Compositions

Compositions and arrangements have long been a part of Dr. Jones's career, most of them written for and premiered by the Master Singers of Virginia. While Dr. Jones writes primarily for a cappella choir, usually divisi, a number of his works also include piano and other instruments.

Below, you can find a list of all of Dr. Jones's compositions that he has chosen to make public. Along with each piece is a brief description of the work, a link to a MIDI file for the work, and a link to an online MP3 recording of that piece.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of any score, please email and a complimentary PDF of the score will be sent to you. You can use that same address to inquire about pricing arrangements for multiple copies. For works that are published by another publishing house, you will be directed to the appropriate location.

Title Voicing Time MIDI MP3
Ain't Got Time to Die SATB, baritone solo 6'00" MIDI MP3
"This is my favorite spiritual arrangement, with a strong infusion of gospel. I reversed the order of the original verses, beginning now with "I keep so busy workin' for the Master" and ending with "I keep so busy praising my Jesus", in order to give it more of the feel of a slave song. The bridge is particularly catchy."
Angels SATB, baritone solo, piano 4'00" MIDI MP3
"I've been quite surprised at the success of this piece. I originally wrote it as the second movement for The Men's Christmas Companion, for three-part male choir and male soloist. It has a very simple piano part, but that and the melody combined turned out to be quite charming. A number of my choir members demanded that I try arranging it for SATB, mostly women who wanted a chance to sing it the following Christmas. I was pleased to discover that it works as well as the original men's arrangement."
Ave Maria SSAATTBB a cappella 6'00" MIDI MP3
"One day as I was wrestling with a particularly difficult dissonance and resolution in The Petition of St. Augustine, it occurred to me that in choral music, it was possible to have a dissonance and resolution of syllables, as well as of notes. I thought about the composers in the 20th century who had given parts of words to different sections of the choir, forcing the listener to create the whole word from the various syllables. From this, I moved to the idea of syllabic dissonance and resolution, as opposed to harmonic resolution. This work was featured in at the 2004 ACDA Convention in Boston for the session titled Unpublished Gems."
Ding Dong! Merrily on High SATB div. with piano, opt. vibraphone 2'00" MIDI MP3
"I was singing the original tune to Ding Dong! Merrily on High in the car one day coming back from a rehearsal where we had worked on the Robert Shaw arrangement. And while I enjoyed the arrangement very much, I was realizing that I didn't care for the melody anymore. It occurred to me that with a light touch of syncopation, almost a Latin feel, it became almost a whole different piece. This has been the most popular of my arrangements over the years."
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas SSAA a cappella 2'30" MIDI MP3
"I can't claim a lot of credit for this piece. The melody and words aren't mine; they are the genius of Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine. The harmonies aren't even mine; they're from an old Reader's Digest piano arrangement (long since lost to time) that I found delightful as a child and which I memorized for later use. What I can take credit for is realizing how well this piano arrangement would work when set to four-part female voices."
I'll Tell My Ma SSA/SATB a cappella, body percussion 3'30" MIDI  
"This was an experiment for a combination of my women's choir, my mixed ensemble, and some body percussion mixed in. It's a very effective concert closer."
I'm Gonna Sing 'til the Spirit Moves Me in My Heart SATB div. a cappella 3'30" MIDI MP3
"I wrote this piece to be a barn-burner, a guaranteed standing ovation, and it hasn't failed me yet. It's a bit over the top, but if you're looking for a way to guarantee the audience gets on its feet at the end of the concert, this is it."
The Men's Christmas Companion TBB div., tenor solo, bass solo, piano 11'00" 1. Born  
2. Angels MP3
3. Glory MP3
4. Morning  
"I wrote this piece to give the men in my choir something to do while the women were practicing Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols one Christmas. I think it makes an effective counterpoint to that exquisite work. The first movement, Born, is an arrangement of an old English carol, Christ Was Born on Christmas Day. The second is Angels, which is available separately and also for SATB choir. The third movement is Glory, a West Indies spiritual that is also available separately. Finally, there is Morning, an arrangement of I Saw Three Ships that builds in intensity to a flourishing climax."
Miserere Mei, Deus SATB/SATB a cappella 19'00" Movement 1 MP3
Movement 2 MP3
Movement 3 MP3
Movement 4 MP3
Movement 5 MP3
"My best work, and a personal statement of contrititon."
The Petition of St. Augustine SSAATTBB a cappella 5'30" MIDI MP3
"I have a tendency to write pieces backwards. I write endings first, then the middle, and finally the beginning. It's somewhat peculiar, but the way works finish tend to come to me earlier than how they begin, and I think it helps me to create a more unified piece. This is particularly true of The Petition of St. Augustine. I have always enjoyed his phrase, Sing to lighten your labors; sing, but go on! and have wanted to set that to music for years. Once I figured out exactly how I wanted to bring that music forward, I worked backwards to the beginning of the prayer. I used my own translation to make the setting more effective. If you appreciate the sermons of St. Augustine, I hope you enjoy this piece."
Poor Wayfarin' Stranger SATB, alto solo a cappella 3'45" MIDI MP3
"This was one of my first arrangements, and is a sentimental favorite of mine."
The Seven Joys of Mary SSAATBB, organ, harp, guitar, vibraphone 4'45" MIDI MP3
"I prepared to do the Susa Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest one year. The Susa ended the first half of the concert, and then I used the mallet player, harpist, and guitarist on different pieces throughout the second half. I wanted to end the concert on a rousing finale, using all of the instrumentalists and my accompanist (who, sadly, doesn't get to play in the Susa). Nowhere could I find a piece written for mallets, guitar, harp, and piano or organ. I think it makes for quite an acceptable concert finale after performing the Susa. Don't be surprised if you hear a few musical jokes here and there, for I was in a bit of a whimsical mood when I wrote this piece. Especially in the sixth verse; what else was I supposed to do when faced with writing a harp part with six flats in 6/8 time?"
Snow: 1. Despite the Snow SSATB a cappella 3'30" MIDI MP3
Snow: 2. Requiescat SSATTB a cappella 3'00" MIDI MP3
Snow: 3. Water is taught by thirst SATB, piano 2'00" MIDI MP3
"In the early years of the new millennium, a snowstorm trapped me, my wife, and our housemates for a number of days. I love the snow, and it occured to me that I'd never wirtten a non-Christmas Winter piece. I found three texts about snow that appealed deeply to me, by Robert Graves, Oscar Wilde, and Emily Dickinson. With these texts I set a three-movement work titled Three Meditations on Snow. You'll notice that this piece uses only white notes to reflect the beauty of the snowfall."
Ukrainian Bell Carol SATB div. a cappella 3'00" MIDI MP3
"This piece will always hold a place in my heart for being my first work picked up by a major publisher, although it was later rejected because of problems securing the copyright for the words. It's rather challenging, but accessible for most medium-level choirs."
Workin' on the Railroad TTBB a cappella 3'30" MIDI MP3
"This arrangement of Workin' on the Railroad is a perennial favorite of my audiences and is pure barbershop. It alternates between driving eighth notes and a laid back, swung style. I've always enjoyed this melody, and thought it would work particularly well when sung by a male choir. It can be performed either by a solo quartet or a full choir."