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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.


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

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Did You Think to Pray?

I love that we are pulling music from the hymnbook as well as from the childrens songbook for my churchs annual childrens program. This year the hymn Did You Think to Pray was included on the list of potential music.  I arranged this hoping to offer an alternative for those looking to try something new.  

It is written for piano and children’s voices, but the piece can also stand alone as a piano solo.  My arrangement includes only two verses.  I kept it entirely in the key of C major.   That brings it down a bit from the original key and should make it easier for lower voices to sing.  And just for fun I tried weaving melodies from other hymns into the accompaniment here and there.  

Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ,our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?

O how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Dont forget to pray.

I am especially drawn to the third verse . . . 

When sore trials came upon you,
Did you think to pray?
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day?  
                                 - Mary A. Pepper Kidder

Imagine “the gates of day” as the opening to a realm of eternal daylight—gates of prayer that connect us with our heavenly home and the realm of glory where God and Christ dwell.  When we pray, we borrow strength, love, and light at the very door of eternity.     - Bruce D. Porter

Click HERE to download free sheet music
Click HERE to download free sheet music (in D Major)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray

I grew up in a home that prayed.  I was taught at an early age to pray to my Father in Heaven both individually and as a family.  My private prayers were rudimentary at first—thanking, asking, receiving. They could become quite routine in fact.  

I remember at one point deciding that to save time and effort I would just pray once every five days but still get credit in my mind for saying daily prayers by saying each word five times.  I could then slough for the next four days and not pray.  My prayer would begin, “Dear, Dear, Dear, Dear, Dear, Heavenly, Heavenly, Heavenly, Heavenly, Heavenly,  Father, Father, Father, Father, Father . . .”    Sad but true.  Looking back I can imagine a loving Heavenly Father looking down, shaking his head and smiling at his little six-year-old slacker.  Fortunately that phase didn’t last long.  

Through the years I have tried and continue to try to make communing with God more and more meaningful.  

The desire to pray will grow in us as we read the scriptures, and we will be able to close the book with renewed desire to speak with the author.  The basic purpose of prayer may well be to find out the will of God and then to ask for faith and strength to carry it out. (See Ann N. Madsen, Prayer, pp.99-106)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Lord, may I not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
Because it is in giving that we receive, 
In pardoning that we are pardoned.
                                              -Saint Francis of Assisi

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Sunday, December 30, 2018

More Holiness Give Me

Fourteen years ago I attended a conference in Portland with my sister, Jen. There were several outstanding speakers, but I instantly fell in love with one in particular.  I had never heard of her prior to the event. She had a quick wit and her insight was thought provoking.  She stretched my way of thinking.  Her name was Wendy Watson.  Here are a few of the notes I jotted down that day as she spoke to us . . . 

Invite and facilitate change.  Think of how devoted our Savior, Jesus Christ, is to change. He gave his life so that we could change.

A butterfly -- it's what you are meant to become.  Your spirit wants to fly.  
How does one become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.

    More holiness give me, 
     More strivings within,
     More patience in suff’ring,
     More sorrow for sin,
     More faith in my Savior,
     More sense of his care,
     More joy in his service,
     More purpose in prayer.

    More gratitude give me,
     More trust in the Lord,
     More pride in his glory,
     More hope in his word,
     More tears for his sorrows,
     More pain at his grief,
     More meekness in trial,
     More praise for relief.

    More purity give me,
     More strength to o’ercome,
     More freedom from earthstains,
    More longing for home.
     More fit for the kingdom,
     More used would I be,
     More blessed and holy—
     More, Savior like thee.

                                              —Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876

Click HERE to download free sheet music