Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Joseph Smith's First Prayer

See the sheet music here!

Nathan Vankatwyk, from the Hidden Lake Ward, has been called to serve the Lord in the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West Mission.  He leaves September 11.  He requested "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" for his arrangement.

I realize that it doesn't SOUND like "Joseph Smith's First Prayer", ok?  That's because if you go to the back of the Hymn Book, there's a section called "Meters".  You can do tricky stuff like singing the WORDS from one hymn, to the TUNE of another hymn.  So this audio will sound like "Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah"...but that's totally on purpose.  And for all you music nerds out there...YES, the flute is playing Bach.  It's my shout-out to The Piano Guys...who are quite possibly the coolest guys in the universe.

Elder Nathan Vankatwyk

I've asked Nathan to share his testimony with you.

"I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I have a testimony of the Savior and of the atonement that he graciously fulfilled. Through this and living the gospel, we can be happy in this life and in the life to come. I know that families can be together forever. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, that it brings us the fullness of the gospel. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know that the decision to serve a mission was one of the best decisions of my life. I'm very excited to be able to share the gospel with the people of the Dominican Republic. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen."

Now this is MY "Ode to Nathan".

Nathan and I have known each other since he was knee-high-to-a-grasshopper, and I was his "cool" piano teacher.  Let me tell you, this kid was (and is) gifted.  He can play the piano like nobody's business.  And over the years, he has learned to really make the piano sing.  You know what I mean?  Have you ever heard anyone play the piano like it was an extension of their heart?  That's Nathan, and I love listening to him play.

Nathan has been an invaluable resource in the making of my arrangements.  I don't know if you guys know this or not, but I have a Board of Directors.  I have an Editor-in-Chief (who I'll blog about at some future date, but you'll love her!), and 2 grunt-editors.  One being my little sister, and the other, NATHAN!  

Really, each piece I've sent him, there's been one or two parts that he gets that look like you've just sucked on a really sour lime...and he asks me to fix it.  And I do.  Cause I trust him that much.  OK...maybe there's been one time that I've told him I disagree and he gets-what-he-gets-and-doesn't-throw-a-fit...but really, he comes up with REALLY good suggestions!  And he's only a teenage BOY!

So I'll tell you that when it came time to make HIS arrangement for his "farewell"...I met this challenge with a little LOT...of trepidation.  This thing needs to be AMAZING.  He's helped me so much and given so much encouragement...I gotta do something that will show just how much I love this stinkin' kid.

I hope I've done that with this one.  Cause when it comes right down to it, Nathan...I love ya.  And you're awesome.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer 2013

What we've been up to this summer:

Annual Giuliacci Family Reunion
Tahoe 2013

I promise I'll be posting new music soon.  I'm waiting for copyright clearance from Church HQ on "I Am a Child of God".  And I'm waiting for school to start in one week so I can finish the last verse of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer".  So it's coming...I promise!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nearer My God to Thee

See the sheet music here!

Nick Polson, son of one of my favorite friends, Cheryl Polson, has been called to serve in the Brazil, Teresina Mission.  He leaves the first part of June.  His favorite song is "Nearer My God to Thee".

Elder Nick Polson

I've asked Nick to share his testimony:

"I know that this Church is true. I have read the Book of Mormon and I have prayed and received an answer that it is true. If the Book of Mormon is true, that must mean that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of God because no one else would have been able to find the sacred record and translate it without Heavenly Father's help. 

I know that if we are faithful in keeping the commandments that we will be blessed and that our lives will be happier. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

As a side note, can I just say how much the Giuliacci Family will miss Nick Polson?!?!  You guys have NEVER met a cooler babysitter than Nick.  When he comes to babysit during piano lesson hours, I never see them.  They are upstairs playing awesomely weird board games I've never heard of...Killer Bunnies...there's another one they keep playing, but I forget what it is...I hear the kids laughing.  I hear NICK laughing.  We love you, Nick.  We're going to miss you DEARLY, but we know the work you will be doing in Brazil is WAY cooler than working for me during piano lessons!

Last side note: my arrangement of "Nearer My God to Thee" was really fun to work on, and I think I came up with something kinda beautiful, but will NEVER hear ANYTHING more beautiful than THIS arrangement of this hymn, sung by the BYU Vocal Point guys.  Check it out:

OR...if you have a CRAZY mad crush on Steven Sharp Nelson of The Piano Guys...MUSICAL CRUSH, people, MUSICAL...then check out HIS version of this same arrangement for 9 cellos.  Plus, the coolest videography ever!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Called to Serve

See the sheet music here!

Nate Duren, from the Hidden Lake Ward, has been called to serve the Lord in the Japan, Kobe Mission.  He leaves the last part of June.  The songs he requested for his arrangement are "Called to Serve" and "We Are All Enlisted".  LET'S DO BOTH!!

Elder Nathaniel Duren

I've asked Nate to share his testimony:

"I have a testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the Earth today and holds the keys to the priesthood, which allows us to act in Heavenly Father's name. I know that I can use my priesthood power to bless many lives while I am in Japan and after I return home. 

I know that as long as I pray sincerely to my Heavenly Father, keep His commandments, and keep in mind those things He would want me to do, He will sustain me and help me to make my mission a successful one. 

I know that this call is inspired and that there are sons and daughters of God in Japan who need me to share the gospel with them." - Nate Duren

Nate is going to be an amazing missionary.  I LOVE that he picked "We Are All Enlisted".  One of my favorite conference talks is by our favorite Elder Holland, entitled "We Are All Enlisted"!  Check out this Mormon Message (probably the best one made, to date) with quotes taken from that talk.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission!

The Hidden Lake Ward just sent off 2 missionaries this spring and we will be sending off 5 more this summer!!  The missionary spirit came alive in our ward several months ago when Bishop Fox was inspired to have each new missionary read their official mission call over the pulpit during Sacrament Meeting.  As we listen to each one read their call, we, as a ward family feel like family.  

So what do families do?  They help send these kids off on their missions!  We had our very first Missionary Shower for Nick Polson (called to serve in the Brazil, Teresina Mission and reports to the Brazil Missionary Training Center in June) last Saturday.  It was FANTASTIC!  Dean Wendel and Meghan Goodfellow are two of the coolest party planners I know.  Everyone came with gifts purchased from a "registry" created by the missionary mom and Dean, who was the registry coordinator.  Anyone who bought a gift would check in with her and she'd cross items off the list.  PERFECT!  

What to give these young men that would be a good enough gift?  I can't just buy each one a pair of socks...hmmm...


And then perform it for the special musical number on their "Farewell" know, cause we don't have farewells anymore.

So I quickly went about asking each one for a list of their top 3 favorite songs.  Cause you know, I didn't think of this ingenious idea until a couple weeks ago.  Here's what we've got:

Nick Polson: "Nearer, My God, to Thee"
Nate Duren: "Called to Serve", or "We Are All Enlisted", or "The Spirit of God"
Josh Stiborek: "We'll Bring the World His Truth" or "Holding Hands Around the World"
Zach Blackwell: TBD...he can't decide
Nathan VanKatwyk: "Joseph Smith's First Prayer"

I've finished Nick's and Nate's because they both leave in June, so we're practicing already.  Seriously...I finished both just this past week.  There was a lot of chocolate involved.

This week, I plan to start Josh's arrangement.  I've been in contact with the great Janice Kapp Perry, asking her about a "secret" 4th verse I've heard about for "We'll Bring the World His Truth".  Turns out there IS one, and she was more than willing to share it with me.  

Come back in another day or two for "Nearer, My God, to Thee".  This will be a vocal duet, sung by Nick's Father Kris, and his sister, Caitlyn, both of whom sing like angels.  Piano and violin accompaniment.

Nate's will also be posted in the next couple days.  It will be a medley of "Called to Serve/We Are All Enlisted" for YM/YW/SR Primary combined choir with the COOLEST descant at the end you've EVER heard!  Debbie Fox (of the "Power to Choose" fame) wrote this descant, cause she's the descant queen.

I'm super excited about these arrangements...and even MORE excited about the missionary spirit that is spreading like wildfire in our ward!  Just not the President Monson kind of wildfire, ok?