In Search of Advanced Offertories

Like many church pianists, I am constantly searching for new piano solos that are advanced harmonically and technically while still maintaining a worshipful quality for use in the weekly worship service.  Sadly, this proves to be more difficult than one would expect.
 
Before the Christmas holidays began, I ordered some choral music from Word Music to preview for the new year and noticed that there were several new folios of piano solos.  I decided to take a look and was encouraged by the description of two books in particular:  Hymns for the Spirit arranged by Matt Hyzer and The Best of Cindy Berry.  Both books are included in Alfred’s Sacred Performer Collections and are labeled as “early advanced piano.”
 
When I received the music, I was sadly disappointed!  Cindy Berry’s arrangements are of her original choral works — so not terribly useful in a blended worship setting.  This was a fact that I missed in the ordering.  Hyzer’s arrangements are simple, but nice. However, they are almost too easy to include in a normal service, but might be nice to include in a youth emphasis service or a week that has a lot of thick textures in other parts of the service.
 
While I am not thrilled with the content, I realize that the source of my irritation is due to the marketing by Alfred’s.  The label of “early advanced” suggests that there will be some level of mature playing required to navigate the arrangements;  what I found should be appropriate for a piano student with 5-6 years of study under their belt.  Have all of our labels been dumbed down to make pianists feel better about their skill sets rather than giving an accurate representation of the content?  I’m frustrated by the situation, I don’t have a solution to recommend, but I know that I probably won’t be purchasing any more solo books via the internet in the foreseeable future.  Thankfully, I have some wonderful arrangements by Marilynn Ham and Bill Wolaver to rely on for a few weeks.  
 
Which arrangers do you return to when you need something musically satisfying for your weekly offertory?  I’d love to get some recommendations of collections to check out.
 
Blessings!
Kennith

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