“What gift can we bring, what present, what token?”
Jane Marshall (1924-2019), well-loved composer, teacher, and friend, brought great gifts of music to all who offer music in worship.
“What words can convey it, the joy of this day?”
Those who knew or studied with Jane certainly have great joy in their remembrances of her. There would be few who have sung in a church choir over the last 50+ years who have not sung one of her pieces.
“When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing,
What song can we offer in honor and praise?” *
All sacred musicians are encouraged to offer a song in honor and praise of Jane and her impact on sacred music by including one of Jane’s compositions in worship during the weekend of Sunday, September 29.
- If you have the choral forces, singing her anthem “My Eternal King” is strongly encouraged. (Carl Fisher CM6752; bit.ly/CM6752-MEK; numerous YouTube clips)
- Choirs of fewer singers might consider the two-part anthem “Love, Joy, and Peace”. (Choristers Guild CGA503; bit.ly/CGA503)
- Her hymn “What Gift Can We Bring” is found in several hymnals. Consult the Author index in your hymnal for other possibilities.
- Or choose one of her many psalm refrains, settings, or instrumental compositions that are likely in your library.
- If September 29 does not work in your situation, choose another day.
Please share this word via your own social and/or personal networks so that as many people as possible will know of this effort. This effort is being instigated by The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, but sacred musicians in all religious settings are encouraged to participate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there some special significance to September 29?
A: No, there isn't. But we wanted to choose a date that was soon enough to maintain interest, but also to give many choirs the chance to regroup after a summer break.
Q: Do we need to tell anyone what we are doing?
A: No, but we will be receiving comments on this post where you can share your plans, pictures, and video links.
* “What Gift Can We Bring,” Stanza 1, by Jane Marshall, 1980. © 1982 Hope Publishing Co. Used with permission.