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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.

Terri


Friday, April 30, 2021

Keziah's Theme

We are pretty excited around here.  My daughter Jesse’s second book just came out on Amazon.  While My Brother Sleeps is historical fiction based on a story in the Book of Mormon.

Here is a brief synopsis in her own words:


When her city is captured by her sworn enemies, the last thing Keziah expected was to battle feelings of forbidden love for the military captain of the Lamanite army. Along with the pain they had caused her people for generations, Keziah had a mark of hatred burned inside of her heart for intimate reason. They were the Blood Hunters. Follow along as she learns lessons from her ancestors of courage, love, forgiveness, and fighting for what she truly believes in.



While My Brother Sleeps is a captivating book and I highly recommend it — not biased or anything.  I had the privilege of writing the music for the promo trailer for the book.  Our little Skylee portrays a young Keziah in the video.



I stripped down the sheet music for just piano and flute, but the trailer version also includes vocals, wooden flute and percussion.  Video credit goes to Jesse too.  Way to go Jess!!  


Click HERE to download free sheet music  

Friday, March 19, 2021

I Am a Child of God

This one I wrote for Walter.  What can I tell you about this little guy?  To know him is to love him.  My heart feels lighter when he’s near.  He is the second son of my second son.  Their family just came for a visit and, yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with him.  He is quick to smile and loves discovering new things.  At nine months he’s already walking.  He adores his older brother Charlie who’s always making him laugh.  And that laugh — I love his deep, husky laugh.



One day when he’s older I will tell him about what this wonderful song I Am a Child of God means to me.  I’ve been singing it for as long as I can remember.  From it I came to know that just as we have earthly parents, we also have heavenly parents, the creators of our spirits, who know and love us.  They want us to be happy and to live life to the fullest.  And because we are God’s children there is something of the divine in each of us.    


I can’t wait to watch Walter as he learns and grows, watch him compete in sporting events and perform in recitals and concerts.  What exciting adventures does the world have in store for him?  Can’t wait to find out.


                 I am a child of God,

                And he has sent me here,

                Has given me an earthly home

                With parents kind and dear.


                Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,

                Help me find the way.

                Teach me all that I must do 

                To live with him someday.

         

               -Naomi W. Randall



Click HERE to download free sheet music 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Behold, I Come Quickly

This has been a fun one from its inception 13 years ago when I had happened onto the DVD Yanni — Live at the Acropolis.  On it there was a piece called “Aria” performed by two female vocalists.  It was insane and I was totally blown away.  Inspired by that, I set out to write something for women’s voices whose vocals could soar and intertwine and take me to another place.  As this piece started coming together the driving tempo ran away with me.  That’s when the title emerged out of nowhere, “Behold, I Come Quickly.”


In the book Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, President Hinckley shares that the Savior will come again.  “When He does come the second time He shall come in glory, in contrast with the way He came in the meridian of time … [when He] condescended to come as a babe born in a manger in Bethlehem of Judea.” 


I don’t know when Jesus will return or if I will be alive when He does, but I love the idea that wars and contentions will end with Christ himself reigning upon the earth in peace as the King of kings.



Thanks so very much to Trish Sewell for her incredible vocals and to Jesse Blackburn and her mad videography skills.  We had to trim the song down from a whopping six minutes to the fit the 2-1/2 minute video.  The sheet music and audio file below are of the full, original version.  


Click HERE to download free sheet music 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

God Speed the Right

It’s snowing outside.  Here I sit by the fire taking it all in as the snow comes down blanketing my neighborhood in white.  I’m reading The Willie and Martin Handcart Story.  In 1856 European immigrants met with tragedy on their trek west to the Salt Lake Valley.  A late start and an early winter created the perfect storm.  

 

The first 200 miles went well, but not long after the early snowstorms hit.  They pushed on by day in the harsh winter elements with little relief from the cold at night.  Frozen limbs and frozen expressions as loved ones around them fell to the ground and did not get up.  Wolves in the distance were watching and waiting.  Eventually they became stranded in the high country of Wyoming.




I can’t comprehend their struggles.  I know what it is like to push a wheelbarrow full of wet wood on a cold winter morning.  When snow covers the ground it’s nearly impossible for me to go very far.  How did they persevere on their quest? 


To me God Speed the Right rings true as a tribute to early pioneers who displayed extraordinary courage and suffered the unimaginable in order to gather in the West with those who shared their spiritual convictions.


Now to heav’n our prayer ascending,

God speed the right;

In a noble cause contending,

God speed the right.

Be our zeal in heaven recorded,

With success on earth rewarded.

God speed the right.

God speed the right.


Be that prayer again repeated,…

Ne’er despairing, though defeated,…

Like the great and good in story,

If we fail, we fail with glory.

God speed the right.

God speed the right.


Patient, firm, and persevering,…

No event nor danger fearing,…

Pains, nor toils, nor trials heeding,

And in heav’n’s good time succeeding,

God speed the right.

God speed the right.


—William E. Hickson



Click HERE to download free sheet music

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

O Holy Night

I tried.  I tried.  I really tried.  When I sat down to arrange this piece I tried to keep it soft and delicate from start to finish.  I almost made it.  But then it just popped out there.  In my mind I heard the lyrics “Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices!  O night divine, o night when Christ was born …”  and my heart just couldn't contain it.  John Sullivan Dwight’s English translation of this carol combined with the soaring music crafted by Adolphe Adam have made this one of the most beautiful, inspired pieces ever written.  




O Holy Night!  The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

’Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope - the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, o night when Christ was born;

O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!


Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,

Now come the wise men from the Orient land.

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger; 

In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King!  Before him lowly bend!

Behold your King!  Before him lowly bend!


Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and his gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,

And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in graceful chorus raise we,

With all our hearts we praise his holy name.

Christ is the Lord!  Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory evermore proclaim!

His power and glory evermore proclaim! 



Whatever your circumstance, wherever life takes you, here’s wishing you a hope-filled holiday season.   Merry Christmas!!!



Click HERE to download free sheet music



Saturday, November 7, 2020

All Things Bright and Beautiful

This is the third hymn I’ve arranged whose text was written by Cecil Frances Alexander.  My first was There is a Green Hill Far Away, then He Is Risen, and now this.  For that reason I have decided to take a closer look and focus in on the author.


Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1818, Cecil Frances Alexander was the third child of John and Elizabeth Humphreys.  John noticed that his timid daughter showed an interest in poetry and writing at an early age, which he encouraged.  I wonder if he had any idea that his shy little girl would within a few years be known throughout the British Empire and would in her lifetime publish more than 400 hymn texts.


Cecil, or “Fanny” as she was known to family and friends, was influenced in religion by the Oxford movement.  Some of her hymns were elaborate in character, but it was in writing for a younger audience that her talent shined brightest.  Her most enduring hymns were written to help children understand Bible truths. In 1848 she published Hymns for Little Children, which included some of her most famous such as All Things Bright and Beautiful, Once in Royal David’s City, and There is a Green Hill Far Away.  Her hope was that all children might have the opportunity to hear and absorb basic Christian doctrines.



During her lifetime, Fanny was known for her devotion to the poor, the deaf, and the sick.  The proceeds of her publications were often donated to charities enriching the lives of disadvantaged children and those with physical challenges.


In 1850, Fanny married William Alexander, an Irish cleric in the Church of Ireland.   He went on to become a bishop, archbishop, and finally primate for all Ireland.  Together they had four children.  Her husband wrote of her, “From one poor home to another she went.  Christ was ever with her, and in her, all felt her influence.”


According to Duncan Campbell, Mrs. Alexander was deaf to applause, but when someone wrote to tell of a great change in heart and life that had come to a worldly man through hearing one of her hymns sung, she sprang from her chair exclaiming, “Thank God! I do like to hear that.” Those, however, who knew her best felt that, beautiful as her hymns were, her life was more beautiful still.


She was compassionate, gifted, humble and hardworking.  She invested her life in loving, teaching and caring for others.  I would love to have known her in this life, yet in a way I feel that I already do.  Cecil Frances Alexander, you’re my hero!!



Click HERE to download free sheet music

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Never to be Forgotten

The forget-me-not is a delicate little flower that might easily be overlooked in a garden.  However, this humble flower with its five blue petals deserves a second look.  It is a symbol of remembrance and undying love. 


One of the most popular myths about the forget-me-not’s name takes place at the time of the creation.  After God created the flowers, he started to name each one. Once he had named them and was about to leave, one tiny voice cried out, “Forget me not, O Lord!”  God looked back at the tiny plant and replied, “This will be your name so no one will ever forget you.”




I wrote this my freshman year in college.  It was another composition class assignment.  “Write something for two instruments.”  That was all we had to run with.  The class was for non-music majors, so the professor gave us a lot of freedom.  One of my roommates was Miranda Steele from Cherokee, Iowa.  Fun.  Fun.  Fun.  She was an accomplished violinist, so I decided to write for piano and violin.  She could pretty much sight read anything I threw in front of her.   I remember the two of us in the basement of our Fox Hall apartment where the piano was, playing deep into the night until we got kicked out. 

   

In hindsight it’s probably a good idea to hold off on writing for an instrument you know nothing about, but that never entered my mind.  Forgive my lack of proper violin notation.   When I named the piece I wanted the title to represent something different for each and every person that heard it.   


The forget-me-not’s message is to take the time to remember those you love.  Make memories that will last.  Respect and honor those who have gone before you, making sure their stories are still being told to future generations.




Click HERE to download free piano and violin sheet music

Click HERE to download free violin only sheet music