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Over time I have written a number of songs. I will continue to add them to this blog so, please, keep coming back to see what's new.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Stand All Amazed

Looking back it’s clear to me that the home I grew up in was special.  I was provided with food and shelter, safety and security.  But there was something more.  It had less to do with the structure of the house and everything to do with dear, loving parents.  For the moment I want to focus on my mom.

Some of the greatest gifts I have been given I’ve received at the hands of my mother.   First and foremost is the gift of life itself.  Hers was the first smile I saw.  Countless nights she rocked me to sleep singing Pennies from Heaven.  Her love and nurturing helped me start my journey through life on solid ground.

My mom has taught me so many things.  I remember vividly the day she taught me to water ski.  I was eight years old.  We were camped at Woodward Reservoir.  My Grandpa Nott kept the boat parallel to the shore while I was learning.  Mom stayed in the water coaching me.  When I was poised to take off she would yell, “Hit it!”  The boat would surge, I would try to come up, my wobbly legs would fail me and down I would go.  Each time I fell she would swim to me with her smile and encouraging words.  After about my fourth try I popped up out of the water and took off gliding around the lake as I had seen her do so often with such grace. 

She provided me with opportunities to discover my connection with Mother Earth and gain an appreciation for nature. I treasure memories of our bright family outings.  We had more than our fair share of them.  I love every mountain range I have ever seen, but there is something about the area you first explored in your youth. To me, the majesty of the Sierra Nevadas has no rival.  My mom introduced me to lakes and streams and snow.  With her I uncovered the beauty of rocks, of hillsides, of sunlight through the trees.  I share my mother’s love of the ocean. Nothing compares to the peace I feel looking out at the sea. 

She helped me understand the strength and joy of family and the ties that bind.  I would not have come to study music were it not for her encouragement and willingness to sacrifice for me.  And from her example I have gained a deep and abiding love for our Savior, Jesus Christ.
My childhood was filled with fun and sun, with songs and laughter, and with a reverence for God and His creations.  I am afraid I owe my mom a debt I can never repay.  All I can do is take what she has given me -- this love for family and nature, for music, and for our God and pass it along to my children. They, in turn, can teach their children and in so doing a mother’s influence will live on.

My mother gave me the world! She is my Jackie O.

For you, mom, with love . . . 

Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Piano

Sunday, March 15, 2015

While of These Emblems We Partake

I love the organ.  No other instrument comes close to producing such noble and powerful sounds.  But it can be a bit of a beast to play.  I would have loved to attend one of Alexander Schreiner’s Bach recitals in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  Nine of his hymns are included in the 1985 edition of the Latter-day Saint hymnal.  I chose one of them for my fifth prelude.   

Fun fact:  When Chuck’s Grandpa Hutchings was on his mission in Germany, he and his companion would operate the bellows of the organ while 11-year-old Alex would play.  Based on his uncle’s recollection, this was done at one of the big Lutheran churches, probably in Nuremberg.

Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Piano

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

There is a Green Hill Far Away and Sonata quasi una Fantasia

My brother, Gary, and I have a lot in common.  We love the same parents. We love fishing. We love climbing mountains and canoeing the high lakes of the Cascades. We love life. We love our mom’s home cooking. We love photographing waterfalls and wildlife.  We love exploring every scenic corner of Oregon in search of BEAUTY.  And so when I asked Gary to list some of his favorite hymns, I jumped at the chance to arrange There is a Green Hill Far Away since I love it too. 

This piece is quite unique.  I have taken a sacred hymn and combined it with a classical favorite.  I hope Beethoven will forgive me the liberties I took with his beloved composition.  

The arrangement is for piano, cello and either violin or viola.  I am enamored with the rich, deep tones of these instruments.  I have tried to use them to depict an event that, albeit necessary, was arguably the most heartbreaking moment in the history of mankind--the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Piano
Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Violin
Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Cello
Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Viola

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

David O. McKay revealed a fundamental key to motivation when he observed, “What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be.”  And then Max Caldwell (my favorite BYU professor) went on to explain that in other words, what people do or don’t do in a situation will depend on the understanding they have of the reality and role of Christ and upon the degree of loyalty and love that they have for him.   What a great motivating factor.  I love this thought.

Personally, I don’t spend enough time in meditation.  I think it is wise to take a moment and ponder what we have come to think of Christ.  The answer is crucial.  It will shape our very lives. 

Piano Prelude No. 4:  Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The First Noel

“ . . . And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
          And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you:  Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger . . .”
                                                                                               Luke 2:8-12

As you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,
may your homes be filled peace, love, and joy.

Merry Christmas!

Prelude No. 3:  The First Noel

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Friday, November 14, 2014

For the Beauty of the Earth

I love our beautiful world – her rivers, her mountains, glorious sunsets, the majesty of the sea.  I am mesmerized by the stunning landscape that surrounds me. For this arrangement I have slowed the tempo down a bit to allow time for reflection, admiration, and to convey a thankful heart.

Prelude No. 2:  For the Beauty of the Earth

Click HERE to download free sheet music

“For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.”

-Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917

Friday, October 10, 2014

Come, Follow Me

I have decided to write a little book of piano preludes – short pieces that set a tone for quiet meditation.  I am hoping that before I’m done I’ll have at least a dozen or so pieces that flow from one to the next. 

My first offering in the series is a hymn arrangement.  With this music I have tried to capture the Savior’s patient invitation to each of us to walk with Him.

Prelude No. 1:  Come, Follow Me

Click HERE to download free sheet music