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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.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Dare To Do Right

It is humbling to stand at the base of the Lincoln Memorial and look up into the face of the man who lead our country through some of its most troubled times. Abraham Lincoln has always been and will remain my favorite president of the United States.  A self-educated man, he possessed a sharp wit and rose to greatness in part due to his perseverance, courage and vision.  He once said, “It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.”

In a speech made just before he took office in 1860, Lincoln said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Dare to Do Right — an arrangement for children’s choir.
Click HERE to download free sheet music

Thursday, December 12, 2019

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

I have always admired Joseph Brickey's painting Journey to Bethlehem.  The little shepherd boy and Mary lock eyes as they pass one another along the road.  Did the young boy’s heart burn within him?  Did he wonder why?

On that very night Christ would be born and those chosen to be the first witnesses were humble shepherds.  I think of the moments leading up to the angel appearing to them to declare good tidings of great joy.  Might someone have been humming a low, quiet tune to calm the sheep? Perhaps a soft melody of a flute floated through the night air.

As I sat down to arrange this piece, I chose to begin and end it with stillness. At first it is the tranquility of shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night.  Towards the middle there is more of an urgency as they leave in haste to follow the star.  And it closes with the peaceful night visit in the manger while those very same shepherds draw close to adore the newborn babe.    

May the peace that comes from the Good Shepherd abide in your hearts this holiday season and all year through.  Merry Christmas!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

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