Music for Advent: Wondrous Love

This is the Meadows Chorale from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU) conducted by Alfred Calabrese singing the traditional hymn Wondrous Love as arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.

While this is not technically an "Advent hymn," Wondrous Love is a good hymn for every season. Certainly as we consider and prepare for the coming of our Lord, it is good to hear these words. And this is a wonderful arrangement.

Alice Parker is an American composer/conductor/arranger from Boston, educated at Smith College and then The Juilliard School. She studied with Robert Shaw and arranged a number of songs with him in her early career. She particularly likes to work with folk/traditional tunes sung a cappella and her arrangements often feature a drone, partial canons (rounds), and other ways of weaving the sections and musical parts so that they interact with each other.

During my first semester of seminary, Alice Parker was the musician in residence, and she often came to chapel and taught us to sing her arrangements of traditional hymns as part of our worship. It was fantastic and fun - and amazing that she could take a group of people just sitting in a room and have them sing beautifully.


Bill Bynum said…
Beautiful arrangement and performance of Wondrous Love. Robert Shaw and Alice Parker are towering figures in American choral music. Alice Parker's choral arrangements are always striking and memorable.
Thanks, Bill. I agree!