Rejoice in God
In this collection congregations who have heard the choral music of K. Lee Scott will rejoice, because here he gives them something to sing-something written especially for them. Congregations, who through this book are brought in touch with his music for the first time, will know they have found a friend because Lee Scott knows how to write for congregations. He helps them sing well. He cares for singers, whether they are experienced or amateurs.
It is a gift to the community of faith when a composer of obvious and proven gifts views the singing of amateurs as no disadvantage. Hymns written by such a composer are not choir music simplified or sing-along music beefed-up. Rather, they have their own identity and integrity and are cherished and valuable in themselves. They are attractive music, distinctive, well crafted and worthy, and potentially popular. These are the qualities of good hymns, and these are the qualities that describe the contents of this book.
Rejoice in God contains many treasures. There is a rich variety in the hymns (many of which are settings of texts by leading hymn writers) and some have alternative harmonizations and descants. In addition, Scott has provided some service music. Among the hymns are settings of some of his own lively and felicitous texts.
K. Lee Scott builds his hymns on the received tradition. This is an important asset in a genre that resonates so clearly with the folkloric. He writes natural melodies and his accompaniments are supportive and leading. Most importantly, once he has initiated a musical idea he generates it consistently. (This is, I think, where a number of new hymn tunes fail today.) He can sustain a good idea to the end, holding up in the face of it, maintaining and developing it with apparent ease. This is a great gift.
Rejoice in God is a commendable collection of music for congregations. It isinspired and inspiring, and therefore-in the best sense-useful. May it find wide and worthy service in the church.