Jun 262013
 
"Reaching for the Light" CD cover

See that lovely cover photo? My wonderful niece Adrianna Marie Giles did that for me. I’m a lucky auntie!

Watch out folks… here comes the deluge. 🙂 I have a whole new collection of things to post that have been in the works for a year.

First, there are 15 new tracks, all featuring Heather Prusse (who is amazing). They’re available on a CD titled “Reaching for the Light.” An accompaniment track CD is also available. The super-high-quality digital downloads are available for purchase here. (For any of you who prefer it, they’re also available on iTunes–I hope that will make it easier for those of you on iPads/iPods/iWhatevers who have been having trouble with the downloads.)

The CD and all the high-quality tracks are available immediately. I’ll be posting the scores and free MP3s a couple at a time over the next month or two, since the work involved in adding them all at once makes me want to head for the hills and live like a hermit.

Listen:

Because You Prayed for Me

Miracles

The two songs I have posted today are “Because You Prayed for Me,” a medium-voice solo with violin obbligato; and an updated arrangement of “Miracles” with flute obbligato. The Personal Composer scores are available for both selections should you wish to transpose or resize the music. Free 128Kbps MP3 downloads of each are available for personal use.
The loooong story that follows below is what prompted “Because You Prayed for Me.” If you’re interested, read on. If not, go enjoy the music and this beautiful Wednesday. (Well, it’s beautiful here, and I hope it’s beautiful wherever you are!)
The story:
Waldo Canyon Fire evacuation

Looks scary, doesn’t it? That’s because it was. See the 390th car back on the left? Yeah, that’s me.

In June of 2012, we were chased out of our home and sent running for cover (along with 32,000+ other Colorado Springs residents) as a raging wildfire roared into the lovely neighborhoods just west of us. Low humidity, record high temperatures, and high winds blowing in precisely the wrong direction combined to create the perfect storm.

Perfect for the fire, that is. Not so much for the rest of us.

The Waldo Canyon Fire would become the most destructive in state history. It would go on to claim 346 homes, two people’s lives, and leave roughly 29 sq. miles of charred forests and decimated neighborhoods in its wake.

It was terrifying.

Waldo Canyon Fire

Seeing a friend’s house in a shot like this was a bit of a shock, to say the least.

As the fire crept toward civilization, we watched the news and social media, anxious for every bit of information we could get. Each passing day was full of smoke and statistics, evacuation notices and dire warnings, but each day was also full of well-wishers–friends, family, strangers from far and wide–who stopped by on Twitter or Facebook to say, “I’m praying for you.” (My favorite was a fellow denizen of a BYU sports message board who found it a bit odd to pray for us by our screen names, but did it anyway. She assured us that God knew precisely who she was talking about. I believe that. 🙂 )
A lost and confused visitor.

What do you do when your habitat is on fire? Visit my back yard, of course.

I can’t tell you how grateful the simple phrase “I’m praying for you” made me feel.

When the evacuations were lifted and we drove the 10 hours home from my parents’ house, the song “Because You Prayed for Me” started formulating itself in my head, and by the time we got home, it was a full-blown lyric. A few changes, an appropriate melody and… voila! it should have been done.

But it wasn’t done. It just wasn’t right. Or perhaps it just wasn’t the right time. I tweaked it and worked on it and worried over it for months, and it still wasn’t right. Then, before even a year had passed since the Waldo Canyon Fire had descended on us like a voracious dragon…

Black Forest Fire

It’s always amazing how beautiful pictures like this can be–in a horrible sort of way.

…another wildfire erupted in the nearby community of Black Forest. If the first fire was a dragon, this fire was two. Or three. Or twenty. It’s appetite eclipsed the previous fire by far, destroying over 500 homes, claiming two lives, and prompting the evacuation of roughly 38,000 people in a very short space of time.

This time the fire started in an inhabited area. Again the humidity was low, the winds were high and therefore this drove of dragons could pick and choose its breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which it did.

Again we watched the news and worried, and again the messages of love and hope poured in from all over the country and around the world: “We’re praying for you.”

Black Forest Fire

The courage and skill of the firefighters was a wonder and a blessing. They’re rock stars around here.

The weather forecast was grim: thunder and dry lightning with very little hope of rain.

We prayed for it anyway. And on the third day of the fire, in the mid-afternoon, it came. Torrential rain, directly over the burning forest, giving the valiant firefighters the upper hand at last.

Let those call it coincidence who will; we who lived it know better.

It was a direct and unmistakable answer to prayer, sent from a loving Heavenly Father, as people near and far lifted up their voices together and asked for what they needed.

Thank you!

It feels so good to get to be grateful.

Now, finally, the song feels right.

This song was started by one fire, and finished by another. It doesn’t speak of literal fires, but has to do with the figurative “trials by fire” that each of us passes through in life, not once but many times.

This song is my way of saying thanks to the many people who offer prayers for others during these fiery trials. It’s my way of acknowledging the amazing and sometimes under-valued blessing of knowing that someone is praying for you.

  3 Responses to “Because You Prayed for Me: A Fire Song”

  1.  

    I am serving a mission at the Polynesian Cultural Center and am assigned To a student ward. I have asked to prepare a musical fireside this coming Sunday. I have selected this song and several others of you new music like Only Love, and Miracles. I was thrilled to find out how these songs come together and I intend to share that with the students, then of course tie it into their own lives. I have loved your music for years and have used it a ton in both UT AZ and now here in Hawaii. Thank you Sally for sharing this great God given talent.

  2.  

    I was touched by your song, “Because You Prayed for Me.” Thank you. We were also evacuated while we were tending Laura’s children when they were in Portugal. It brought back a lot of memories. I loved the musings also. You are my favorite composer.

  3.  

    I cannot imagine the terror these fires must have brought to you and your family.
    I have the privilege of directing the branch choir at the Central Utah Correctional Facility here in Gunnison, Utah. We, the choir members, pianist, and I, have used and loved your wonderful music.
    We marvel at your musical gift and your willingness to share what you have been inspired to produce.
    Please accept our gratitude and know of our joy in singing your music.
    Von

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