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.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Count Your Blessings

In Ephesians 5:19-20 the saints are exhorted to go about, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Count Your Blessings brings back a feeling of nostalgia for me.  I remember a much younger version of myself sitting in the pews at church each week next to family and friends, the sun streaming in through tall windows.  We must have sung this hymn a lot because even today when I sing it, I feel the warm presence of my Grandma Jennie smiling over at me. 

So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I sat down at the piano to write with this familiar melody in my heart.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings;
See what God hath done.

Bonnie Parkin gives great insight:  “Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle.  It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God.  Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God’s love.  This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction.  When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord.  Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence.”  

Living each day in thanksgiving takes effort.  I’m sure I fail at it more often than not, but I know that when I do stop and reflect on the blessings all around me, both seen and unseen, it brings me great joy.  

HERE to download free sheet music

Monday, October 28, 2019

Come Unto Jesus

Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.

Come unto Jesus; He’ll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?

Come unto Jesus from ev’ry nation,
From ev’ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, “Come to me.”

-Orson Pratt Huish                        

This piece brings my prelude offerings to a cool dozen.  I have given the left hand the melody line so don’t be afraid to lean on it and let it shine.  I hope that while playing it, Christ’s peace will find a home in your heart.

“True discipleship is for volunteers only.  Only volunteers will trust the Guide sufficiently to follow Him in the dangerous ascent which only He can lead.”
-Neal A. Maxwell     

Piano Prelude No. 12:  Come Unto Jesus                    

HERE to download free sheet music

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Spirit of God & God of Our Fathers

The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.

We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen!

I love the mind of Richard Cracroft, English Professor at Brigham Young University from 1963-2001.  In one of his discourses he celebrated the reality of the often ignored and too little heralded but very real outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the believing inhabitants of earth.  He spoke of ‘hosanna moments,’ those transcendent moments in our lives when, without warning, we are overwhelmed by a close encounter with eternity, a surprise of the spirit—those moments when, while engaged in the temporal rhythms of our daily and earth-encrusted lives, comfortably duped by familiar routines, we are suddenly brought face-to-face with the holy, swept by the Spirit of God into a transcendent reality, overwhelmed by undeniable evidence of a literal Father in Heaven who knows you and knows me and is somehow interested and involved in our lives. 

He continues, . . . “The ‘Well-Sing-and-Well-Shout’ moment is that moment when our God reaches his hand through the veil to startle our sensibilities, to reassure, to comfort, to guide, to prod, to change our course. Then our spirits soar, our souls are renewed, and we can never really be the same again. Those spiritual recognitions come as the shiver through the body, the cold chill across the back, the flash across the spirit, and yes, the burning in the bosom.  These glimpses of eternity come to most of us. Nudging us toward our destiny, his welcome and too-infrequent interventions shout to our souls that our Heavenly Father lives!” 

Richard Cracroft
June 29, 1993 BYU Devotional

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Circus

When I was 13 my family and I traveled to Los Angeles to see the Greatest Show on Earth.  The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus did not disappoint.  Everything seemed larger than life — the sights, the sounds, the popcorn and peanuts (mmmmm circus peanuts).

photo by Dave Crockett

This is a fun little class assignment from my college days. I tried to capture some of the magic that my young eyes perceived.  Plus you can’t miss the influence of Scott Joplin here and there. 

Just for kicks I looked up the life-is-a-circus metaphor.  I liked Dani DiPirro's five lessons from inside the big top:

  Be the ringmaster.  It’s your life.
  You’re on a tightrope.  Keep your balance.
  Toss your hat in the ring.  Get involved.
  Set up a sturdy net.  You will need back-up.
  Clown around.  Life’s too short to be serious.

Chuck thinks I should add one more . . . 

   •  Don’t step in the elephant poop.

Have fun!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I'll Walk with You & Jesus Said Love Everyone

After the last supper Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment.  He charged them to “love one another; as I have loved you . . .”  Rather than as previously taught to love others as yourself, Christ’s final teaching is to use the love that he has for them as the new model.

To quote Gordon B. Hinckley,  “Love is of the very essence of life.  It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors . . . If the world is to be improved, the process of love must make a change in the hearts of men. It can do so when we look beyond self to give our love to God and others, and do so with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.”

Thanks so much to Carol Lynn Pearson for graciously permitting me to share my arrangement of her song I’ll Walk With You.  I wrote this for children’s voices and piano and have combined it with Jesus Said Love Everyone.  My gratitude also goes out to my young friends Vivian, Savannah, Sage, Porter, Oliver, Mason, Macey, Kole, Kara, Eleanor and Aslynn for sharing their sweet voices.  Way to go Trekker for the delightful solo that starts us off.  Gracias Chuck for the audio and video recording and Jesse Blackburn for additional footage and for editing the video.  You are all outstanding!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

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