Jubilate Deo


August 1973
The late Derek Burrell, former Headmaster of Truro School

What is it?

Jubilate Deo is a fairly straightforward anthem for choir (including one solo for alto or counter-tenor) and organ, based upon the words of Psalm 100. The alto solo requires a good ear for relative pitch but apart from that the anthem should be well within the capability of any capable church choir and organist.


O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness,
And come before His presence with song,
Be ye sure that the Lord he is God.
It is he that hath made us
And not we ourselves;
We are his people,
And the sheep of His pasture.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving,
And into his courts with praise;
Be thankful unto him,
And speak good of his Name.

For the Lord is gracious,
His mercy is everlasting;
And his truth endureth from generation to generation.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son
And to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning,
Is now and ever shall be,
World without end.


My father made a recording of my school choir performing this, in June 1974 (on 1/4" reel-to-reel tape using a Sony TC-366 deck, for anyone with an interest in such things). Unfortunately I no longer have the equipment to play such tapes and even if I had, the tape has long since been binned because it deteriorated to the point of being unplayable. This synthesised rendition should be sufficient to give you a feel for the piece.


Phil Emmerson

As they are now: Phil Emmerson [Photo: LinkedIn]
(the counter-tenor soloist at the first two performances)

I wrote this when I was seventeen, for my school choir. It took my music teacher a while to get round to looking at it. In the meantime I'd given a copy of the music also to my headmaster, the late Derek Burrell, himself a fine musician.

I suspect that it was Derek's influence that led to the piece being included in the 1974 school concert - and it won me the S H Way Cup for Music for that year. The organist was my friend Nigel Spooner, who gave a genuinely fine performance. The counter-tenor soloist was another friend of mine, Phil Emmerson, whose voice even in his teens was superbly mature and well cultivated. The piece was well received.

Subsequently we performed it in Saint Mary's Church, Hugh Town, Isles of Scilly, with the same line-up.

I didn't publish it at the time and it languished for many years in the drawer. Finally in 2022 I decided to revise and publish it. It won't win me any more prizes than it already has but it is an attractive little anthem for any church looking for something different that won't require too much work.

Nigel Spooner

As they are now: Nigel Spooner [Photo: LinkedIn]
(the organist at the first two performances)

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