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A Study of the Sacred Choral Works of Paul Bouman with a Conductor's Special Focus on the Preparation of Selected Compositions

Eric M Harstad, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Paul Bouman’s sacred choral music has received performances in the United States by elite children’s, church, and college choirs. Bouman has been recognized with two honorary doctorates and other awards honoring his achievements as a church musician and composer. A close examination of ten representative pieces by Paul Bouman will lead the practicing choral conductor to make informed decisions in selecting music and in performance. The analysis is primarily intended for the benefit of conductors. Special attention is given to textual and musical elements that shape the form and development of each piece. Examples of the representative pieces for a conductor’s analysis include the following works. Bouman’s piece “I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills” (1989) was commissioned by the American Boychoir director James Litton and has since been performed widely. “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” (1956) rose to prominence when children’s choir expert Helen Kemp used it as a demonstration piece in choral workshops. Bouman’s 1955 piece for mixed choir “A Babe Is Born” was performed at the St. Olaf Christmas Festival in Northfield, Minnesota, and was used in conducting classes at Westminster Choir College by choral conducting authority Frauke Hassemann. Bouman’s sacred choral music is useful in the contexts ranging from liturgical worship services to concert performance. It has also been shown by leading choral musicians to be useful in the training of choirs and conductors. Bouman’s choral music has been published by Alliance Publications Inc., Augsburg, Boosey & Hawkes, Choristers Guild, Concordia, Earthsongs, G.I.A., MorningStar, Selah, and tempo 1° press. His choral music has not been previously cataloged. The composer’s assistance was essential in locating what is believed to be all his published sacred choral music as well as a number of unpublished manuscripts.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Harstad, Eric M, "A Study of the Sacred Choral Works of Paul Bouman with a Conductor's Special Focus on the Preparation of Selected Compositions" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10616442.