Sep 252013
Thanksgiving Turkey

No, I did not cook this. But if ever a poor turkey under my tender care looks this good, I will definitely take its picture.


Sometimes we do family portraits after dinner.


Ahhhhh…. the word conjures up so many wonderful associations…

…gathering as much family as you can cram into one house… roast turkey… sweet potato casserole… eating way too much… pumpkin pie with real whip cream… eating way too much… raucous family games…

In the US, our “Thanksgiving” holiday falls every year on the fourth Thursday of November. It’s a day we set aside for gratefully remembering our blessings and the heritage we’ve been given. Oh, and did I mention eating too much?

Late in October, my wonderful little LDS Institute choir here in Colorado Springs will present a concert to kick off our Thanksgiving season. This year, as the choir considered the theme for the evening, we landed on the idea of the amazing earth our Heavenly Father created for us, and all the wonders in the world around us.

We chose as our title song, “This Is My Father’s World,” a beautiful hymn composed at the turn of the 20th century. The words were written by Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901), and the poem was set to music by Franklin L. Sheppard (1852-1930). I have adapted the words and melody for this arrangement for SATB choir, and also for medium-low voice solo. The solo will easily transpose up a couple of steps for you higher voices; I’m not sure you’d want to lower it, as it will probably get lifeless and growly set any lower.

Here’s a rendition of the solo version, sung beautifully as usual by Mr. James Loynes:

Our choir spent about half an hour on it over the last two weeks, and we’re finding it pretty easy to learn. The SSAATTB split for a couple of chords on the last page is quite manageable, so don’t let its looks fool you. (The piano accompaniment does end in four sharps for the last verse and chorus, so consider the abilities of your accompanist. I wouldn’t want them all looking for me… 😉 )

Sep 162013

Here, for your Monday entertainment, is a cover of my arrangement of “Be Still, My Soul,” recorded by Jenna Jackman Handy. She takes a lot of liberties with the melody… okay, scratch that… the melody is practically her own, and it suits her voice perfectly.

I know one or two of you are wondering… do I like this? I. Love. It. I love to hear people’s musical interpretations, whatever style they use, but more than that, I love to hear people sing their hearts out. Like Jenna does. Fabulous!

Sep 062013

Amazing how life gets away from you when you’re swamped inundated up to your ears in alligators … having fun! Yes. That’s what I meant.

There are still two more scores from Heather’s album to get ready to post, which have been back-burnered in favor of some other more pressing assignments. After I’ve dug myself out of the latest hole, they’re next on the list.

This Holy Christmas Night coverIn the meantime, here’s a new Friday Favorite that I think you’ll enjoy. We we just started this one in our Institute Choir.

It’s a gorgeous Christmas number called “This Holy Christmas Night,” written by Lloyd Larsen. We’re doing the SATB, but it’s also available for SSA or Solo voice.

If you click on the title above or the cover at the left, there’s an audio available. Look for the little blue speaker icon about halfway down the page, right next to the cover image that… well, isn’t there. 🙂 I scanned the cover so you’d know what it looks like. It’s really worth a listen.

This song includes a hauntingly-beautiful violin part, which is printed on the last page of the music. We sight-read the song this past week, and found it fairly easy to read through, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.