Sunday, October 26, 2014

A New Welcome Song

Our Ward Primary President called me a couple of weeks ago and asked for a new Welcome to Primary Song as they were tired of singing the "Hello" song over and over.
So I have written a W-E-L-C-O-M-E Song for Primary.

See how you like it!

Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Great Post from a Dedicated Choir Director

Dear Linda,

I am the director of a ward choir in Providence, Utah, and I love it.  When I began, our choir had 3 members (my husband, daughter and me).  I had to recruit quickly since directing left only one soprano and one supportive (but thinks he can’t sing) bass.

After much prayer, we decided to make it a truly ward choir and invite families to join with all of their children, no matter their ages.  This has been a miracle.  We have the youngest member, now about 1 year old, who began at 3 months.  We have our oldest members in their 70’s who started coming mostly because they felt sorry for me.  We have more and more youth and more and more young and old joining us; so much so that we now fill all the choir seats.  People pretty much sit where they can – mostly as families – so that everyone just feels comfortable.

A few of these amazing people read music.  All of them, without exception, would not think of themselves as solo singers, and most think they are barely able to sing at all.  They just come for the love of the Gospel, their testimonies, and to have a good time together.

So! Take that group and give them 25 minutes a week to practice (in between ward meetings) and then take many Sunday rehearsals away for other events.
That doesn’t leave us much time to learn something new.

Our pianist is a darling mother of 5 who hasn’t played piano in years and struggles but practices whenever she can in between her other calling in MIA and her 3 part time jobs!!


That is the background.

Well, we wanted to sing “Jesus, Savior Pilot Me.”   I love that hymn.  But I thought it would be nice to do a simple arrangement of it.  I tried doing one myself but fortunately had the inspiration to look online to see who else had already done this!  Thank goodness.  I found yours.  I loved it right away.  I love the opening chords that tell you the sailors (we) are in trouble and very worried, driven to our knees to pray.  I loved just the few altered chords and wonderful nuances in the music.  I loved how the pianist said she thought she could play it.  I really loved how you changed the mood in the last verse with a key change and going into 4/4.   

We tried it out.  Right away I knew we could do it, but we were in a bit of trouble.   I had to switch a couple of parts so everyone could reach the notes, etc.  But the bass section just felt sad and weak and scared.  So on Sunday I asked one of our really good sopranos (a big loss to that section) if she would bring her cello and if we could have a mid week practice  to see what could be done to bolster the confidence of the brethren.  

Also, the pianist was struggling just a little bit by now but not complaining.

Wednesday night was wonderful.  Our sweet cellist just “sang” along with the bass section and then covered some of the notes in the ending verse.  We saw we did not need everything doubled by the piano, so made that a little easier.  The basses relaxed and sang!

Well, the end is that by this morning I am excited to share with you the results.  Late last night I remembered that not only is Charlotte playing her cello with us that day, but it is also her mission farewell!  I kept thinking she needed “more.”  So now she gets a whole verse to herself.  There will not be a dry eye.  This girl is so humble and dear.  We all love her and she loves the Lord.  

I really want you to know how much I love your inspired, simple arrangement.  And I want you to see how we have lovingly made it work for a very sincere group of diligent non-singing singers and one very kind young cellist.

Thank  you so much for sharing your talent, your testimony and your hard work with all of us “out here”

Your sister in the Gospel