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.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Lord Is My Shepherd

I arranged this piano duet for my amazing daughter-in-law, Lisa.  One of the things that we both love about this hymn is the beautiful alto line.   Some hymns have inner voices that can become routine and even monotonous, but not this one.  Thomas Koschat highlights his moving alto line to the point that at times it shines brighter than all the rest.  For this reason, I have leaned heavily upon that voice.   

Midway through the piece, it shifts into a minor key for a while.  I wanted the music to reflect the idea that Christ, the Good Shepherd, will leave the ninety-nine and follow after the one that is lost, then lead it to “where the still waters flow.”

He knows us.  He loves us.  We are his and each of us holds a place in his heart. 

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief & Chopin’s Prelude in D Flat Major

Last Thanksgiving all three of our children and their families came home for the holiday.  When the whole crew gets together, more than at any other time, the sounds of music and laughter permeate our home.  What a blast!!

At one point I was puttering around in the kitchen when I heard someone playing the piano just for fun.  It wasn’t until I heard the familiar melody of Chopin’s Prelude in D Flat Major that curiosity got the best of me and I peeked my head out to see who was playing.  It was Mitch, aka Trekkers dad, aka Jesse’s soul mate.  The music he was playing was beautiful.

Now fast forward a month or two later when I am kicking around ideas of which hymn to arrange for Mitch.  I knew that A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief was one of his favorites. Then I thought back to the day he had played Chopin so I decided I would try to combine the two.

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief was also a favorite of the prophet Joseph Smith.  He and his brother, Hyrum, requested that it be sung twice in the upstairs bedroom at Carthage jail the afternoon they were killed.  The lyrics to the hymn begin: 

A poor wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not powr to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

The verses that follow then mirror the message in Matthew 25:40: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

This is for you, Mitch.  Thanks for bringing your adventurous, brave, and fun-loving spirit to our family!!  You’re the greatest!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Monday, January 30, 2017

Choose the Right

A few months back when I noticed that the hymn Choose the Right would be included in the 2017 primary program I set out to write a piano accompaniment for it.  I wanted to write something that would challenge the singers a bit. 

With the second verse it is especially important that the children have a good feel for the melody as I have given the accompaniment a lot of freedom.  The lyrics and melody are straight out of the hymnbook, with the last five words repeated at the very end. 

I consider myself extremely lucky to have the opportunity to interact with such an amazing group of singers here in Bend, Oregon who are eager to join with me and record at a moment's notice.  Bekah, Brynlie, Cannon, Caroline, Christopher, Gavin, Kassidy, Oliver, Paiten, Porter, Sage, and Samuel — You Are Rock Stars!!  Thanks a million!!

“Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct our lives is God’s greatest gift to man.  Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any possession earth can give.”
David O. McKay

Click HERE to download free sheet music
Click HERE to download an MP3 audio file with the children singing
Click HERE to download an MP3 audio file of the PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT ONLY

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beautiful Savior

Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer the moonlight
And all the stars in heav’n above;
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer
And brings to all the world his love.

Fair are the meadows,
Fairer the woodlands,
Robed in the flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer.
He makes the sorrowing spirit sing.

Beautiful Savior!
Lord of the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Thee will I honor, praise, and give glory,
Give praise and glory evermore!

     -Anon., twelfth century 

This arrangement lends itself to contemplation in quiet hours pondering the life of Christ — from his first breath in the manger to his last moments on Calvary.  I love the idea that the very stars He created were looking down on him the night of his birth.  Luminous as they were, none could shine brighter than the Christ child.

The second verse speaks of the earth with her stunning meadows and woodlands “robed in the flowers of blooming spring.”  I devoted a full six measures trying to create the feel of flowers bursting into bloom. 

My heart overflows with gratitude to Christ for his selfless gift.  How can I ever thank him enough, my Beautiful Savior?

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Friday, November 11, 2016

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing & Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9

November is all about counting blessings and some of my greatest blessings I call sister.  I have so many love and laughter-filled memories with my sisters.  We are tied together with heartstrings.

When I left for college, Jen, the youngest, was pushing seven years old.  We are separated by a decade, but we’ve never seemed to notice much. We savor time spent in nature’s realm.  Together we have hiked the Nā Pali coastline, crawled up Misery Ridge and taken long walks down Dillon Beach.  We’ve explored Aubrey Butte back in the day when roads were scarce and wildlife plentiful.  We’ve wandered through mountains, rivers and waterfalls.  Tennis is our game of choice.  And the holidays — we have shared so many Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas memories together with family and friends. 

One experience that will always shine is the night we attended a concert at the river’s edge in Drake Park about 15 years ago.  The Sunriver Music Festival gave a performance of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 - From the New World.  The orchestra was amazing, the music sublime.   

This symphony has always enchanted me.  There is a yearning in the melody that has held my heart captive from the moment I first heard it.  For this arrangement I have taken one of Jen’s favorite hymns, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, and meshed it with this gem Dvořák has given us.  It’s taken me a few years off and on to complete it, but I think I’m about ready to put down my eraser and pencil and call it good.  I wrote it for piano four hands and two violins, with Justin and Emma in mind. 


Come, thou Fount of every blessing; Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount; I'm fixed upon it: Mount of thy redeeming love.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, as a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

Click HERE to download free sheet music – Piano 1, 2 / Violin 1, 2
Click HERE to download free sheet music – Violin 1
Click HERE to download free sheet music – Violin 2

*Spirit Falls photo credit:  Echo Studios

Friday, September 9, 2016

Stand for the Right

Just a quick offering for my fellow Primary Pianists out there putting the finishing touches on the  annual children’s program at church.  I like to change things up a bit here and there so I just came up with an arrangement of the song Stand For the Right.  It is in the same key as the original song.  The melody is still played except that it’s one octave higher so it shouldn’t throw the children off.  

Accompanying the children on the piano as they sing each week is by far the most rewarding calling in the church.  Their smiles are contagious.  I love their enthusiasm for life.  It probably helps that I have never really grown up myself so I feel right at home with them.

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sing We Now at Parting

Towards the end of his life, prolific author, Neal A. Maxwell wrote a book called One More Strain of Praise. I have always admired Maxwell’s eloquence and perspective, but me being a music lover, I was especially drawn to this title.

In his book he took words from the well-known hymn Sing We Now at Parting for chapter headings; For Unnumbered Blessings, Still the Notes Prolong, and In a Pleasing Way, to name a few. The book’s title itself is also drawn from George Manwaring’s text of the hymn.

Some people believe that books are not to be written in. I have a friend whose personal library
is filled with many books perfectly aligned in bookshelves, all in pristine condition. I’m not that
kind of person. I underline. I highlight. I star and circle passages that jump out at me. I have
noticed from my markings that I can read the same book at different stages of my life and glean entirely different messages each time I read it.

Maxwell writes of the music of faith and how hope is a realistic anticipation that takes the form of a determination. “No wonder souls can be stirred and rallied by real hope’s reveille as by no other music.” My copy of the page where charity is described has quite a few stars scribbled in the margins.

Immediately after arranging this piece I had a tendency to rush through it as I played it. But
after letting the music settle into my heart, I now take it a bit slower, taking time to savor the notes because, according to Maxwell, the music of faith deserves to be prolonged.

Click HERE to download free sheet music