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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.


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

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How Gentle God’s Commands

How gentle God’s commands!
How kind his precepts are!
Come, cast your burdens on the Lord
And trust his constant care.

Beneath his watchful eye,
His Saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard his children well.

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste to your Heav’nly Father’s throne
And sweet refreshment find.

His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day;
I’ll drop my burden at his feet
And bear a song away.

by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)

Born in London, Philip Doddridge was the youngest of 20 children.  Even before he could read, his mother taught him stories from the Bible.  She died when he was only eight years old.  His father passed away four years later leaving him an orphan. He continued his education, all the while being drawn to the ministry.  

As a preacher he was very popular owing to his sincere and practical sermons.  He would write hymns that would summarize his sermons to reinforce and help his congregation apply the truths being taught.  

In his relatively short life, although he was known primarily as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he was also an author, educator, philanthropist, and prolific hymn writer, writing over 400 hymns in all.
                                          Prelude No. 11:  How Gentle God's Commands 

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Monday, July 30, 2018

Jesus, Once of Humble Birth

Two of the most remarkable events in the story of this world are the Savior’s birth and his second coming.  In this hymn Parley Pratt begins the text with the word “once” followed, in the next line, by the word “now.”  The contrasting passages throughout the hymn poetically compare Christ’s humble beginnings and extraordinary life to his exaltation.

Jesus, once of humble birth,
Now in glory comes to earth.
Once he suffered grief and pain;
Now he comes on earth to reign.

Once a meek and lowly Lamb,
Now the Lord, the great I Am.
Once upon the cross he bowed;
Now his chariot is the cloud.

Once he groaned in blood and tears;
Now in glory he appears.
Once rejected by his own,
Now their King he shall be known.

Once forsaken, left alone,
Now exalted to a throne.
Once all things he meekly bore,
But he now will bear no more.

Although Jesus Christ was not widely recognized as the Messiah during his mortal sojourn, there will be no mistaking his divine power and glory with the future return of the King.

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

He Died! The Great Redeemer Died

One of Heinrich Hofmanns most notable works is his painting of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is likely one of the most copied paintings in the world.  One such copy has hung in my childhood home for as long as I can remember. 

It was passed to my mom through her mother, who received it as a gift from her mother-in-law way back in 1937.  As a child gazing up at it, it brought me both joy and sadness at the same time.  Reflecting on what my Savior was willing to endure sometimes put me in a somber mood and yet I was thrilled knowing that He loved me enough to do it. It was a happiness colored by sorrow.  The picture, aged and worn now, still holds a sacred place in my heart.

He died! The great Redeemer died,
And Israel’s daughters wept around.
A solemn darkness veiled the sky;
A sudden trembling shook the ground.  

Come, Saints, and drop a tear or two
For him who groaned beneath your load;
He shed a thousand drops for you,
A thousand drops of precious blood.

Here’s love and grief beyond degree;
The Lord of glory died for men.
But lo! what sudden joys were heard!
The Lord, though dead, revived again.

The rising Lord forsook the tomb.
In vain the tomb forbade him rise.
Cherubic legions guard him home
And shout him welcome to the skies.

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Monday, April 16, 2018

I’m So Glad

Primary — it’s the name of the children’s organization at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Every Sunday young ones, ages 18 months through 11 years, meet for a few hours.   They learn about Jesus and how to become more like Him. They’re shown how to feel Heavenly Fathers love for them and about the plan of happiness.  

Music is a big part of Sunday worship in Primary.  It has been my privilege to be the primary pianist off and on throughout the years since I was about 14.  In my opinion, children possess more Christ-like qualities than just about anyone else.  We adults can learn so much from them.  

I wrote the music to this song when I was around 16.  I made a primitive tape recording of it and gave it to my Aunt Dorothy who then added lyrics.  I remember performing it with my sister, Jen, who sang it at a conference when she was very young. 

For this recording I enlisted the help of all five of my grandchildren:  Josh, Seth, Trekker, Charlie and Cora.  It’s vain to deny that I stooped to bribery.  Trekker’s comment at the end is evidence of this.  And yes, he did get his special car.

Click HERE to download free sheet music