It has been three and a half years since our pastor, Father Gilbert Martinez, gave us the opportunity to start a young adult choir at the Sunday 5.15 pm Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City. Our young adult choir has evolved into a full contemporary ensemble that includes instrumentalists performing well-known hymns and original works with a contemporary twist.
One of the gaps we identified early on from selecting music appropriate for a primarily young adult congregation is the lack of psalm settings that fits into the musical style we were going for.
That's when I started to write a couple of my own psalm settings based on the psalm readings of the week. What started as a personal Lenten project to write a psalm settings for each week of Lent turned into a weekly ritual where I reflect on that week's readings and try my best to put it into song by the deadline of Sunday.
Now, three years later, one full liturgical cycle has passed, and I realized that I have composed a new, original contemporary setting for almost every psalm reading that is used in the Sunday lectionary. It has been a tremendous blessing to have the opportunity to complete this body of work. I have had the privilege to hear hundreds of people sing the refrain of my original composition every Sunday evening. It’s one of the most spiritually enriching experience of my life.
With the encouragement of our young adult musical director, Garrett Taylor, we have decided to put up this website to make available the entire collection of 80+ psalm settings and share it with the liturgical music community. We are charging a small fee to cover the cost of hosting this website and the song files. Profits (beyond hosting and royalty payments) will go towards supporting the Apostolist Music ministry at our home parish.
On this site, you can search for psalm settings by psalm number, hear a full-length preview of the music (with vocal, if available), and you can purchase a lead sheet package, which includes a keyboard/guitar chord chart for the refrain and the verses, and an assembly edition that can be pasted into a worship aid in both PNG and PDF format. If you would like to download an instrumental track for rehearsal purposes, you can buy the lead sheet plus instrumental bundle for a dollar more.
Garrett Taylor, who does all our in-house arrangement for the instrumentalists, will also be uploading additional instrument parts for selected psalms. Those additional parts will be available as an option in the near future.
I hope you will enjoy our modern interpretation of God’s timeless Word. Please check back here as we continue to update our collection here on this site. We would love to hear from you especially if you plan to use our music at your parish.
Resident Composer and Producer