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.


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

Friday, February 19, 2016

We’ll Sing All Hail to Jesus’ Name

The title of this hymn explains one of my motives for writing music. It brings me incredible peace to know who I am, why I’m here, and that because of Him, life goes on after this earthly experience.

Prelude No. 7: We’ll Sing All Hail to Jesus’ Name

Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Piano

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Trekker’s Lullaby

Last October the long awaited arrival of our third grandchild took place.  And boy, was he worth the wait.  Trekker Prather Blackburn has taken all of us by storm.  Now at age three months his personality has really started to emerge.   

He likes splashing, dance parties, grandmas & grandpas, cozy pjs, and cuddles.  He dislikes sniffles, putting his arms in his sleeves, doctors, Mr. Turtle who hangs above his hammock swing, and cold hands.

Jesse asked us to write a lullaby for her baby before he was born.  The race was on to complete the piece before he made it on the scene. We won.  It helped that he was eleven days overdue.  Still, I like to think that Trekker helped us write it.

Thanks SO MUCH to Jesse for the treasured video footage AND for providing the sweet vocals.  Thanks also goes out to “Uncle Adam” for his fun illustrations.

Nothing compares to the joy I feel when I talk to Trekker and he smiles and slowly blinks back at me in recognition. I echo the sentiments of  A.A. Milne when he penned, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Piano

Thursday, December 17, 2015

O Little Town of Bethlehem

“How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
  - Phillips Brooks

Wishing you all the peace your heart can hold — and then some.
     Merry Christmas!!

Prelude No. 6:  O Little Town of Bethlehem

Click HERE to download free sheet music - For Piano