Two new Christmas singles are available for download on iTunes: “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” Both are movements from my newly released piano solo, Nativity Suite.
The Augsburg Fortress catalog now contains my latest book of hymn settings for piano, Easy Hymns for the Church Pianist, volume 2. There’s a baker’s dozen of 13 tunes: Assurance, Crusader’s Hymn (Schönster Herr Jesu), Divinum mysterium, Dix, Ellacombe, Foundation, Give Me Jesus, Gloria, Hyfrydol, Resignation, Stille Nacht, The Ash Grove, and Wondrous Love. Many of these are included on my new album, Hymns of Comfort and Praise (coming soon!).
Here’s a little background on this volume: As a church musician, I know that finding time to learn new repertoire can be difficult. And, as a classically trained pianist, I know that finding satisfying, idiomatic hymn settings can be difficult, too. With this collection, I have attempted to write pieces that are not too technically challenging but that are still engaging for the performer and listener alike. “Angels We Have Heard on High” is a lot of fun to play, and it sounds like “Christmas” to me. “Give Me Jesus” does not require great technical facility, but it does require artistry to attain its full emotional impact. “What Wondrous Love Is This” captures the drama of the hymn text and ends with a moment of transcendent longing: “and through eternity I’ll sing on.” I hope you enjoy playing these pieces as much as I do!
If you don’t already have my three other piano books, be sure to check them out, too…
My new album, Hymns of Comfort and Praise, has been recorded, mixed, and mastered. Now it will be duplicated and should be available for sale (through iTunes) very soon. In the meantime, enjoy this sample track, “It Is Well with My Soul” (from my 52 in 52 series):
The Master’s College Chorale (Paul Plew, conductor) has released a stunning new recording that includes my setting of Great Is Thy Faithfulness (SATB, a cappella), in addition to hymn arrangements, spirituals and original works by Alice Parker, Moses Hogan and Dan Forrest. If you would like to use this piece with your choir, contact me for more information.
REJOICE! Devotional Hymn Settings is now available through iTunes. This recording includes 25 tracks (nearly an hour of music), ranging from quiet and contemplative to loud and celebratory. Preview and download tracks or the full album here.
Cynthia Folio, one of my former music theory professors, has released a CD of new music for flute. In addition to being an excellent theorist, she is a fine composer. You can order it through amazon.com.
If you’re looking for a CD of fine choral singing, this recording of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers will not disappoint. One of my all-time favorites, this recording is of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, conducted by Robert Shaw himself.