Recordings

Companions in The WayWith Many VoicesThe Whole Bright World RejoicesSo Many PatternsCome Know My JoyOne Gracious GiftStained Glass

Companions in The Way

Companions in The Way

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

"It's here we knock, here we ask, and here we take God to task. Then, eyes wide open, we see Christ already working in our midst."

Showcasing the deep musicality and spirituality of Hilariter and director Andrew Donaldson, these pieces probe, question, lament, and ultimately affirm the long, winding journey of faith. New compositions by Andrew Donaldson and Debra Finlayson are highlights of this moving, mature, beautiful collection of songs and instrumental meditations.

All Peoples Clap Your Hands
Haitian Kyrie (Feuilles-Oh) Arranged by Andrew Get free sheet music
Stop By, Lord
Pilgrims' Improv
Am I Welcome Here? Words / music by Andrew
For You Arranged by Andrew
Jikelele
For the Troubles and the Sufferings
of the World
Arranged by Andrew
In Nothing Troubled (Nada te turbe) Words / music by Andrew
Senzenina? Arranged by Andrew
Companions in the Way Words / music by Andrew Buy sheet music
The Storm is Passing Over
Night has Fallen
We Will Go Out with Joy Words / music by Andrew Buy sheet music

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.


With Many Voices

With Many Voices companion CD

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

What might "thinking globally and singing locally" (in the apt phrase of the Hymn Society) sound like? From Santo, Santo, Santo, an El Salvadorean song of joy and fiesta in the midst of struggle, to Abba, Abba, Hear Us, a scripture paraphrase set to the classic Korean folk tune, these songs invite a congregation to sing and be transformed by music from the world church.

This collection presents songs that found a welcome not only in local congregations, but in workshops and worship services throughout North America.

(Companion to the With Many Voices songbook)

Who Is Like You Arranged by Andrew
U-yai (O Come)
U ya-i mose (Come, all God's People) Arranged by Andrew
Oh Look and Wonder (Miren qué bueno) Words / music by Andrew
Twende sote (Come, Go with Me) Arranged by Andrew
Sanna, sannanina (Hosanna) Arranged by Andrew
Santo, santo, santo (Argentina) Arranged by Andrew
Santo, santo, santo (El Salvador) Words / music by Andrew
Father in Heaven (Munamato wa tenzi) Words / music by Andrew
Abba, Abba, Hear Us Words / music by Andrew
Reamo leboga (We give our hands to you) Words / music by Andrew
Tú fidelidad (I depend upon your faithfulness) Words / music by Andrew
Nzamuranza (O Jesus Christ) Arranged by Andrew
Although I Speak Words / music by Andrew
When the Mighty Wind of God Words / music by Andrew
Who Made the Earth and the Heaven Words / music by Andrew
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria (Glory, Glory, Glory)
God My Shepherd Gives Me All I Need Words / music by Andrew
Why Do We Hunger for Beauty
In Nothing Troubled (Nada te turbe) Words / music by Andrew
All Peoples Clap Your Hands
We Will Go Out With Joy Words / music by Andrew
Not to Us Arranged by Andrew
Christ Has Died, Christ Is Risen (Gospel Acclamation) Words / music by Andrew

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.

Read about the accompanying With Many Voices songbook here.


The Whole Bright World Rejoices

The Whole Bright World Rejoices

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

This CD is a combination of instrumental and vocal music in an eclectic mixture of styles and genres. What binds it together is the sheer joy of voices singing together.

Some of the selections - such as Tu Fidelidad, Santo, Santo, Santo, or You Walk Along Our Shoreline - are clearly congregational songs and are here presented as such. Others, like Sanna, Sannanina or The Glory of God, have been used as anthems, but can still be sung in their basic form by a congregation.

Sanna, Sannanina Arranged by Andrew
Kwase Kwase / Be Like Him
The Glory of God Words / music by Andrew
Hilariter
You Walk Along our Shoreline Arranged by Andrew
Ashokan Farewell
Don't Be Afraid
Tu Fidelidad Words / music by Andrew
Santo, Santo, Santo
Glenburnie
Festival of Friends Arranged by Andrew
We Will Go Out with Joy Words / music by Andrew Buy sheet music

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.

Review by Greg Scheer:

There is an uneasy relationship between worship music and worship CDs. It is rare that the same music works well for congregational singing and for private listening. Hilariter's The Whole Bright World Rejoices is an exception. From the first glimpse of the playful cover photo to the last song on the CD, the recording has an infectious charm.

It is surprising that such a wide variety of music - Black Gospel, 17th German, Iona, Hispanic - could work together as a cohesive whole. Perhaps it is the prominent role of the choir that helps weave all these strands together. Most songs are vocally driven, with just enough instrumentation to add a unique musical flavor without overshadowing the voices. In fact, the vocal orientation of the CD is so strong that the two instrumental pieces almost feel like an intrusion. Hilariter is clearly an ensemble that enjoys making music together. That sense of community permeates the recording, inviting the listener into their circle.

Most of these songs would work well in corporate worship. Some are simple, repetitive choruses like "Sanna, Sannanina," "Kwase Kwase/Be Like Him" and "We Will Go Out with Joy." Others have more substantial texts and longer musical forms - "You Walk Along Our Shoreline," "The Glory of God," and "Hilariter." Only the two instrumental pieces and a few of the more complicated vocal arrangements break from the participatory mode of the rest of the music. Among these is Bruce Cockburn's "Festival of Friends" which works surprisingly well in the context of a worship CD, painting a beautiful picture of the eternal banquet.

The Whole Bright World Rejoices is not only an enjoyable CD, it also introduces an exciting repertoire of worship songs and styles for use in local churches.

This article originally appeared on the Calvin Institute for Reformed Worship website. Used with permission.
See the Recordings page for more information on this CD.


So Many Patterns

So Many Patterns

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

This album explores that elusive "third way" between the classical church music tradition and the Praise & Worship/Christian Contemporary repertoire. Songs from the world church are mixed with traditional male quartet gospel (Leaning on the Everlasting Arms). Why Do We Hunger for Beauty is an a capella gem; Wings of an Eagle draws from singer/songwriter Steve Bell's catalogue of country pop, and Andrew Donaldson's The Body is One is a latin-tinged song of celebration and communion, based on an old classical form, that of variations on a ground bass.

Nzamuranza Arranged by Andrew
Why Do We Hunger for Beauty? Arranged by Andrew
Holy Spirit Arranged by Andrew
Wings of an Eagle Arranged by Andrew
Prayer of the Children
Tu Fidelidad
Reamo Leboga Words / music by Andrew
Soon and Very Soon
Tu Fidelidad (Instrumental) Arranged by Andrew
Every Joy and Sorrow
Farther Along
Down in the River to Pray Arranged by Andrew
The Body is One Words / music by Andrew Buy sheet music
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms Arranged by Andrew
Think About These Things Words / music by Andrew

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.


Come Know My Joy: Hymns from The Book of Praise

Come Know My Joy

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

Hymns ask our questions, shape and re-shape our answers. They call us together, disturb and comfort us; they challenge our boundaries, and stay with us as we go out in love and service.

This collection of songs explores some of the lesser-known treasures of the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Hymns, songs and service music (listed with their Book of Praise numbers) appear with eclectic instrumentation including harp, piano, classical guitar and percussion.

Peoples, Clap Your Hands (#31)
Many and Great (#301)
Safe in Your Hands (#14) Arranged by Andrew
Thy Word (#496)
Come, O Thou Traveler (#693)
Our Father in Heaven (#577) Words / music by Andrew
Jesus, Lamb of God (#545) Words / music by Andrew
"Abba, Abba, Hear Us," we cry (#785) Words / music by Andrew
O Christ, You Wept (#604)
Silence! Frenzied Unclean Spirit (#729) Words / music by Andrew
You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (#538)
Be Still and Know (#64)
How Deep the Silence (#750)
Come Know My Joy (#788) Words / music by Andrew
We Cannot Own the Sunlit Sky (#717) Arranged by Andrew
A Mighty Fortress (#316)
Amen (#779)
Wordless, Ancient Earth's Foundations (#714) Words / music by Andrew
Aaronic Blessing (#832)
When the Poor Ones (#762)
Lord, O Lord our God (#713) Arranged by Andrew
Holy, Holy, Holy (#303)
Although I Speak with Angel's Tongue (#695) Words / music by Andrew
Amen (#771)

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.

See the Books page for information on The Book of Praise.

Review by Richard Leach:

Here's another fine recording from Andrew Donaldson and the choir and instrumentalists he leads at Toronto's Beaches Presbyterian Church. Donaldson is co-editor of the Presbyterian Church in Canada's revised Book of Praise, published in 1997, and this CD contains 24 hymns, songs, and liturgical pieces from that hymnal.

This well-programmed CD blends old and new, with hymn texts by Martin Luther and Charles Wesley, as well as Ruth Duck, Amy Grant, Joy Patterson, and Thomas Troeger. The music is similarly varied, drawing on folk music from around the world as well as "standard" hymnody, with a significant number of worthy texts, tunes, and arrangements from Donaldson himself. As is customary for recordings from Beaches Presbyterian, instrumental support is various winds, strings, guitar, piano, and percussion.

Among the highlights are a haunting "Many and Great," with flute and recorder evoking Native American flute; a trio of pieces with Hispanic roots, their mariachi band style accompaniment including nicely played trumpet; and several a cappella performances, one of which is Donaldson's setting of "Silence, Frenzied, Unclean Spirit" -- not outdoing Carol Doran's tour de force setting, but not paling by comparison either.

Donaldson and his choir and instrumentalists bring a natural, unaffected sounding unity to the quite diverse material on this CD. It can't be as easy as they make it sound and I compliment them on that.

Reproduced by permission from THE HYMN, July 1999, Vol.50, No.3. www.thehymnsociety.org

Review by Andrew Fullerton:

Once upon a time "Abide with me" was a brand new hymn. At first, people thought it was strange and doleful. "Change and decay around in all I see..." it famously opines. Yet it spoke to people, even those who react to new hymns with suspicion! In time, the Church allowed it into its storehouse of hymns-we-cannot-do-without.

Many new hymns in The Book of Praise (1997) will one day find their way into that storehouse. Their entry is now hastened by the resourceful musicians of Beaches Church in Toronto. They have produced a splendid CD recording of 24 "new" selections from that book, showing how singable these hymns can be.

The Singers and Players of Beaches Church are well positioned to do this. They are led by Andrew Donaldson and Donald Anderson who served as the hymn book's co-editors. A delightful array of instruments accompanies the singing wonderfully well. Lori Gemmell's harp is especially beautiful. In fact, you'll hear no organ on this CD. But you will hear many stringed and wind instruments, with brass and percussion too.

Too modern you say? Nonsense. Don't the musicians of Beaches Church recover the tradition of parish band or orchestra, whose gradual replacement by expensive organs Thomas Hardy lamented in Under the Greenwood Tree? And then there's Psalm 150.

Many selections derive from traditions and regions of the world beginning to find a place in our hymnody. You'll hear a distinctly Celtic strain, for example. Korean and Native American melodies have a place too. The music of South and Central America flavours some hymns, and there's even a Newfoundland folk tune set to the words of 1 Corinthians 13.

I think the fight over "old" and "new" is childish. Too often, it's really a quarrel between "familiar" and "unfamiliar". But it's not the hymn's fault we don't know it, is it? What we call a "new" hymn may have been penned in the 12th century! What we really mean is: "It's new to me. I don't know it."

There's really only one cure for that. Buy the CD. Listen to it. Then sing these hymns to God and be glad.

Originally published in The Record.


One Gracious Gift

One Gracious Gift

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

An eclectic, mystical, compelling collection of carols and songs for advent and Christmas.

Each of the carols we offer here is a miniature nativity play. Each one allows the singers and players to tell the story with their different instruments, voices, and gifts. - Rev. Diane Strickland

Down in Yon Forest (Instrumental) Arranged by Andrew
Comfort, Comfort You, My People
The Angel Gabriel
Song of Mary Words / music by Andrew
In the Bleak Midwinter
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night, Holy Night Arranged by Andrew
Jesus Child
Lo, How a Rose
Carol of the Bells
Down in Yon Forest (Choral)
Riu, Riu, Chiu
Sans Day Carol
The Wexford Carol
The Holly and the Ivy
Tree Ever Green Words / music by Andrew
I Wonder as I Wander (Instrumental)
Song of Simeon Words / music by Andrew
Go, Tell it on the Mountain
Born in the Night
Mary's Boy Chile

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.

Review by Richard Leach:

One Gracious Gift is from Beaches Presbyterian Church in Toronto. Andrew Donaldson (co-editor of the Canadian Presbyterian Church's revised Book of Praise) is Music Director there, and on this recording he leads his choir, guest singers, and instrumentalists in 21 Christmas carols, hymns and songs.

There is a variety of arrangements here, from four part a cappella settings to solo songs. Where there is accompaniment, it is usually guitar, harp, or piano. Percussion, flute, oboe, and violin are effectively added from time to time. The Beaches choir has a warm, well-blended sound, with clear diction.

Most of the pieces will be familiar. "Silent Night" is here, a dash of blues and gospel in its arrangement. There are fresh solo voice settings of the Magnificat and the Song of Simeon. The Oxford Book of Carols is drawn upon for several pieces, including the spooky "Down in Yon Forest." The recording closes with a calypso, "Mary's Little Boy Chile." The discovery on the recording is Donaldson's own "Tree Ever Green," with a marvelous text based on a French carol.

Christmas recordings often become background music. "One Gracious Gift" will be fine in that role. It will also please those who stop what they are doing and listen.

Reproduced by permission from THE HYMN, Oct. 1998, Vol.49, No.4. www.thehymnsociety.org


Stained Glass

Stained Glass

Andrew Donaldson, artistic director and conductor

Chipped, stained, fragile, we are all in need of the Artist's skillful repair. When God's grace brings us together, we become living windows...

This first CD by the Singers and Players of Beaches Presbyterian Church was a both a portrait of the music of our worshiping community and sketches for what it was becoming. The piano pop of Keith Green's Stained Glass mixes with Bruce Cockburn's soaring Lord of the Starfields, Gordon Light's folk anthem She Flies On and a suite of African worship and freedom songs.

Come Let Us Sing
Stained Glass
Room at Your Table Arranged by Andrew
Jesus Loves Me
As a Hart Longs for Flowing Streams Words / music by Andrew
Lord of the Starfields Arranged by Andrew
Blessed by the Lord
In the Company of All Words / music by Andrew
African Suite
She Flies On (She Comes Sailing on the Wind) Arranged by Andrew Buy sheet music
I am Bending my Knee (Celtic Prayer) Words / music by Andrew
Legacy Arranged by Andrew
Shout for Joy Arranged by Andrew
The Summons (Will You Come and Follow Me) Words / music by Andrew
Presbyterian Guitar
All Good Gifts
The Folly of the Cross Words / music by Andrew Buy sheet music
You are There Words / music by Andrew
God be in My Head

Contact Andrew for purchasing information.


Andrew's words and music also appear on the following recordings by the Toronto Chamber Choir:

The Voice of my Beloved

  • I Slept but My Heart was Awake (words adapted by Andrew Donaldson from the Song of Songs)

Welcome, my Lord Sir Christèmas

  • The Eagle, the Hen and the Dove (words by Richard D. Leach)

Visit the Toronto Chamber Choir website for purchasing information.