As the new school year begins and church choir seasons resume, I’ve decided to challenge myself with something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time: to write at least one new piece of music a week, each piece suitable for church use. My 52 in 52 challenge. To make the selection process easier on myself, I’m going to draw hymn tunes from the suggestions on MorningStar Music’s Liturgical Planning Guide, which follows the Revised Common Lectionary. (If there are certain tunes you would like to see, just let me know!) Each piece will be short (1-2 pages) and will be written with piano and/or organ in mind. The melody of each hymn tune will be clearly recognizable, and each will be written in the key found in most hymnals. I’m sure a variety of forms will emerge as the year progresses: Preludes, Improvisations, Themes and Variations, Hymn Introductions, Reharmonizations, etc. My hope is that you will be able to use these settings in your church, adapting them as needed, and in your own home for your enjoyment.
The first piece is a setting of the great Welsh tune CWM RHONDDA, “God of Grace and God of Glory” (and also “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”). Enjoy! And, spread the word about this to all your church musician friends.