Monday, December 15, 2014

How Great Thou Art Finished

How Great Thou Art is now ready to download from as a Soprano Solo. I plan to make it available in SATB next. Then I will have my Ward Choir learn it. They are soooo patient!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Great Thou Art

So much of what I write is out of necessity. A woman in our Ward is asked to sing "How Great Thou Art" as a soprano solo. She asks me to accompany her.

OK. I say to her. I am sure I can find a nice arrangement for you. After all, it is a VERY popular piece! Right? There should be HUNDREDS of arrangements to choose from. I look on line. I go to all my favorite free music sites. Lots of piano solos. Lots of SATB. Well, maybe we can make one of those work. Still looking. What?! a SAXOPHONE part! Are you kidding me?

Well, alright, I am willing to pay for an arrangement. I look through music for sale. Nope. Don't like that one. Don't like that one either. Guitar accompaniment? I don't think so.

Fine. Here I am writing my own again.  My son says I am too picky. I guess that's true. I just can't see a twangy sounding solo working for Sacrament meeting. Sigh.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Program

Our Ward Christmas program will be:

Tenor Solo: O Come, O Come Emanuel

Primary children: Picture a Christmas


Ward Choir: Joy to the World

Ward Choir: Away in a Manger


Ward Choir: Silent Night

Ward Choir with children's bell choir: Angels We Have Heard on High

What is your Ward Choir singing this year?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Special Number for Sacrament Meeting

Today our Ward Choir sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" for our Sacrament Meeting. One of our young men played the solo instrument parts on the organ using flute stops. It was quite wonderful! The organ solos added so much! The choir parts were clear and balanced. Thank you Tyler! Thank you Choir!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

O Come, O Come Emanuel

Beautiful, simple and plaintive - that is how I see the 15th century hymn "O Come, O come, Emanuel."
Our Ward choir is opening our Christmas program with a Tenor solo of this simple, pleading melody.

The accompaniment sound bite is recorded on the organ to keep the vintage feeling of the music, however, it can be played on the piano as well.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

For the Beauty of the Earth

Our Ward choir is planning to sing my arrangement of "For the Beauty of the Earth" for our Sacrament meeting Thanksgiving program this year. There was a lot of confusion in our choir because of the way the notation was done. So.... I have changed, stretched out, and otherwise tweaked the music to make it easier to read. (Hopefully)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three Ways to Sing it!

I just finished an arrangement (of my arrangement) of I Know That My Redeemer Lives for Baritone Solo. The key change didn't work well for a solo, so I kept the same key throughout.

So, now there are three ways to sing it -  SATB, Vocal Duet for middle range voices and Baritone Solo.

Take your pick!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pioneer Day Approaching

I just posted my SATB arrangement of Come, Come Ye Saints on in time for Pioneer Day. It is also posted on

In addition, I have gotten some feedback that the m4a files sometimes appear in text form rather than playing an audio file, so I am converting them all into mP3 files.

I keep trying to make the site better and easier to use for all you Ward Choir Directors out there!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Faith of Our Fathers and Brothers

With Father's Day just a week away, I felt that the hymn "Faith of Our Fathers" would be especially appropriate last Sunday. My attempts at getting the three men together to learn an arrangement failed. Someone was always out of town on business.

OK, I thought, let's do this: You sing the tenor from the hymn book. You sing the bass. And you please sing the melody. The first verse will be all parts. The second verse the person with the melody sings the words while the tenor and bass ooh their parts until the chorus, then all join in again with parts. The third verse will be all singing unison until the chorus, when everyone will sing parts to the end.

We ran through the whole thing maybe twice all together before the performance, but I felt it worked out amazingly well.

The brother singing the melody came to me after the meeting and said, "I didn't realize I would be practically singing a solo on the second verse while the others were oohing! (Since he is originally from Spain, he said so with his wonderful accent.)

I said, "I told you they would do that!"

To which he replied "Well, I don't speak English!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A New Extended Ending for Battle Hymn of the Republic

Our Ward Choir will be singing Battle Hymn of the Republic the last week in June just before the July 4th holiday. I decided to extend the ending and have the congregation join in on the last chorus. I think they will enjoy it.

What? Yes I am choosing music for June and July before we sing for Easter. We have been practicing Easter music since January. And we will begin Christmas music in September. I find it is more fun to sing when we are well prepared and confident with the music.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another Tweak

Our choir is learning the SAB of Be Still My Soul. Since the "F" in measure 11 was a little high for the Basses, I have written an alternate note in the score.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Recording of Be Still My Soul

Oh! It is so nice to be able play through my music and record it with feeling!

I am working down the list of arrangements and solos one at a time. I should get to your favorite - whatever it is - in the next few weeks.

In the mean time:

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Monday, March 17, 2014

New and Improved Arrangement!

Yes! All Creatures of Our God and King is updated and is now posted. In my opinion it is going to be fun, fun fun to sing!

Let me know what you think.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why, Oh Why Do I Do This To Myself?

OK, So I'm going through all the hymn arrangements and making new audio files for the ones with the mechanical playbacks. I'm learning the new recording and editing equipment nicely, thank you. But as I'm playing through them, I think, "Oh, I need to extend this ending just a bit." and "Oh, I need to simplify this verse."

I just can't leave well enough alone!

However, having said that, I still like the new version of All Creatures of Our God and King better. Yes - an extended ending and a more interesting third verse. I think anyway.

So, give me a few days to finish the notation and the new recording and I will post it.

But anyway:
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Who is Ready For Christmas?

Yes, Christmas comes around every year and it is never too soon to start thinking about Choir Music for your next Christmas Program!

I just posted an SAB arrangement of the traditional melody of Away In a Manger. It has a soft lullaby counter-melody throughout the piece. Since our choir has so few men, I wrote it once again for SAB.

Also, this is the first piece I recorded using new equipment for the playback. The good news - It sounds human instead of computer generated. Plus I can play all the holds and retards as they should be played. The bad news - I am still learning the new equipment and there are a few ragged sounding places where I didn't get the voices matched up perfectly with the accompaniment. I am sure I will get better as I go along.
Thanks for your patience!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

More Recordings to Come

OK, Fun Pianos Solos recorded. Now to start on the Choir arrangements...

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Improved playbacks! (I hope)

I am working on the playbacks of a few of the arrangements and piano solos to give them a more human feel. Since my mechanical playback sounds um, well, mechanical, I will be replacing them with recordings done by an actual person - me. I have invested in some recording equipment and, depending on how long it takes me to figure out how to use it, you will hear new versions of some arrangements.

I will keep the instrumentals done by Martin Pracher, since I feel I can not improve on those, but I feel that many others need to be redone.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

More Tweaking

After practicing Come Follow Me with our Ward Choir, I decided it needed some tweaking and stretching. Why oh why did I think it was a good idea to squish six measures of music onto one line?

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fun Times at Seminary

Most of you know that I teach Early Morning Seminary, right? Well, yesterday, I asked one of the boys to return something to the library and gave him my building keys. After class I could not find the keys anywhere. I figured the boy slipped them into his pocket and forgot to give them to me. Of course, by the time I realized I couldn't find them, the students were already on their way to school.

It's a short walk and I wanted to catch the kids before they got to school. So I jumped in my car and sped down the road looking for the boy. He happened to be on the corner near his school just about to cross the street with a bunch of other students. I yelled to him from my car but he didn't hear me, so I started yelling and gesturing to all the students.

By this time, other parents in other cars who were there to drop off their students began to notice the crazy lady screaming and yelling at the kids. The students themselves just stared at me with wide eyes, apparently not understanding what I was saying.

Finally I got the boys attention. I could tell he was weirded out by my display, but I had no choice. At last he said he had left the keys on the table and hurried away.

I went back and carefully went through everything on the table. Someone had put them in the pencil box and closed the lid so I didn't see them.

I would not be surprised if a parent wrote down my license plate number and reported me to the police. I can just imagine the headline: "Seminary Teacher Arrested for Stalking Students."

That's one way to make a difference in their lives.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Called to Serve piano duet ready for download

A young man in our Ward wants to play a duet of Called to Serve with his Grandma for a special musical number in our Ward. Because I have so much going on right now - (I am an early morning seminary teacher, Ward Organist, Ward Choir Director, Ward Music Chairman, professional genealogy researcher,) I went to all my favorite music sites hoping to find a fairly easy arrangement for them. Nothing. OK, I said, I'll write one for you, but it will take a couple of months.

Then I sat down at my piano and started playing with the melody and chords and the arrangement practically wrote itself!

The playback is not the greatest. The end is supposed to slow way down and my playback won't do that. Also the Primo is way too loud and drowns out the Secondo when it has the melody in the second verse. So...make allowances for that.

Yes. I know there are programs out there that could do a better job, but they take time to research, buy, download, learn etc. And time is at a premium in my life right now. (See above)

So, here it is, a week later. Not too hard - I'd say it is intermediate level - but fun!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Clitch Corrected

If any of you tried to access freewardchoirmusic yesterday, you might have run into a few glitches. We were working to secure our domain name. Proof that just because you can write music does not necessarily make you a tech genius.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I just tweaked the SA arrangement of "Faith." I extended the music from three to four pages in order to make it easier to read. Hope you like it!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Be Still My Soul Piano Solo

I have just posted Be Still My Soul as a piano solo. I also tweaked the SAB arrangement slightly. I feel the beginning is calmer this way. (And isn't that the message of the hymn?) The women sing words at the end of verse two instead of oohing the entire verse. But you can sing it the old way if you like that better.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Beautiful Savior SAB Ready for Download!

It was suggested that Easter Hosanna and Beautiful Savior would make a nice medley. But after working on it for a while, I decided that Beautiful Savior should stand alone as it's own arrangement. It is SAB again for small choirs. But has an optional children's choir/solo.

Remember, this arrangement like everything on can be varied for your particular choir or singing group.. Nothing is set in cement. Tempo, dynamics and holds can be added or varied to meet your needs. Parts can be sung unison or as a solo. Accompaniment can be simplified by leaving out octaves, etc.

In other words, take the music and run with it!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What to Sing for Easter

Christmas is over and Easter is just around the corner - at least from a Ward Choir director's point of view. Hmmm. Something nice but not too difficult. OK, How about a nice arrangement of a couple of beautiful children's Easter songs? Easter Hosanna in the key of D minor flows nicely into He Died That We Might Live Again in the key of F major.

And let's make it SAB for small Ward choirs with some unison singing to make it easy to learn.

Anybody got a any other good ideas?

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!