If you know me, you know that I have an abiding love of music from other cultures. In my early years, I devoured albums like Juluka’s Scatterlings, learned songs in Austrian dialect, and joined an African drumming ensemble.
Later, I turned my attention to global hymnody, editing the collection Global Songs for Worship, which included many songs that had never been published before. Since then, I have transcribed, arranged, and translated songs from Korea, Pakistan, Brazil, Croatia, and Latin America.
A lifetime in global music has led me to my latest venture: The Holland Symphony Orchestra has commissioned me to arrange and orchestrate four songs for their Music Unites Us initiative. I’ll be working with a Vietnamese Idol winner, a Ugandan multi-instrumentalist, a Ukrainian bayan (accordion) virtuoso, and a band of Mexican brothers who write songs in the Cumbia style. I’m excited, to say the least.
While you can find many of these songs in hymnals such as Lift Up Your Hearts, Glory to God, Voices Together, and Santo, Santo, Santo, others appear only at www.gregscheer.com. Here is a short list of favorites:
- Adoração/All of My Heart (Brazil) – A heartfelt song of dedication.
- 우리 보좌앞에 모였네/At the Throne of Our God (Korea) – A beloved Korean praise song based on the vision found in Revelation 7:9-10.
- Somos Uno/We’re One People (Latin America) – A brand new arrangement and translation of an oft-used song of unity.
- Wen Ti (聞笛)/Lift Your Eyes unto the Hills (China) – A call to worship, assurance of pardon, doxology, and benediction for choir, congregation, C Instrument, and piano.
- Oče naš/God, Our Father in Heaven (Croatia) – A haunting and lovely setting of the Lord’s Prayer.
- أبانا الذي في السماء ليتقدس اسمك/Abana in Heaven – A moving choral arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic.
- 하나님께서 당신을 통해/May the Love of God Spring Up in Your Soul (Korea) – A short, exquisite song of blessing.
All of these are great songs that are easy to learn in western congregations. I hope they lead you deeper into singing more broadly in your worship services.
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