Music of David Rasbach

J.W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

I spent an inspiring week with Alice Parker at her home for one of her famous Composers’ Workshops; her exceptional teaching and warm hospitality combined to make an unforgettable experience!   I wrote “Clap Your Hands Together” as my contribution to the world-wide celebration of her ninetieth birthday in 2015.   

Publisher’s Note: This spirited, rhythmic call to worship and praise with text based on Psalm 98, is suitable for any occasion, and is sure to become a favorite of choir and congregation alike. Scored for SATB Choir and piano, it is also available for SSA and TTBB.

I dedicated this setting of John Kent’s inspiring text to my good friends Joe and Betty Henderson, who found this hymn text in their ever-passionate quest for learning more about our God. 

The theme is the heavenly worship by the redeemed of the God Who gave Himself a ransom for many.  This song is appropriate for any worship service of the year.

J. W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

I wrote this piece for my choristers of Rushingbrook Children’s Choir.  We recorded it for our Christmas CD titled “The Most Wonderful Birthday of All.”  We invite you to listen below.

Publisher’s note: A tranquil, flowing accompaniment builds in intensity as the power of the beloved John 3:16 text unfolds. This beautiful anthem, scored for SATB Choir and Piano, is perfect for any time, any place. It is classic.

First Place, John Ness Beck Foundation Award, 2012

I wrote this original setting of Abide With Me for Jona Torres, a student with a shining testimony of God’s grace through his battle with cancer. Jona’s fellow classmates sang Abide With Me for his memorial service.

Publisher’s note: This lovely setting breathes new life into the much-loved prayer by Henry Lyte (1847).  Appropriate for any worship experience but especially effective during Lent or services of remembrance. Scored for SATB choir and piano, the beauty of this piece will thrill choir and congregation alike. 

J. W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

Publisher’s note: “Can there be mercy still reserved for me?” This sensitive text written by Charles Wesley speaks to the question, how can God love a sinner such as me? When beautiful text is paired with simple and elegant music, the result can only be Depth of Mercy. “Jesus weeps and loves me still.” Scored for SATB voices, piano and optional string quartet or string orchestra. Perfect for Good Friday or any Lenten service.  Appropriate for any worship or communion service.

Al Smith’s hymn setting of the text “Be Thou Exalted” has been loved and joyfully sung by congregations for decades; however, this majestic text seems to demand a stately, triumphant setting.  This is my attempt to communicate the noble words of “Be Thou Exalted” through music.

Publisher’s Note: David Rasbach’s new setting of Fanny J. Crosby’s hymn text is both triumphant and compelling. With accessible brass accompaniment and a vibrant new melody, this anthem is a great way to begin any morning worship service.

J. W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

This original setting of the Wesley text is a tribute to my mother, who loved her Savior and taught her children to love Him too.

Publisher’s note: Experience the beloved hymn, And Can It Be, in a wonderful new SATB and piano setting. The tender, flowing accompaniment under a simple melody line gives rise to thoughtful consideration of the first two verses. Key changes lead through more emphatic statements in the third and fourth verses with alternating a cappella and accompanied sections. Challenging for both choir and accompanist but well worth the effort.

Commissioned by First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville, GA, William Steele, Director of Music

Publisher’s note: Praise resounds from every measure of this new setting of the familiar hymn for SATB choir and keyboard. From the quiet beginning to the exuberant ending, we experience a growing dynamic of text and alleluias. This anthem is suitable for any service of praise and worship.

J. W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

I do not know John Rutter personally, although I feel I do, since I know his music.  Listening to Rutter’s music and the nuanced musicianship of his Cambridge Singers has taught me more than any college class ever could.  My inscription says, “To John Rutter, whose music enriches my life, informs my musical sensibilities, and simply makes my heart sing. ‘Carol of the Wind’ is my tribute to his perfect ‘Candlelight Carol.'”

Publisher’s Note: Inspired by John Rutter’s Candlelight Carol, this exquisite new carol gives us a lovely melody with complementary harmony in a fresh setting. “Brightly a star shines in the night; yet brighter still, dawns new hope with the morn! Gloria in excelsis deo, angels rejoice for our Savior is born!”  A perfect piece for Christmas eve.  Optional parts for strings, harp and flute are available.

It Is Good to Sing Your Praises is a versification of Psalm 92 from the 1912 Psalter.  My setting employs some twentieth century techniques as a tribute to my revered teacher, Dr. Dwight Gustafson.  

I invite you to listen as my High School Chorale sings, “It Is Good to Sing Your Praises.”

Publisher’s Note: The joyful words of Psalm 92 are brought to life through this jubilant offering.  Sing the praises of the Lord! High energy chorals along with a vibrant piano accompaniment make for one jubilant song of praise!

Written for my High School choirs to end our Christmas concert, this lovely text was a perfect invitation to listeners to “Come to the Light.”  Students held candles as they sang, entering the auditorium from various places.

Publisher’s Note: A passionate and delicate new setting of the Philip Bliss text “The Light of the World is Jesus” written for SATB choir and piano. While suitable for any celebration of worship, this would be a wonderful addition to your Christmas Eve Service

I dedicated this Christmas lullaby to my sister, who, on the mission field in Brazil, has spent countless hours rocking her twenty-four (twenty adopted) children to sleep.

Listen, as Rushingbrook Children’s Choir sings “Hush! My Dear.”

Publisher’s Note: Written for SA ladies or treble voices with piano or harp, this lovely setting of the Isaac Watts text will add a tender moment to your Christmas concert.


J. W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

My choral group, Rushingbrook Singers, performs for Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore Estate in Hendersonville, NC each Christmas season.  We sing through the evening as guests tour the splendid estate.  Around ten o’clock, when most of the guests have gone and we are nearly exhausted, our tradition is to wind our way down to the catacombs to what was the magnificent indoor pool, and there we sing “We Shall Light a Thousand Candles.”  The completely tiled room has the resonance of a cathedral, and we imagine, for a few moments, that we sound glorious!

Publisher’s Note: A spirited proclamation of the birth of the Savior, scored for a cappella SATB choir. Singers and worshippers alike will be caught up in the exuberance of the text and the music!

J. W. Pepper Editor’s Choice

This magnificent hymn text includes one of my favorite phrases: “For all the wreathes of empire meet upon His brow, And our hearts confess Him King of Glory now.”  I’ve dedicated this piece to my dear friend and esteemed mentor, Joan Pinkston.

Publisher’s Note: A beautiful anthem of commitment and dedication, scored for SATB choir and keyboard. Easily accessible and suitable for any occasion of worship.

I don’t know where the chutzpah came from to fiddle with a hymn tune composed by my mentor, Joan Pinkston.  I supposed I liked it so much (it is eminently “singable,” and I could not get it out of my head) that I couldn’t help myself!  Oh, forgive me, “Mrs. P”!

Publisher’s note: This compelling text by Elizabeth Codner is perfectly at home in David Rasbach’s lovely setting for SATB choir. Sophisticated harmonies coupled with periodic a cappella passages will be a welcome challenge to the performer and a delight for the listener. Rasbach’s arrangement is sensitive, with a musical line that is perfectly rewarding. Worshipful settings reflecting God’s bountiful blessings are welcome in any congregation, and this expressive anthem is a fine choice for choirs of any size.

The church bus was returning from summer camp.  It was less than a mile away from Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, when its brakes failed as the bus rolled down an exit ramp and then crashed at the intersection.  I wrote “Come Ye Disconsolate” in loving memory of my friend Tanya Weindorf, who, along with Chad and Courtney Phelps and their unborn child, died that day, serving their Lord and the young people whom they loved.

Publisher’s note: This beautiful new setting of the familiar hymn takes the invitation to the mercy seat to a new level. From the warm, settled entrance of the men in the unison opening to the wonderful interplay between the voices and keyboard following brief a cappella sections, the piece offers joyful reassurance that “earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.”