Samuel and the Star

I don’t remember what gave me the idea to put the beloved video’s words to music but I’ve had a blast writing an Irish sounding tune. I’ve never put music to a story before, so it’s fun to say I have a ballad on my repertoire.

The story of Samuel comes from Helaman 13-15 in the Book of Mormon. I have a testimony of this book. It has drawn me close to the Savior. I am so grateful for Him and how through Him alone, I can be saved. He truly is The Light of the world.

Also, I was amazed at how often the message of listening to prophet came up in this last General Conference. After hearing that theme, and playing this song again, it touched me even more of how blessed we are to have a prophet. I’ll add my testimony to those of the apostles and other church leaders, that God reveals His will for the church to prophets. As we follow the prophets with more exactness, we will be protected and grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, because they guide us to Him.

Samuel and the Star (pdf)

That Easter Morn with Cello

I showed my arrangement of this song to our ward’s choir director and she asked if I would write a cello part for it. Ironically, the choir director who originally asked me to arrange this piece played the cello. I agreed adding cello was a good idea and now that the part is done I wonder how I ever performed the song without it. The cello adds so much to this piece. Enjoy!

That Easter Morn for SATB, piano and cello

That Easter Morn, cello part

That Easter Morn, SATB and piano

Photo by: SLV’s

Once in Royal David’s City

I wanted to write a song for Christmas and I knew I wanted to write it in 6/8 timing. I loved  Sally DeFord’s arrangement of While Shepherd’s Watched their Flocks by Night and a Children’s song called Our Christmas Story Tree (look down the list), both in 6/8 time. I knew I had to write one too. When I was looking at the songs in the hymn book I saw this song and tried it out with 6/8 timing and it sounded really good. I didn’t know this song very well before I wrote this arrangement. I came to love this song more than ever and am so happy I decided to do it. The lyrics in the last verse are especially powerful to me.

You may also notice I added a verse. Verse 2 in this arrangement are my own words. I think it fits in pretty well. Hopefully you enjoy this song!

Once in Royal David’s City (piano and female voice)

I put this video on here hesitantly because I know my voice is terrible. I just want you to be able to hear how it sounds and hopefully see the potential of the song. When I am rich and famous I will spend money to make real recordings and get an awesome singer. For now, you have to put up with me 🙂

Photo above by Barbara Piancastilli

Come, Come Ye Saints

At the end of June our choir director calls and asks if I could write an arrangement to Come, Come Ye Saints to be performed the third Sunday in July in honor of Pioneer Day. From the day of the call, that left me with 8 days until I had to have it done (because I was leaving on vacation for a week and couldn’t keep working on it when I left). I worked hard for those 8 days and this is what came from it.

Come, Come Ye Saints

The parts are from the LDS Hymnal until the last two measures. The first verse is a solo. Here is the music for just the parts:

Come, Come Ye Saints: Parts

We Give Our Thanks

The last LDS Music Competition entry I have under my belt is this children’s song entered in 2010. I picked the subject of Thanksgiving because in the Children’s Songbook, none of the Thanksgiving songs mention the 10 lepers story! I had to write one including them.

Since I have written this song I have had some helpful advice from a friend about songwriting. One thing she told me that is very taboo is parallel fifths. I have those in this song–yikes! Listening to this song, it is beautiful and not cheesy (I really dislike cheesy songs) but when you dissect it, there are technical flaws. I wish I knew more when I was entering it. Live and learn I guess.

We Give Our Thanks