The Work of Susan Palo Cherwien

Sep 23, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Augsburg Fortress

Susan Palo Cherwien is a poet and musician whose hymn texts appear in denominational hymnals in the United States, Canada, and Europe. After growing up in Ohio, she attended Wittenberg University and then the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. She later obtained a master’s degree from Mundelein College in Chicago. Augsburg Fortress has published three collections of her hymn texts, in addition to an anthology she edited and a variety of anthems set to texts she wrote.  

Collections of Susan Palo Cherwien’s Hymns 

O Blessed Spring: Hymns of Susan Palo Cherwien 

Cover of O Blessed SpringTwenty-seven of Susan Palo Cherwien's hymn texts are collected in this volume, many of them set to music by a number of today's top composers, including Robert Buckley Farlee, Ronald A. Nelson, David Cherwien, and Mark Sedio. Designed to facilitate congregational use, the collection includes a complete keyboard accompaniment (organ or piano) plus tests and melody lines for placement in worship folders after obtaining permission. 

Come, Beloved of the Maker: Hymns of Susan Palo Cherwien, Vol. 2 

Cover of Come Beloved Of The MakerFrom the writer of hymn texts such as "O Blessed Spring" and "Rise, O Church, like Christ Arisen" comes this second collection of expressive texts for worship. Like her first collection (O Blessed Spring, 1997), each of the approximately 30 hymn texts comes paired with a tune that matches it well-some familiar, some new. These poetic, deeply rooted lyrics will serve worshiping assemblies well, and are recommended for composers looking for fresh material on which to base new hymn tunes and anthems. 

Peace, Be Still: Hymns of Susan Palo Cherwien, Volume 3 

Cover of Peace Be StillIn this third collection of hymn texts from the pen of Susan Palo Cherwien, we are offered thirty elegant poems intended to be sung by a worshiping assembly. As before, each text is presented in poetic form and then also with a tune to which it may be sung. Many of those tunes are newly composed, while some are from the classic repertoire. And as before, composers will find inspiration here for their own labors. 

Edited by Susan Palo Cherwien 

To God Will I Sing: Vocal Solos for the Church Year (Medium High) 

Cover of To God Will I SingHere in a single volume are vocal solos that encompass the entire church year. Diverse in style, with compositions from seven centuries of the finest sacred music, this collection will become a standard resource for Sundays as well as for weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other occasions. 

Anthems with Text by Susan Palo Cherwien 

By Grace 

Cover of By GraceWith sustained legato lines and subtly shifting harmonies, Cherwien’s writing in this SATB a cappella anthem is both graceful and intriguing. Based on Ephesians, this is the perfect text for Reformation Sunday. This anthem could also be sung for confirmation and ordination services. 

As the Dark Awaits the Dawn 

Cover of As The Dark Awaits the DawnIn this new setting, Carl Schalk has arranged his original Advent melody for a cappella choir, providing rich harmonies and lyrical text painting to carry the stirring text by Susan Palo Cherwien. We are honored to add this anthem to the significant body of music Carl Schalk gave the church. 

Harvest Gold 

Cover of Harvest GoldFrom the masterful minds of Susan Palo Cherwien and David Cherwien comes a new composition that is accessible for choirs of all sizes. Offering thanks to God, this work is the perfect addition to any library. 

Easter Carol: In the Fair Morning 

Cover of Easter Carol: In the Fair MorningHere is that lovely second anthem for Easter morning—the one that contrasts with all the brass and fanfare. Frederick Frahm has taken this new text by contemporary poet Susan Palo Cherwien and set it for unison (or 2 pt) choir and piano with elegance and inspiration. Frahm always includes a "hook" in his music—look and listen for the "Alleluia" in this one. Older children, youth, or women would be exquisite on this music. 

Creator God, Who Gave Us Life 

Cover of Creator God Who Gave Us LifeSusan Palo Cherwien and Mark Sedio team up to offer a lovely composition that is accessible to choirs of all sizes. In addition to choral and organ parts, this piece features a gorgeous solo line that can be played by violin, flute, or oboe. 

Come, Beloved of the Maker 

Cover of Come Beloved of the MakerDavid and Susan Cherwien offer all that is new and beautiful in this elegant setting. Susan has written a profound text with poetic images of Epiphany and Transfiguration. In this text you can also find much appropriate to Lent and the Sundays of November as well. Married to the lovely tune and choral writing of David Cherwien, "Come, Beloved of the Maker" would be a wonderful addition to a choir's repertoire. 

In Sacred Manner 

Cover of In Sacred MannerModeled after chant, this austere and reverent piece pulls in the listener with a sense of motion and beautiful harmony. The simple setting allows the beauty of the text to truly shine. 

O Infinite Greatness 

Cover of O Infinite GreatnessFrom the creative team of Susan Palo Cherwien and David Cherwien comes this new work for SATB choir and organ. Featuring language expressing the infinite and limitless nature of God, this piece allows offers choirs an effective mean through which to offer praise and thanks for all that God has done. 

Topics: Hymnody, music

Augsburg Fortress

Written by Augsburg Fortress

Augsburg Fortress develops engaging resources for Lutheran congregations In our ministry as the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we create substantive and innovative materials to support the ministries of faith communities in communicating the good news of God's liberating grace. To meet the evolving needs of Lutheran communities, we continually invest in the development of new ministry resources, seeking ongoing input from theologians, educators, church leaders, and church members.

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