This is my first Christmas piano arrangement. As always, I tried to capture the feeling of the lyrics with the music. I have long loved this telling of the background of this song and tried to create a similar feeling in my arrangement:
In my arrangement verse 3 & 4 in particular speak to me with despair turning to hate, then verse 4 with the bells retorting more deeply that “God is not dead nor doth he sleep.” The words are so powerful I would almost tell you that if you ever perform this song, tell people to open up their hymn books to 214 and read along as you play.
Last year my kids were asked to sing this song for a stake Christmas program. I didn’t see an arrangement, so I came up with it.
One fun part for me was writing to Patricia Kelsey Graham, the composer and lyricist, for permission. She actually played through it and gave a thoughtful suggestion. It made my heart happy to hear her say she really liked this, especially the piano that connects the two verses.
You can listen to my kids singing the song in all their cuteness. My youngest gets up and is totally distracted, but everyone thinks that’s cute, right? 🙂
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.
Back in 2012 I wrote this arrangement as a solo. Link to that post. Since then I have had a few requests to make it a choir arrangement. Well, I finially did it! This is a bright and joyful Christmas song and those are my favorite!
Our ward chorister asked for a violin part to add to one verse while choir sings. While this isn’t a complete arrangement, I thought I’d still post it in case it’s useful to someone. I added in the SA parts so the violinist can more easily figure out timing. Click link for music:
I wrote this song in 2010. I recently realized the piano wasn’t quite right and the lyrics to the second verse were off. I fixed it up and feel so much better about it. Since my mother-in-law pulls it out every Thanksgiving I really wanted to make it something I could feel good about. I think it is so much better now!
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!
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!
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 🙂
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.
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.