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Answer Me When I Call (SATB)


Voicing: Mixed Choir



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The story:

This brand new work was written for the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High Schools Summer Choral Clinic of 2015, under the guest conductor, Mr. Ron Meixsell. Since this is the only time throughout the year that our choir performs a concert in a church, Psalm 4 was chosen as the text.  I wanted to use a biblical text but one that was non-denominational.

This humbling text speaks to me as one of longing for an answer. It is about having faith that our questions will be answered when we believe, and each and every time, our patience and soul searching brings us comfort.

Answer Me When I Call is melodic, diatonic and rhythmically attainable. It has a lingering chord that is the focus of the entire piece; the chord of do, fa, sol is the eternal question and the search for comfort  The shape of the line and the musical interpretation of the text makes this a touching and relatable story for choir members and audience members alike. The harmonies are modern and sophisticated yet the piece maintains a feel that transcends time.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
    Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.


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Adam Paltrowitz is a master educator, composer, conductor, and clinician.

During his 20-year tenure as the Director of Choral Activities at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in New York, his groups have toured throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States.

He also has pioneered a philosophy that every student is a soloist. Adam’s choral program has also gained great acclaim for the cultivation of eight student-run a-cappella ensembles; some of these ensembles have performed on national and local television programs. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by choirs around the world.

Adam earned his B.S. in music education from New York University, M.A. in vocal pedagogy from Columbia University – Teacher’s College, and Ed.M. choral conducting from Columbia University – Teacher’s College.

​Adam resides in Manhattan with his wife, Blair Goldberg, a professional Broadway actress, and their daughter, Lyla.

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