"I think the choir had more fun with this cantata than with any I have directed - I highly recommend it!"
— David Bedenbaugh, Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Ocala, FL Gordon Thornett
Majestic Ride — a Choral Sequence for Holy Week for Mixed Choir (SATB) and Organ
Majestic Ride is a choral sequence for the beginning of Holy Week. It consists of three new hymn settings, linked by optional solo/choral passages and narration drawn from the Bible, centred mainly on the events of Palm Sunday. The three hymns are ‘All glory, laud and honour’, ‘My song is love unknown’ and ‘Ride on, ride on in majesty!’
The sequence may be performed in a concert, or as an extended anthem in a church service. The linking passages may be adapted to suit the occasion, or dispensed with altogether. Each of the three settings could stand alone as separate anthems. There is also scope for audience/congregational participation in the first and last settings.
Accompaniment is ideally for organ, but piano could be used instead. (The linking passages in the sound file are shortened as compared with the score.)
Majestic Ride is available here in print, with the option instead for a download with license to print as many copies as needed for your chorus.
The first US performance of this work took place on Palm Sunday 2015 in Ocala, Florida, and the musical director provided the following endorsement:
“I am delighted to have directed my choir in performing Mr Thornett’s piece, “Majestic Ride”, a work perfect for our church’s Palm Sunday cantata. In each movement, Mr. Thornett pairs a familiar text with original yet intuitive melodies. The work incorporates modern harmonic sounds, rich polyphonic sections and playful melodies that at once engage the listener in a fresh presentation of the well known Holy Week sequence. The music fits comfortably in the vocal and musical range of our intermediate level choir, and did not require an undue amount of preparation. I would encourage involving the audience or congregation, as the composer’s suggests, in accompanying the choir on the specific segments where noted. We briefly went over the parts with the congregation at the beginning of the service and found this to add a wonderful dimension to the service. This piece was the right choice for our choir, pastor, and congregation alike-I highly recommend it!”
-David Bedenbaugh, Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Ocala, FL