SONG:  Be Praised My Lord (Laudato si)

Source: SONG:  Be Praised My Lord (Laudato si)


Announcement… Trip to Italy and Vatican City planned for Fall 2016

A very special trip is being planned to Italy (Florence, Ravena, Assisi, Rome), and Vatican City  for Fall 2016.  There will be a limited number of spaces available for the adult trip.

If you are interested in more information, please fill the form below or contact me at  Stay tuned as details become available.

Musings and Memories of Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ visit to the USA brings back incredible memories of my student Madrigals singing at the first New Year’s Eve vespers and New Year’s Day Mass Pope Francis presided at St. Peter’s.




The zucchetto (cap) worn by Pope Francis in the second photo was a gift from one of my student’s family. In the third photo, you will see the maroon robes of the Madrigals… This is where we sat at Vespers. On New Years Day, we were directly behind the altar.



Favorite songs sung on New Year’s Day were Biebl’s Ave Maria and Putoni’s Cantate Domino. It was surreal to see some of the members of the Sistine Chapel Choir take pictures as the students sang the Ave Maria.


The Madrigals were also the principal choir at a Sunday liturgy presided by Cardinal Comastri, the vicar general for the Vatican state.  I will never forget the incredible singing of the students as well as the international crowd’s favorites:  Gesu Bambino (featuring two student instrumentalists Marisa and Victoria) and once again, the Biebl Ave Maria.

When I see the live coverage of Pope Francis, I think how my students experienced Pope Francis in quite a different way – through music as they prayed with him and for him.  Truly a blest moment…

REFLECTION AND SONG: Here With Us by Jason Liles

HERE WITH US, by Jason Liles

Link:  Here With Us

Link:  Here With Us (SATB)

Sung by Immaculate Conception Church Choir, Hampton, VA

Director:  Teresa Cobarrubia Yoder

Pianist:  Mark Smeland

Soloists:  John Brady and Lynetta Bove

Flutist:  Alex Quihuyen

Last evening, our church choir launched their new season by learning two new songs.  This week’s showcase is Jason Liles’ ever beautiful liturgical song, “Here With Us.”   I will be featuring two links to this piece… You will hear mostly melody (although a few altos “snuck” in their vocal part).  At a later time, I will post the song in four-part harmony.

Methodology with “Here With Us”
The choir learned the melody today to prayerfully sing it so the notes ebbed and flowed- focusing on the powerful lyrics.  This gave the choir time to reflect on the song more in terms with it’s meaning and it’s musicality without being encumbered with singing in parts until they were ready both spiritually and musically.  In promoting full and active participation, the first two verses were sung by soloists with the textured impact of the refrain in full chorus as well as women singing verse 3 and men singing verse 4.

The congregation will do the same this weekend… With them coming in on the refrain and singing with their gender on third and fourth verses.  The promotion of full and active participation is noted with the assembly having a good model to be empowered to sing and sense the “sharing” of the story through the verses- the acts of participation and praying through the art of listening and singing (think “good” conversation and dialog).

Next Wednesday, the choir will have had a week to prayerfully reflect on the text and melody and many will begin the process to teach themselves the harmonies.  I find that when the choir is fully engaged with both the text and the melody, they will naturally want to expand the exquisite nature of the song with their harmonic or polyphonic vocal parts.  Depending on the assembly, the choir will be pastorally patient so the assembly’s voice is dominant on the refrain. Therein, is where the mystery of the assembly’s one-ness in prayer is expressed and felt.

Postlude:  Considering this was a live recording using my iPad, the first time the choir seeing the music, and the soloists being spontaneously selected, I only wished you could have seen their immediate expressions – priceless as they were fully engaged in their prayer. They knew the Holy Spirit was present in every note they sang.  And that witnesses well of putting heart and soul in the sung prayers of God’s people…


Link:  Composer and Pastoral Musician Jason Liles’ Website
Link:  Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

How Can I Keep from Singing…

Saying thank you to God through music and prayer is what I know.  Whether sitting at the piano when the notes flow from my heart and mind after a difficult day, or comforting a fretful baby with an original tune of simplicity, or composing a Mass for a beloved retired pastor and parish, or arranging a Christmas song for a group of aspiring student musicians, or singing familiar tunes and holding the hand of a loved one in their last days, or writing a trumpet fanfare and processional for my son’s wedding– these are treasured moments and expressions of integrating music and prayer… In giving grateful acclamations to God for extraordinary possibilities and blessings …

In my personal experience, I have found that through the music as prayer, my heart is consoled, my being rejuvenated, and energy renewed.  In one my favorite hymns, How Can I Keep from Singing, I am reminded:

No storm can shake my inmost calm

while to that Rock I’m clinging.

Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

how can I keep from singing?

Thank you God for being present in times of anxiety, fear and turmoil.

Thank you God for my husband, children, grand daughters and family.

Thank you God for three uniquely inspiring pastors and church community.

Thank you God for the opportunity to serve the greater good through a loving and caring school community.


SONG:  Be Praised My Lord (Laudato si)

Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home was released June 18, 2015.
Be Praised My Lord by Teresa Cobarrubia Yoder is a prayerful expression and musical response to Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home (June 18, 2015). The lyrics, derived from the encyclical’s title, are from St. Francis of Assisi’s poem and prayer, “Canticle of the Creatures/Sun” – God is praised for all creation.

Link to Be Praised My Lord (Melody for the assembly)


Contact for music scores.

Performance notes:

Written in ABA form, flexible modifications are provided for either a choral anthem, an assembly piece and a treble choir.
Choral Anthem
Option 1: SATB CHOIR: Because the melody line is shifted from Altos and Tenors in sections A/C to Sopranos and Basses in section B, musicians are reminded that the melody line should hold prominence with the other lines complimenting the song.
Section A is repeated three times:

Altos and Tenors sing the melody

Basses join in the repeat on their countermelody

Sopranos join in on the third time with a modified descant

Section B (measure 9) can be repeated two or three times:

Note that the melody shifts to the Sopranos and Basses in a homophonic texture with the Altos and Tenors

Section A returns (texture dynamics beings utilized)

SATB are singing simultaneous.

The Sopranos will sing their part once

Basses will sing their part twice

The melody (Altos and Tenors) will sing their parts three times

SATB will join in the last two measures at pp
Option 2: SAB CHOIR, drop the tenor line.

Option 3: WITH CONGREGATIONAL PARTICIPATION, it is suggested that the cantor/song leader facilitate the singing.

Options 4, 5, 6, 7: WITH ACCOMPANIMENT- Written primarily a cappella, possible accompaniments are listed:

SATB with percussion (bodhran, djembe or congos – simple rhythmic scheme)

Congregational use with piano and/or guitars filling in the harmonic structure (piano: melody and harmony)

SATB with handbells

2-part (SA) treble chorus with Orff instruments
Copyright © 2015 Teresa Cobarrubia Yoder. All rights reserved.