Thanks for Visiting

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.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

He Is Risen

He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory.
                    -Cecil Frances Alexander

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Monday, March 25, 2019

Of Woven Faith

All adult women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are members of Relief Society.  It is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the world with membership topping 7 million.  Each spring this worldwide sisterhood commemorates the founding of the Relief Society back in 1842.  

Twenty years ago my sweet friend CaRene Heap approached me and my husband about writing a song to be performed at a local event celebrating the anniversary of the Relief Society. While I was coming up with the music, Chuck was busy digging into the book Women of Covenant seeking inspiration for the lyrics.  I never feel like my music does his lyrics justice, and this song is no exception.  The song begins . . . 

     I began with Adam.
     I helped Enoch build a city.
     I set Moses gently in the river.
     I helped Lehi cross the sea.
     I saw first the risen Savior.
     I patched quilts to warm the saints.
     I am an heiress to a tapestry of woven faith
     I must now add my thread
     to the pattern of the past . . .

What makes membership especially significant for me is that many of my third and fourth great grandmothers were among some of the first members of the Relief Society: Sarah and Caroline Cutler, Nancy Wight, Abigail Williams, Weighty Lewis, Harriet and Fairzina Lish, Olive and Lucinda Bingham, and Patty Gates.  This heritage of service, of putting others first, is passed heart to heart.

Speaking of these first members, Henry B. Eyring stated, “They came from a great diversity of circumstances.  All faced the universal trials and heartaches of life.  Their determination born of faith to serve the Lord and others seemed to take them not around the storms of life but directly into them.  Some were young and some old.  They were from many lands and peoples, as you are today.  But they were of one heart, one mind, and with one intention.”  It is up to us to preserve and pass on this sacred legacy to future generations.

Many thanks to my great friends Leeann Scott and JoEllyn West, who incidentally personify this Christ-like spirit.  We performed the song way back in 1999 and this month we came together to perform it again.  Thanks so much you two!!!!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Did You Think to Pray?

I love that we are pulling music from the hymnbook as well as from the childrens songbook for my churchs annual childrens program. This year the hymn Did You Think to Pray was included on the list of potential music.  I arranged this hoping to offer an alternative for those looking to try something new.  

It is written for piano and children’s voices, but the piece can also stand alone as a piano solo.  My arrangement includes only two verses.  I kept it entirely in the key of C major.   That brings it down a bit from the original key and should make it easier for lower voices to sing.  And just for fun I tried weaving melodies from other hymns into the accompaniment here and there.  

Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ,our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?

O how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Dont forget to pray.

I am especially drawn to the third verse . . . 

When sore trials came upon you,
Did you think to pray?
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day?  
                                 - Mary A. Pepper Kidder

Imagine “the gates of day” as the opening to a realm of eternal daylight—gates of prayer that connect us with our heavenly home and the realm of glory where God and Christ dwell.  When we pray, we borrow strength, love, and light at the very door of eternity.     - Bruce D. Porter

Click HERE to download free sheet music
Click HERE to download free sheet music (in D Major)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray

I grew up in a home that prayed.  I was taught at an early age to pray to my Father in Heaven both individually and as a family.  My private prayers were rudimentary at first—thanking, asking, receiving. They could become quite routine in fact.  

I remember at one point deciding that to save time and effort I would just pray once every five days but still get credit in my mind for saying daily prayers by saying each word five times.  I could then slough for the next four days and not pray.  My prayer would begin, “Dear, Dear, Dear, Dear, Dear, Heavenly, Heavenly, Heavenly, Heavenly, Heavenly,  Father, Father, Father, Father, Father . . .”    Sad but true.  Looking back I can imagine a loving Heavenly Father looking down, shaking his head and smiling at his little six-year-old slacker.  Fortunately that phase didn’t last long.  

Through the years I have tried and continue to try to make communing with God more and more meaningful.  

The desire to pray will grow in us as we read the scriptures, and we will be able to close the book with renewed desire to speak with the author.  The basic purpose of prayer may well be to find out the will of God and then to ask for faith and strength to carry it out. (See Ann N. Madsen, Prayer, pp.99-106)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Lord, may I not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
Because it is in giving that we receive, 
In pardoning that we are pardoned.
                                              -Saint Francis of Assisi

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Sunday, December 30, 2018

More Holiness Give Me

Fourteen years ago I attended a conference in Portland with my sister, Jen. There were several outstanding speakers, but I instantly fell in love with one in particular.  I had never heard of her prior to the event. She had a quick wit and her insight was thought provoking.  She stretched my way of thinking.  Her name was Wendy Watson.  Here are a few of the notes I jotted down that day as she spoke to us . . . 

Invite and facilitate change.  Think of how devoted our Savior, Jesus Christ, is to change. He gave his life so that we could change.

A butterfly -- it's what you are meant to become.  Your spirit wants to fly.  
How does one become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.

    More holiness give me, 
     More strivings within,
     More patience in suff’ring,
     More sorrow for sin,
     More faith in my Savior,
     More sense of his care,
     More joy in his service,
     More purpose in prayer.

    More gratitude give me,
     More trust in the Lord,
     More pride in his glory,
     More hope in his word,
     More tears for his sorrows,
     More pain at his grief,
     More meekness in trial,
     More praise for relief.

    More purity give me,
     More strength to o’ercome,
     More freedom from earthstains,
    More longing for home.
     More fit for the kingdom,
     More used would I be,
     More blessed and holy—
     More, Savior like thee.

                                              —Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Angels We Have Heard on High & Bach’s Air

For years now every Christmas I consider writing an arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High for violin and piano.  But then New Years rolls around and it remains nothing more than a fleeting thought.  I think I’ve always shied away from the challenge because the hymn is so perfect just as it is with those beautiful floating harmonies with angels singing “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” announcing Christ’s birth to the shepherds.  

Well, I guess this year is different.  I mustered up the courage and went for it.  I even had the audacity to mesh it with Bach’s masterpiece ‘Air on the G String.’  I must be crazy. (Goes without saying)

This piece was written for my niece, Emma Womack.  She and I go way back — 17 years to be exact.  We’ve shared some great times . . .  park sessions, hiking, jamming to Rock Band video games, and the infamous beach house water balloon fight--proving once and for all that women reign supreme.  Everything from soccer to snorkeling and always made better when followed up with string cheese and Spaghettios.

Making the music video was a blast.  Thank you Emma again and again.  Gracias sound man, Chuck.  Also a huge thanks goes to the combined genius of Jesse and Mitch for filming and producing the video and to all those who braved the freezing temperatures in order to make it happen over Thanksgiving break when we all converged for a few short days.  

Emma picked up a viola at age 10 and hasnt looked back. The sky is the limit for this niece of mine.  Go Emma, Go!!

Click HERE to download arrangement for the PIANO part
Click HERE to download arrangement for the VIOLIN part
Click HERE to download arrangement for PIANO & VIOLIN together

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Love at Home


Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh …
You’ve bonded me in gold to generations.
Through the glass I hear your infant cry
And I recall another natal breath
That caught my heart
Her wondrous eyes, her need of me.
Now to your home …
You come, and when you cry
We both will run, your Mother and I.
And as she gives you of herself
Her eyes transcribe upon my soul
Those Mother truths
That only Mothers know —
Things that I could never quite express
(But must be taught) —
And so I am at peace
Now that I see eternal lives of caring
That will bless you
And so bless me!
For this is written in your Mother’s eyes
A testament of shy and tender looks
That speak so clearly
What never need be said,
That sing!
So…this is how it was.

--excerpt of a poem by MaryLou C. Leavitt

I started to write Skye’s Lullaby nearly four years ago just after my daughter announced her pregnancy.  While writing a song for my unborn grandchild, I almost felt like this little angel waiting to join our clan was somehow helping me write her song.  I finished the piece, but before Chuck could add lyrics Jesse discovered she was carrying a boy.  So much for a grandmother’s intuition.  So I shelved the project.  

Last summer Skylee Anna Blackburn made Trekker a big brother.  I dusted off my manuscript and played around with it making changes here and there, but it never felt right.  Then it came to me to weave her song into a hymn, one that speaks of pure love.  I tried to make the arrangement a reflection of our Skylee — of her beauty, filled with love, bringing joy and peace to the heart.  And now it finally feels right.  Towards the middle of the arrangement and again at the very end Skye’s Lullaby sings out.  All the world is filled with love when my Skylee is near.

Click HERE to download piano solo ‘Love At Home’ for my smiley Skylee