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Gerald Custer

Living in: United States

Gerald Custer is a multifaceted choral musician, active as conductor, composer, editor, teacher and author. A native of Baltimore, he earned his B.Mus. in choral music education at Westminster Choir College, where he studied conducting with Robert Simpson, Dennis Shrock and Robert Carwithen, choral literature with Elaine Brown, and composition with Harold Zabrack and Malcolm Williamson. He also served as assistant conductor of Westminster's Collegium Musicum, directed student choral and operatic ensembles, and participated in conducting master classes with Wilhelm Ehmann and Robert Shaw.

He earned the M.Mus. in orchestral conducting with additional work in historical musicology at George Washington University, where he founded and conducted the University Chamber Singers and served as assistant conductor of the Alexandria (Virginia) Symphony Orchestra. While a graduate student at GWU, Mr. Custer was appointed adjunct instructor in the university's Department of Music, teaching voice and music theory in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. He is presently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting at Michigan State University.

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Songbooks, Arrangements and/or Media

Displaying 1-2 of 2 items.


Blake R. Henson & Gerald Custer : Arranging: A Beginner's Guide : Book : G-9124

Blake R. Henson & Gerald Custer : Arranging: A Beginner's Guide

Need to adapt an SATB work for your small SAB choir? Have sopranos who can't sing divisi...but know a great trumpet player who is happy to help out? Need to simplify a viola part for a beginner? In straightforward, step-by-step fashion, authors Blake Henson and Gerald Custer show how to take a piece of existing music and craft a workable, polished arrangement that meets the needs of your ensemble in the real world.

Arranging: A Beginner's Guide is full of ideas, examples, and exercises to try out and adapt, grounded in the belief that arranging is not only a necessary skill, it is one that is relatively easy to learn and master. This book is written for conductors, church musicians, teachers, and students at all levels. With numerous examples and helpful tips-plus humor and insight-this engaging and practical workbook is designed to make the arranging process simple and fun.

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4348b | Book | $28.95


Gerald Custer , Blake R. Henson : From Words to Music : Book : G-8728

Gerald Custer , Blake R. Henson : From Words to Music

The power of story and story-telling makes choral singing irresistible...and the impact of text wedded to music is what fuels the choral art. Yet in the heat of rehearsal, we can forget to ask, "Whose words are these in my mouth? Why is this message being sent? Who is the audience for this story? Why does it matter to them? How can I make this story my story?

In this enlightening book, conductor Gerald Custer and composer Blake Henson offer practical tools and strategies to approach, unlock, and understand text: how it works, how it's structured, and what it means. In a series of informal dialogues punctuated with personal illustrations, Custer and Henson reveal how composers and conductors make the journey that transforms words into music.

If you are a singer, a choral conductor, a composer, or simply someone who loves choral music, this insightful and honest book sheds new light on how words and music interact to create the choral art.

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9980b | Book | $18.95


Individual Folios

Displaying 1-24 of 24 items.


Away in a Manger : SAB : Gerald Custer : Book : GIA8745 : 785147874508

Gerald Custer : Away in a Manger

This anthem for the Christmas season lends itself to smaller, community choirs. An original tune, RIVERWOOD, moves from unison statements-first by women's voices, then by men's-to a third verse of contrapuntal treatment by the altos and men grace by celestial "ahs" from the sopranos. Piano or organ quietly and aptly fill in the aural scene along with an optional flute. More music for small choirs

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Voicing: SAB | Sheet Music | $2.20 | Keyboard |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| GIA8745


Balulalow : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7190 : 785147719007

Gerald Custer : Balulalow

This is a new composition on the final stanza of a Scottish translation of Luther's hymn "Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her." Balulalow is the Scottish word for "lullaby." Scored in the original language, a modern version is included for those choirs who wish to sidestep the original.

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $2.00 | Reduction |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| GIA7190


Chesterton's Carol : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA8456 : 785147845607

Gerald Custer : Chesterton's Carol

The alternation between minimalist accompaniment and the stark contrast of a cappella voices adds richness and depth to this Gilbert Keith Chesterton text. The close vocal harmonies convey reverence and awe.

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $2.20 | Keyboard |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| GIA8456


Deep River : SSAATBB : Gerald Custer : Harry T. Burleigh : Sheet Music : GIA7233 : 785147723301

Gerald Custer : Deep River

Gerald Custer has set the beloved "Deep River" for tenor soloist with SSAATBB choir. Tips for tuning from choral guru James Jordan are included in the octavo.

Composer: Harry T. Burleigh

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Voicing: SSAATBB | Sheet Music | None


Elegy : SSAATTBB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA6479 : 785147647904

Gerald Custer : Elegy

"Elegy," by Gerald Custer, is a setting of three texts associated with Robert Kennedy during his lifetime. This glorious work for SATB divisi and piano captures Kennedy's idealism and his faith in the inherent good of all people. It is a fitting song of lament and tribute, filled with the hope of a man whose dreams continue to inspire.

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Voicing: SSAATTBB | Sheet Music | Piano


Farewell : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7004 : 785147700401

Gerald Custer : Farewell

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | Piano


Geistliche Chormusik: Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt : SATTB : Gerald Custer : Heinrich Schutz : Sheet Music : GIA6524 : 785147652403

Gerald Custer : Geistliche Chormusik: Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt

The bass part is optional.

Composer: Heinrich Schutz

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Voicing: SATTB | Sheet Music | Organ


Hard Times Come Again No More : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Stephen Foster : Sheet Music : 00125124 : 884088988241

Gerald Custer : Hard Times Come Again No More

The words and melodies American song writer Stephen Foster exemplify our nation in the 19th century. Dr. Gerald Custer has maintained that character in this madrigal-like setting. The heart from a time gone by sings through in warmth and sincerity. Good high school choirs, college and community ensembles will jump at the chance to program this gem.

Composer: Stephen Foster

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | $2.10 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 00125124


Hineh Mah Tov : SAB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7030 : 785147703006

Gerald Custer : Hineh Mah Tov

This adaptation of Psalm 133, with Hebrew refrain (nine repeated words) and English verses, is an SAB arrangement of a Hebrew folksong. It has a strong 2/4 klezmer feel. A fine piece for interfaith worship!

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Voicing: SAB | Sheet Music | Piano


How Can I Keep from Singing? : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Robert Lowry : Sheet Music : GIA7227 : 785147722700

Gerald Custer : How Can I Keep from Singing?

A duple-meter version of this famous Robert Lowry hymn, scored for SATB divisi and organ. An interpretation that is straightforward and chorale-like, rather than the frequently heard folklike settings. Produces a big choral sound.

Composer: Robert Lowry

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | Organ


I Am Soft Sift : SSAA : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7319 : 785147731900

Gerald Custer : I Am Soft Sift

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Voicing: SSAA | Sheet Music | Organ


Innisfree - SATB edition : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7005 : 785147700500

Gerald Custer : Innisfree - SATB edition

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | Piano


Jerusalem, My Happy Home : SAB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7031 : 785147703105

Gerald Custer : Jerusalem, My Happy Home

An appealing treatment of a classic early American hymn. Stanza 1 is set in unison, 2 in canon, 3 for SAB unaccompanied, 4 for unison with descant, and a reflective 5 in unison with a quiet SAB finish. The accompaniment offers simple chordal support.

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Voicing: SAB | Sheet Music | Piano


O magnum mysterium : SSAATTBB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7093 : 785147709305

Gerald Custer : O magnum mysterium

The "O Magnum" has been memorably set by composers from Vittoria to Lauridsen, and the tradition continues with this essentially homophonic SSAATTBB setting with harp. A mostly quiet and reflective setting with rich harmonic texture.

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Voicing: SSAATTBB | Sheet Music


O Padre Nostro : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA6992 : 785147699200

Gerald Custer : O Padre Nostro

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | None


Richard Crashaw's Carol : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7231 : 785147723103

Gerald Custer : Richard Crashaw's Carol

Original music on a 17th-century Nativity carol. Creatively utilizes the SATB divisi resources in varying combinations to paint the text. For nonreligious institutions that must avoid overtly Christian texts, especially in holiday concerts, this text is subtle enough to bypass restriction, yet provides a worthy offering of serious choral music.

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | None


See amid the Winter's Snow : Unison : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA8455 : 785147845508

Gerald Custer : See amid the Winter's Snow

Compelling rhythmic variety and a heartwarming text make this short anthem especially useful for small choirs during the Christmas season. An optional C instrument part brings a delicate playfulness to the keyboard accompaniment.

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Voicing: Unison | Sheet Music | $2.00 | Keyboard |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| GIA8455


Sure on This Shining Night : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA8790 : 785147879008

Gerald Custer : Sure on This Shining Night

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | Reduction


The Fiddler of Dooney : SATB divisi : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7003 : 785147700302

Gerald Custer : The Fiddler of Dooney

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | Piano


Three Elizabethan Lyrics : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA6990 : 785147699002

Gerald Custer : Three Elizabethan Lyrics

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | None


Wedderburn's Carol and Kit Smart's Carol : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7764 : 785147776406

Gerald Custer : Wedderburn's Carol and Kit Smart's Carol

If you have a college choir, or an above-average high school or church choir, and if you've grown a bit weary of the same or similar Christmas repertoire year after year, look at these settings of two classic carols: a 16th-century translation of part of Luther's Vom Himmel hoch and an 18th-century work by an under-appreciated poet.

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | Reduction


When Jesus Wept : SAB : Gerald Custer : William Billings : Sheet Music : GIA7033 : 785147703303

Gerald Custer : When Jesus Wept

This famous canon by William Billings, considered one of the foremost early American composers, has been delicately arranged with an unobtrusive accompaniment, allowing the original music to prevail with simple keyboard support.

Composer: William Billings

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Voicing: SAB | Sheet Music | Piano


Willow Tree Carol : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA8730 : 785147873006

Gerald Custer : Willow Tree Carol

Set to a tempo steady but unhurried, the text of Gerald Custer's carol gives voice to a willow tree present on the day of Christ's birth. This through composed piece is written for piano, but harp may be substituted.

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $2.00 | Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| GIA8730


Winter's Cold : SATB : Gerald Custer : Sheet Music : GIA7024 : 785147702405

Gerald Custer : Winter's Cold

The words of this new Christmas carol have their roots in the traditional Icon of the Nativity. The vocal lines feature lyrical leaps that add to the emotional expression of the piece. The expert choral writing is supported by a piano accompaniment and a part for handchimes, but also features an a cappella verse.

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | Piano

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