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

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

I just love bold hymns and this is one I’ve wanted to do a choral arrangement for a long time now. I felt like I chose to write this song at a good time because it was one of those songs I just sat down and wrote it all out within a little over a week. I never had any “stumped” moments, which was so nice!

I wrote a piano solo for this song (below) as well. I recorded myself playing that. It is almost the same as the choir version so you can get a feel for the song.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty–for choir pianist and conductor

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty–for choir members

As I said above, I took my choir version and made a piano solo out of it. Because I wanted it to sound a lot like the choir piece, it isn’t my best piano arrangement. I promise you will love the transitions though, I get addicted to playing them!

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty–piano solo

 

 

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

Lord, I Would Follow Thee

This is a fun story. I wrote about 2/3rds of this arrangement my junior year of high school. I finished it up a few years ago. When I started my website I got in contact with Susan Evans McCloud, the lyricist. We went back and forth e-mailing, trying to get permission from the music writer, K. Newell Dayley, who was on a mission. Sister McCloud was finally able to get a hold of him after months of waiting. Sister McCloud was so helpful and, in a grueling world of trying to contact composers for permissions, I was so appreciative!

I was especially touched by this song when I listened to how it was written. If you have a few minutes, give this a listen to. It is narrated by Sister McCloud herself!

Lord, I Would Follow Thee

Lord, I Would Follow Thee (lower)

Because I had a request, here’s a recording of just the piano:

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