Monday, April 30, 2012

Teach Me To Walk In The Light

See the sheet music here!

In the Young Women's program of The Church, we have an annual "New Beginnings" night which is designed to introduce the new 12 year-olds coming into the organization during the coming year, as well as highlight the Personal Progress program.

Our Young Women's Board started planning for our big night in Jan/Feb.  At one particular Board Meeting, we were going throught the program for the Night.  Hmmm...what to do for a musical number??...we wanted something that would go with our theme the Night: "Lights, Camera, Arise!" with Hollywood premiere-inspired decor. 

So...musical number?  We could do an '80s revival and sing some of the "Arise and Shine Forth" numbers from MY day....maybe not.  How 'bout a hymn?  OK.  Which one? 

Meghan Goodfellow (yeah, ya totally guessed it...another one of my besties) suggested "Teach Me to Walk in the Light".  NOW my interest is piqued.  Hmmm...we could do a new arrangement, couldn't we?  Even better still, Meghan suggested breaking up the hymn a little bit and throwing in a new verse with lyrics including the mutual theme for the year:

"Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations." Doctrine and Covenants 115:5

I'M IN!!!  I could hear the music in my head as we were wrapping up our Board Meeting.  I couldn't WAIT to get home and start working on it!

Just like my other arrangements, this one came very quickly.  It was almost too easy.  I brought it to church the next Sunday and introduced it to the girls for our opening song.  Let me tell you, there is nothing so sweet and wonderful as hearing your work come to life for the very first time.

We had our New Beginnings night in March 2012.  It was an amazing evening, made even more special for me because my oldest daughter, Nicole was the one and only 12 year-old introduced this year.  To say that she is excited to be in Young Womens is a gross understatement.  She has been the ONLY girl in her Primary class her whole life.  And the boys she has been with all these years...well...let's just say they're very spirited!  So it was a special night for the both of us.


Teach Me To Walk...Mother's Day Style!!

I felt from the very beginning that this song should be sung on Mother's Day by our combined Primary Children and Young Men/Young Women.  The end lends itself to congregational singing...like a Mother's Day miracle!

Recently, I felt that the end also needed support from the organ.  So I arranged an organ part and called on our two buddies, Peter and Nathan VanKatwyk.  Nathan had already called dibs on accompanying this song shortly after I finished it.  Peter eagerly agreed to learning to play the organ, foot pedals and all to be a part of this Mother's Day extravaganza. 

Today, I had the opportunity to hear the boys rehearse.  HOLY COW!  Those boys BLEW. ME. AWAY!  I CANNOT WAIT for Mother's Day!  It is going to be A. MAZ. ING!!!

Another photo of my favorite musicians (don't tell me it doesn't make you chuckle just a little bit):


Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Piano Recital

All I can say is "WOW!!"  These kids are amazing, and they all performed so well tonight....Probably because cute little Joshua Garner (handsome young man in the red vest and bowtie) said a heart-felt prayer over his dinner tonight, "Please bless that the piano concert will be fun, instead of making people nervous.  And that we will have what we need to do good...Like talent."  I love you, Joshua Garner. 

Thanks to everyone who came to support these kids, those who brought treats to share, and for all the clean-up help.  We've got a great bunch!  Look at these kids (Thanks to Joshua's Mom, Rachel, our official photographer):

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Lord Is My Light


October 2011 brought huge change.  Cheryl Polson (who I didn't know very well at the time, but is now another bestie) came to my house, worked on a random project with me, and I was pretty certain at that time that she would be called as the next Young Women's President in our ward.  Just a hunch...and then another strong hunch that the two of us would be working together with these amazing girls.  The hunch turned out to be right, and Cheryl and I were called into the Young Women's Presidency with our dear friend Heidi Spencer in October.  While I was really sad to be leaving Primary after so many years, I was excited for something new.

While I was being set apart, Brother Noll mentioned something about making music for the Young Women.  Sorry Jason, I don't remember exactly what was said, but it was electrifying at the time.  I hadn't thought of it, but YES!  Of COURSE we will be making music together!

The first opportunity came not long after as we were meeting as a new Young Women's Presidency discussing a quickly approaching Young Women in Excellence Program in November.  The Young Women had already been practicing "The Lord is my Light" for the occasion.  Theme for the night was "Shine!".  When I heard they were singing it straight out of the hymn book (disclaimer...totally nothing wrong with singing out of the hymn book!!) I asked if Cheryl would be ok with my playing around with an accompaniment that could freshen it up a bit.  No promises. 

I sat down with it that afternoon, and just as ALWAYS happens when something is right and meant to be, it came very quickly.  I got to the chorus and had another lightning bolt moment.  "This Little Light of Mine" might just fit in this chorus, and furthermore, it might fit singing both choruses at the same time...and LASTLY, "I'm gonna let it SHINE" totally works for the theme, right?!?! 

Once again, hearing our amazing young women sing this arrangement for the first time that Sunday was such an incredible experience.  We have some young women who can really, really sing.  When they split at the end in the two choruses, it was magic!

The Young Women did sing it at Young Women in Excellence in November, and it was a beautiful way to end the night.  They also sang it in Sacrament Meeting a few months later for a special musical number.

P.S. I entered this arrangement in the 2012 LDS Church Song Contest.  Winners will be notified in July.  I'm not hoping to win...my hope is that one day I will receive an honorable mention!  :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We'll Bring The World His Truth

See the sheet music here!

The inspiration for this song came in August 2011 after I had completed my first vocal arrangement, "Grateful Praise". Still so new to arranging and in complete and utter shock that I could actually DO this, I was feverishly searching for my next big project. I came home from church and flipped through the hymn book, trolling, trolling...BOOM! "Onward Christian Soldiers"!! Now THAT would make a great arrangement! I was only a few measures into writing the arrangement when I was literally HIT with the realization that this song would pair perfectly with "We'll Bring The World His Truth", even though they have different time signatures, I figured that could be worked around.

Then, it came to mind that Debbie Fox, our Primary Chorister had been searching for an arrangement of "We'll Bring the World His Truth" for the upcoming Primary Program. Now THAT's an awkward phone conversation..."ummm...you know how you're looking for an arrangement? How 'bout if I just do it??" But I was FEELIN' IT!! I was now coming to find out that when an arrangement is meant to be, it happens very quickly, and gives me gooosebumps all over while tears flow as I sit at the piano working. Debbie, bless her heart, gave me a chance.

What an amazing experience that was, having finished the arrangement and then going into Primary and listening, for the first time, to those children sing my arrangement with their hearts. They were so excited to have a special accompaniment for their song. Words can't describe my joy.

But here's where it starts to get cool. I have a favorite family in our ward...the VonTrapp VanKatwyk Family. I have taught all 4 of their children piano lessons...actually, strike that too...the kids basically taught themselves and I just sat back and watched them play at each lesson. Nathan (16) and Peter (14) Vankatwyk eagerly agreed to accompany this song. Peter, at age 14 mastered that piano part that I couldn't quite accurately play, myself! And Nathan rocked that organ, foot pedals and all, with some help from little bro Seth on the trumpet part (picture Andrew Unsworth and Clay Christiansen with the MoTab). Their excitement was contagious!

Even cooler than that was the Sunday in Senior Primary when we had been rehearsing and our sweet little Seth raised his hand and said, "I think we should record this song for the PROPHET!" Yes, Seth...you're totally right. We SHOULD record this song for the Prophet!

And so we began our recording studio journey. We had 2 sessions with Sam York (coolest recording engineer EVER!) at Studio C Recording Studio in Stockton, CA. I hauled Peter and Nathan down to the studio and they worked their tails off for a couple solid hours trying to hammer out the accompaniment track for the song. They weren't nervous at all. They went in there and got the job done and did an amazing job.


The plan was to invite our Primary Kids and Ward Members to the studio to volunteer their voices. These people had to drive the 30 minutes out to Stockton, wait around, and wait some more and let me be their boss for a couple hours. I wasn't sure how many people would show up. But show up, they DID! I never counted how many people were there, but I was feelin' the love, people! Our volunteer choir did an amazing job!

This was also the first song I had to get copyright permission for. How does THAT work? I looked up Janice Kapp Perry's website. Yyyyeaaa...that's Janice Kapp Perry that answers the phone at the 1-800 number on the "Contact" tab. Go ahead. Try it. Call her up and tell her how awesome she is, cause she SO TOTALLY IS! Anyway, me and Janice are besties now. Seriously.

We haven't sent our recording to the Prophet yet. We are still putting together the perfect presentation for him. But rest assured, we expect our Primary to be eagerly watching the next General Conference session, waiting for a shout out from the Prophet, even if it's just a subliminal wiggle of his ears. :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome to my site!

A million thanks to my awesome sister, Amanda Fetters over at themodernmarigold.com for creating this amazing site. I am truly grateful.

I hope you enjoy the music you find here. Please see the "Sheet Music" tab at the right to download music and listen to samples. "He Lives!" and "We'll Bring the World His Truth" have been recorded professionally using live singers, but until I have a massive bake sale, the other songs have been generated by my sheet music writing program...it'll give you the general jist. I am working on getting the rest of my music up as soon as possible. Some music will be available for a small fee, simply to cover the royalty fees associated with using songs that are still under copyright protection. Songs that are not under copyright protection, I encourage you to download, copy, and share with your friends. And please share your feedback!