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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.


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, August 31, 2016

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

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

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Piano Interlude

This offering is just a simple piano composition.  When repeated it takes a whopping one minute and 15 seconds to play.  I can’t remember when I wrote it, but I must have played it for Chuck back when he was finishing up his bridge documentary because he liked it enough to include it in his film.

What is fun about this piece is what I did with it as an afterthought.  I took the notes from the melody and modified the rhythms so that they were more or less of equal duration.  I then infused them into a reprise of the film’s main theme for use while the closing credits rolled.  Pay attention to the music at around the minute and a half marker of the video.  See if you recognize the melody the second time around.

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Friday, May 20, 2016

Praise to the Man

Lately, it seems that more and more, ideas for arrangements come to me as I am walking the river--a little phrase here and a little line there.  Other times the music comes crashing down on me all at once, so much so that I have to hurry home to start scribbling down notes before I forget.  This is one of those pieces.   

Soon after the death of Joseph Smith, William W. Phelps penned the words, “Praise to the Man who communed with Jehovah.”  His poem about Joseph would become a beloved hymn.   In honor of Phelps’ Scottish heritage, the hymn uses the melody from the folk song Scotland the Brave.

For those familiar with the text, you will know that Phelps ends his chorus with “ . . . death cannot conquer the hero again.”  But since I have never accepted the idea that death ever conquered the prophet Joseph in the first place, I just could not bring myself to include a  note representing that last word ‘again.’  As I play this arrangement I always end the melody with this version of the words echoing in my head: "Death cannot conquer the hero!!!” 
This one’s for you, Adam.

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King

Another favorite of mine. I have always loved this hymn and a sweet memory
associated with it.  The memory is elusive, almost like a dream and as with many of my memories this one occurred in the little chapel from my youth.

My Grandma Jennie loved music. On this occasion she organized a small group of
young girls to sing a few hymns in church. I would have been about 8 or 9 years old. I
am pretty sure that my sisters Julie and Dineen took part as well, along with a handful of others. With Hugh Dougall’s words and melody, we sang our hearts out. The
experience left me with a warm feeling inside. I am thankful for a loving grandmother
who provided us with opportunities at a young age that allowed our understanding of Jesus to grow.

Jesus of Nazareth,
Savior and King!
Triumphant over death,
Life thou didst bring,
Leaving thy Father’s throne,
On earth to live,
Thy work to do alone,
Thy life to give.

Prelude No. 8: Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King

Click HERE to download free sheet music