Thursday, July 26, 2012

Come Unto Jesus


Whew!!  It's finally done!  This is a mostly unison song, with the exception of a really cool (IMHO) TTBB verse and a brief period of SSATB at the end.  You could really do a lot of variations with this song.  You could have it be an all men's arrangement all the way through...that could be really cool.

This arrangement, like all the ones before it, has been quite the adventure.  I started this arrangement with the intention of creating a vocal solo.  When I got to the second verse, I thought, "Wouldn't it be AWESOME to have some TTBB goin' on here?!?!  And wouldn't it be AWESOME to segueway into 'Nearer, My God To Thee'?" 

I woke up the next morning with an incredibly clear spiritual impression that I should not include any other hymns, that I should stick with just "Come Unto Jesus."  I couldn't say why, and as you all know, I try to go with the inspiration I receive.  I think I know now why I was supposed to stick with the one hymn, but I'm not going to say at this point.  I'm going to let that one play out a bit.

So I went to work creating a TTBB second verse.  Now THAT was fun!  The harmonies in that verse are probably some of my favorites in any arrangement I've done to date.

Finished with second verse...great.  Problem...I suddenly realized that the flow was ALL WRONG.  You can't just go from a soprano solo straight into a sudden full-on TTBB verse, right?  Usually there's some build-up to magnificent harmony, right?  Yeah...that's when the arrangement got put on the shelf for the first time (out of many).

Fast forward through all the boring details...let's just say that it was like pulling teeth to get this arrangement to come together in a way that flowed correctly.  This song never gave me goosebumps like my other arrangements did...

...until I had the privilege of listening to our ward choir running through it for the first time yesterday.  Don't I always say that hearing your arrangement LIVE for the first time is a magical experience?  This one didn't disappoint.  A big, HUGE thank you to Colleen Tibbets, our Ward Choir Director who humored me when I called her and asked if they could sing through it once for me even just in a practice so I could hear if it works or not.  We have a wonderful Ward Choir.  Our ward is FULL of amazing musicians, so we are quite lucky. 

Last, but not least, I have to again give credit where credit is due.  I know you probably get sick of me saying how grateful I am for the inspiration that comes from the Spirit when I need it.  The Lord made me work for this one a little harder, but that's ok.  Again, His timing is pretty incredible.  At the moment I was certain I should give up on this song and all future endeavors, convinced my music stunk...I got that awesome letter in the mail saying it most certainly DOESN'T stink!  (Once again, the letter didn't actually say that, but basically it did.)

OK, one last thing...if you use this arrangement in your ward, let me know how it goes!

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