Top 5 Stephen Paulus Large Choral Secular Works

In addition to his sacred catalog, Paulus wrote many secular large choral works that have been performed all over the world. Paulus was a true master at writing for the voice.


The aptly titled voices, is a 35 minute piece for chorus and orchestra with text by Rainier Maria Rilke, premiered in 1998. SSAATTBB Chorus, Tenor and Mezzo-Soprano soloists, 3333/4331, Timpani, Percussion, Harp and Strings

Voices of Light

With moving text by 13th Century Women Mystics, this bombshell of a piece was premiered in 2001 by the New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir College (under the direction of Joseph Flummerfelt) for the Westminster Choir College at Rider University's 75th anniversary. 22 minutes, SSAATTBB and Orchestra

 Brown Penny

Commissioned by the Madison Boy Choir and premiered by MBC and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in 1998, this piece includes text by Blake, Richard Edwards, Yeats, and Wordsworth. 21 minutes, Treble Choir and Chamber Orchestra

A Place of Hope

Commissioned by the Mayo Foundation, the perfectly titled A Place of Hope, was premiered by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester. It was performed as the dedication of the Gonda Building at the Mayo Clinic. The 15 minute piece includes text by the composer himself! SSAATTBB Chorus and Strings, Timpani, Percussion and Piano

North Shore

The North Shore on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota is where Paulus spent many summers in his youth. This stunning piece written in 1977, showcases Paulus' early talent and features text my lifetime collaborator, Michael Dennis Browne. It perfectly depicts the otherworldly feeling of the North Shore and shortly after his passing was brought to life again by Phillip Brunelle's VocalEssence and the Minnesota Orchestra. SSAATTBB Chorus, Baritone and Mezzo-Soprano soloists and small orchestra


Stephen Paulus Love Songs

Whether preparing a Valentines Day concert or for any romantic time of year, the catalog of Stephen Paulus is steeped in love songs for everyone. The catalog includes simple love songs, complex arrangements and even works in spanish, for chamber instrumentation, chorus and more. Brighten the holiday or add some heart to your next program with these beautiful gems for the soul and lovers alike.

Arise My Love

A Paulus family favorite, this beautiful, mystic piece was commissioned by the Westminster Choir College and recorded by Matt Culloton's The Singers. It's a 5 minute piece with a huge dynamic range and a soul stirring Hebrew text. SSAATTBB, A Cappella


Courtship Songs

This lovely piece for flute, oboe, cello and piano, runs the course of two lovers' courtship over five spritely, upbeat movements. Commissioned by Linda and Jack Hoeschler and premiered in 1981, the modern harmonies and quick movement are still as relevant today as they were when first heard.


Poemas de Amor

Paulus set this anonymous 16th Century Spanish text of love poems to SSAATTBB chorus with percussion for a commission and premiere by the illustrious Conspirare, under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson. It is both joyous and somber, full of longing and lush nostalgia. The beautiful, sweeping choral melodies are perfectly complimented by all types of percussion, from bells to marimba.


The Lotus Lovers

Commissioned by the illustrious Mary Rodgers and Hank Guettel for Chanticleer, this gorgeous piece is stepped in love and eroticism over 7 short movements, and showcases a beautiful 4th Century Japanese text. 16 minutes, SSAATTBB, A Cappella.

Erotic Spirits

This lush piece written for Soprano and Orchestra, (with an option for piano reduction), was premiered by the incomparable Deborah Voigt and the Augusta Symphony in 2006. It's jam packed with high energy sections with pounding brass and tympani, and complimented with soft, sweet string and woodwind sections. The sophisticated eroticism flows throughout every movement. This piece is a must and totally accessible with the piano reduction if a full orchestra is not at your fingertips.

Love Lives Beyond the Tomb

This piece is a touching display of how love is everlasting, even in death. The sweeping choral melodies and lush harmony drive this point home in a beautiful, dynamic way. Premiered in 2007 with a text by John Clare, SSAATTBB, A Cappella

A Stephen Paulus Christmas

Indulge in these breathtaking works for a memorable Christmas from the American master of sacred music. Stephen Paulus' most moving and successful pieces are perfect to elevate your holiday concert into something truly magical. From simple hymns to children's choir to complex multi-instrumental works, there's something for every occasion to lift up the holiday spirit!

Pilgrims' Hymn (From the Opera "The Three Hermits")

An absolute classic and bestseller, Pilgrims' Hymn has been performed all across the globe from Japan and Australia to Europe and beyond. This is a staple in every serious choral director's book.

Snow Had Fallen, Christ Was Born

A beautiful arrangement for chorus and harp, originally premiered by the Dale Warland Singers, that has now become a favorite of aficionado's and newcomers alike. Striking and elegant with lush harmony.

Wishes and Candles (Lincoln Center Tree Lighting)

Originally commissioned in 1998 for the Lincoln Center annual tree lighting in New York City in conjunction with Sesame Street and conducted by Judy Clurman, this piece is a beautiful, simple song that's perfect for a children's choir or any choir in the holiday spirit. The heart warming lyrics are written by none other than the all-star team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. 

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

Another staple from the Dale Warland Singers catalog, Paulus' interpretation of this classic is sure to please. The harp cascades with the oboe solo in a truly memorable way to compliment the lush vocal harmony.

Silent Night

A stunning new arrangement of a classic, perfect for a candlelight service on Christmas eve. Commission by Matthew Culloton for The Singers 2009.

Three Nativity Carols

Commissioned by Pat Whitacre in loving memory of Gene (Whit) Whitacre for the Dale Warland Singers in 1998, these three gems are an odyssey of chorus, oboe and harp. "The Holy and the Ivy" has become a cult classic and "Wonder Tidings" was coined the title of the annual Stephen Paulus Christmas radio program by Brian Newhouse on MPR.

 Oh, Come All Ye Faithful

Another classic gets the Paulus arrangement, with a lovely soprano and alto soli. It's a tried and true piece that's well known from the days of the Dale Warland Singers on to Matt Culloton's The Singers and beyond.

Nunc Dimittis

A spectacular piece written for chorus and organ that was then adapted for unaccompanied choir for the Grammy Nominated recording "Far in the Heavens" by True Concord. It is one of the last things he worked on, and a true masterpiece.

The Road Home

Though not necessarily sacred in text, The Road Home epitomizes all that we cherish about coming home for the holidays, being with family and letting the mind rest in it's favorite place: home.

We Three Kings

A perfect addition to any service or concert, this beautiful arrangement makes one think of joy and the gift of giving. With harmony that satisfies the connoisseur and the new comer, it's another Stephen Paulus / Dale Warland Singers classic.

Top 5 Stephen Paulus pieces for a Community Sing

We have gathered five choral pieces from across our catalog to share with you today! These pieces are accessible, simple, and sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. We hope you consider adding one to your own Community Sing event!


This Train (From “An American Medley”)

A setting of the upbeat traditional American gospel tune, This Train, will have the audience ready to shout and sing along.

Digital: https://stephenpaulus.com/products/this-train-an-american-medley

Paper: http://store.subitomusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_114_1034&products_id=6861


Shenandoah (From “Heritage Songs”)

A familiar, peaceful, setting of an American folk tune telling of travel and the longing to return and see loved ones ­– accented by a gracefully written piano part.

Digital: https://paulus-publications.myshopify.com/admin/products/158537811

Paper: http://store.subitomusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_114_1034&products_id=7562


The Water is Wide

 A soft and serene take on this traditional folk song highlighting its simple, but elegant, melody that allows its endearing lyrics to shine through.

Digital: Only avalible from Subito Music

Paper: http://store.subitomusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_114_1034&products_id=6274


Hymn for America

This hymn pays tribute to the vast landscapes of America and the camaraderie shared between its people – closing with, “Through our care for one another, for this life and land we love.”

Digital: https://stephenpaulus.com/products/hymn-for-america

Paper: http://store.subitomusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_114_1034&products_id=6419


The Road Home

One of Stephen’s popular works that pulls a melody from the Southern Harmony Songbook that you cannot help but fall in love with.

Digital: https://stephenpaulus.com/products/the-road-home

Paper: http://store.subitomusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_114_1034&products_id=6309

Prayers and Remembrances To Be Performed At Lincoln Center On September 11

Memorial Concert Information

Please join us on September 11, 2015 when Prayers and Remembrances will be performed at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall by True Concord Voices and Orchestra which will also coincide with their release of Far In The Heavens: Choral Music of Stephen Paulus.

Prayers and Remembrances (2011) was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy by True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Eric Holtan, Music Director, and Mrs. Dorothy Vanek, in loving memory of her husband, Robert Vanek, and in memory of friends of the Vaneks from United and American Airlines who were lost on September 11, 2001.

For more information on the concert, please visit: https://www.dciny.org/concerts/true-concord-voices-orchestra/.

Regular tickets can be purchased by calling Centercharge at 212-721-6500, or by visiting


Free Tickets for Families Of Victims And First Responders

Families of victims and first responders of the September 11th terrorist attacks can receive free tickets to the memorial concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Families of victims and first responders can reserve their free tickets here: http://bit.ly/1hzttgX (please note that there is a limited number of free tickets available)

For more information on the free tickets for families of victims and first responders click here

Far In The Heavens

Far In The Heavens is comprised of recently composed and previously unrecorded works by Stephen Paulus, including two works that were commissioned and premiered by True Concord Voices & Orchestra: The Incomprehensible for their fifth anniversary season in 2009, and Prayers and Remembrances for the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy in 2011. GRAMMY®-award winning producer Peter Rutenberg of Los Angeles produced the album, and Mr. Paulus supervised the recording in Tucson, Arizona. Tragically, Stephen Paulus suffered a major stroke just six weeks after recording the album. He never recovered, and passed away in October 2014 after being in a coma for more than a year.

The Original Program Note From Composer Stephen Paulus

Prayers and Remembrances (2011) was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy by True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Eric Holtan, Music Director, and Mrs. Dorothy Vanek, in loving memory of her husband, Robert Vanek, and in memory of friends of the Vaneks from United and American Airlines who were lost on September 11, 2001.

The idea for Prayers and Remembrances began with Eric Holtan. He approached me a few years back with a vision of writing a commemorative work for chorus and orchestra. We had several discussions and emails, especially about the text, and eventually, with the commission in place, I was ready to begin.

My concern was to write a work that would not only honor the 9/11 tragedy and all those who perished, but also one that would address the memories, the grieving and the recovery for anyone dealing with a circumstance in which loved ones had perished. Early on, Eric and I decided we wanted to create a work that would be spiritual but not necessarily religious. The goal was to find a combination of poems that were both secular and sacred—from poets who addressed grief, recovery, and a spiritual focus in life—that would highlight common beliefs across distinct religious traditions. I ended up with a healthy mix of poets from different cultures, centuries and faiths.

The orchestra is approximately the size of the Mozart Requiem (since that was to be the companion work on the concert), with the addition of flute, oboe, horns, harp, and percussion.My approach was to use the orchestra to adorn and emphasize the text. I consider the words such an important part to a piece like this, and my intention, as always, was to make sure the choir could be heard without being overwhelmed by the orchestra.

Throughout the work I have been conscious of trying to bring melodic and harmonic ideas to the fore that would suggest hope, light and a future. To me, this seems to be the hardest thing to accept in any tragedy, whether it involves one person or thousands. So there are sometimes bright, colorful harmonies or melodies in both the orchestra and the chorus: this is not a work meant to wallow in self-pity or dwell in tragedy. I am hopeful that the sounds and words meld, going at least some distance towards repair and healing.

I am so grateful to True Concord Voices & Orchestra and their wonderful director, Eric Holtan, for asking me to create a work for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. I hope this piece will have reason to be performed in other situations. And I am especially grateful to Dorothy Vanek for her generosity in commissioning the work. Without patrons and wonderful performers, composers would simply be artists working alone, like a tree falling in the forest when no one is around to hear it. —Stephen Paulus

The above text is from the composer's introduction to the work before its world premiere performance on September 11, 2011.

Handwritten Manuscript Scans From Prayers And Remembrances

Below is the first page from each of the movements of Prayers and Remembrances.

Video Of The 2011 Rehearsals With Composer Stephen Paulus

Below is footage from True Concord Voices & Orchestra's 2011 rehearsals with composer Stephen Paulus before the world premiere of Prayers and Remembrances:


For any questions or inquiries please email Andrew Paulus at ap@stephenpaulus.com