Jane M. Marshall

Jane M. Marshall
Short Name: Jane M. Marshall
Full Name: Marshall, Jane (Jane Manton), 1924-
Birth Year: 1924

Jane Marshall graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, with both a Bachelor and Masters degree in music. She has served in a number of United Methodist churches in Texas and taught in both public schools and at Southern Methodist University. A strong advocate of congregational song, she has written a number of hymn tunes as well as served on the editorial committees of several hymnbooks. A contributor to music journals, she is the author of Grace Noted, a collection of homilies, essays and poems published by Hope Publishing Company.

Jane Marshall's compositions, many of which have taken on "classic" status include, from the 1950s, "My Eternal King" and two other magnificent works for SATB: "He Comes to Us" and "None Other Lamb." During the 1960s, she produced We Would Offer Thee This Day and The Prayers I Make. In the 1970s, choirs were singing her "Sometimes a Light," with its William Cowper text and "Come, My Soul," with a John Newton text.

Subsequent decades added saw her concentrate upon texts from the Psalms, including the release of Psalms Together, a 1986 collection of six unison antiphons for cantor or choir and congregation using psalm texts from the Common Lectionary, which may be performed in a variety of ways. Verses from Psalm 85 were selected for her simple yet expressive "A Psalm of Peace," and a new translation of Psalm 100 by Gary Chamberlain is the basis for the vivacious a cappella work, "Shout To The Lord." Finally, Psalm 145 provides the inspiration for another winner -- her extended anthem for SATB, organ and handbells, "I Will Extol Thee." Here, a swirling accompaniment undergirds the lively and spirited vocal lines which are frequently in unison.

She has also written many sacred choral compositions with non-scriptural texts. Although based upon the New Testament passage, I Corinthians 13, the Christopher Wordsworth text for "The Greatest of These" is an original poem. All four stanzas are sung in a strophic manner, the congregation being invited to sing with the choir on the first and last stanzas. David Mowbray's prayer text "Come to Us, Creative Spirit" thoughtfully deals with the skills of "poet, painter, music maker." Here Marshall has sympathetically given marvelously melodic lines to each of the choral parts.

In the 1990s. there appeared four selections for unison choir and congregation in the God Speaks series. Each one begins and ends with an antiphon using the text of Psalm 119:105. In each case, the middle section is a different scriptural text and new music. All are most singable.

Marshall has consistently and purposefully selected meaningful. un-hackneyed texts for her compositions. An example is the two-part mixed voice composition "Love, Joy, and Peace." In its call to share Gods gifts of love, joy, and peace, the contemporary text of English hymn writer Fred Pratt Green counteracts the present predominant quest on the part of many to get rather than give. In "You Call Us, Lord" there is an interesting combination. The original text is by the composer. However, an alternate wedding text by Fred Pratt Green has also been provided. The musical basis is the admirable John Edwards tune RHOSYMEDRE (if you do not know this tune, search it out--it is wonderful). The first stanzas have a rhythmic baroque-like accompaniment in contrast to the steady longer note values of the sung melody. The accompaniment for the second stanza is a relaxed triple figure whereas the third stanza is in a traditional chorale style with the melody placed in the tenor part.

Thus has Jane Marshall altered the landscape of sacred choral music in America. A look at her compositions for church choirs is a look at musical mountains across a broad tableland. The view is wonderful.


Texts by Jane M. Marshall (8)sort iconAsInstances
From Miles AroundJane Marshall, 1924- (Author)3
Jesus ama cada uno (Jesus cares for everyone)Jane M. Marshall (Author)2
Holy Ghost, dispel our sadnessJane Marshall (Author, st. 2)1
[Ten Lepers] (What gift can we bring)Jane Marshall (Author)1
What gift can we bring, what present, what tokenJane Marshall, b. 1924 (Author)12
While Mary listened to the LordJane M. Marshall (Author)2
With awe approach the mysteriesJane Manton Marshall (b. 1924) (Author)2
You call us, Lord, to beJane Marshall, 1924- (Author)3
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