, Ohio.

Four Wedding Solos
Medium/high voice, organ. 1985, Augsburg-Fortress Press.

“Suggested Anthems for the Church Year,” published in the 1984 Yearbook of the Lutheran Church in America.

Wondrous Love
SSATB choir, soprano solo, organ. 1980, Augsburg-Fortress Press.

The Star of Bethlehem
SSATB choir, organ. 1978, Fortress Press.

CD Recordings

Elijah and the Raven, SATB chorus, a cappella. Recorded by the Heidelberg Concert Choir for Spring 2008 CD release.

Look to this Day! for SATB chorus and piano. Recorded by the Heidelberg Concert Choir for Spring 2007 CD release.

Set me as a Seal, for flute, chorus, a cappella. Recorded by the Heidelberg Concert Choir for their Spring 2005 CD release.

Langston’s Lot, for tenor, alto saxophone and piano. Recorded by the Langston Trio, as part of a CD recording release, Saxophone and Other Voices, July 2002

Zacchaeus, for mixed chorus, a cappella. Recorded by the Heidelberg Concert Choir, for their Spring 2002 CD release

Look to this Day! for chorus and piano. Recorded by the Heidelberg Chamber Singers for their Spring 2001 CD release.

A Message from Paul, for double-chorus, a cappella. Recorded by the Waldorf College Concert Choir, John Williams, director on The Waldorf Choir: Farewell Concert, February, 1998.

Nocturne, for solo piano. Recorded by Jeff Jacob on Contemporary American Eclectic Music for the Piano, Vol. IV. New Ariel Records, February, 1998.

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