Category Archives: Music

Written for You

One of the greatest privileges of being a composer is being able to write music for people I know.  During the process of writing the concert, instead of just picturing sounds as I wrote the music, I also pictured the people I was writing for.

The Amazing Brass Section

Having been a part of the Grace Baptist Orchestra family for several years now, I had the opportunity to get to know the other members of the orchestra and learn what they enjoyed playing and the things that they didn’t.

The Mighty Violas  Stan playing Trumpet

It made it so much more meaningful as I wrote solos or melodic passages to try to write lines that I knew that those particular people would enjoy – and so much more exciting when they nailed those passages!

The Mighty String Section

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A Blast from the Past

One of the most special moments during the concert was hearing The Awakening being played again.  This piece is especially meaningful to me as it was the first song I ever wrote on paper now almost six years ago.  Tenor James Phillipps, who had originally recorded the piece with the orchestra, came back six years later to perform the piece during the concert.

James Phillipps singing The Awakening

This song still remains one of my most famous pieces as it really was the piece that helped me decide that I could actually be a composer (I was going to be a kindergarten teacher!)  James did a fabulous job with the solo and the song really took on a life of its own!

Here’s the original recording from six years ago.

I’m still amazed at what an amazing journey this has been and thankful for everyone who has taken part in making it all possible.

Here’s a Glimpse into the Concert

Ahoy!

This here be the opening number for the Tunes, Tales, and Truths concert last week. It’s called Pirate Legends performed by our own Symphony Praise Orchestra.

I’m hoping to get some better quality audio and video to share in the future, but for now I wanted to give you a glimpse of the musical style and audience response at the concert.  Enjoy!

Why There Were Notes On The Page

One of the reasons these two concerts were possible was because of the tireless efforts of Jeff Boltinghouse – a member of the orchestra and one of my mentors in music.

20150227 - Jeff Boltinghouse

A few months ago, I realized that I was quickly running out of time and would not be able to finish writing, typesetting, printing, and laying out all of the parts for the orchestra in time for them to practice. Jeff stepped up and volunteered countless hours to typsetting (creating parts and scores for each musicion) over half of the pieces in the concert.  He even helped with some re-orchestrating on The Awakening and Jesus Loves Me and did a remarkable job keeping it exactly how I would have done it.

I am so thankful to have been surrounded by such amazing people as Jeff, Lisa, Taylor, and others who have given up countless hours to invest in me and my music.  I cannot begin to thank them for what they have done!

If No Love Did Flow in Thee

Fun fact:  Many people have approached me recently about how much they enjoyed the song that the prince sings during The Light Princess.  But did you know that the lyrics of that song were actually written by George MacDonald?

Richard Dinsmoor singing during The Light Princess

In his book The Light Princessauthor George MacDonald wrote out the lyrics for the song he wanted the prince to sing.  In order to preserve the story as much as possible, I took his lyrics and set them to music.  For the world premiere, this was performed by soloist Richard Dinsmoor and the tune became the main theme of The Light Princess.

Senior Recital!

If you were not able to make the World Premiere (Or would like to hear some of the works again), please come to my senior recital this Friday on March 6!  There, you will hear The Light Princess, Taking Candy, and five other brand new works that were not at the world premiere.

I hope to see you there!

Senior Recital Announcement

Bringing The Light Princess to Life!

Here are a few more pictures from the concert. Enjoy!

Tunes, Tales, & Truths

Amy Mack Narrating The Light Princess

By the way, if you missed seeing The Light Princess or would like to see it again, please come to my senior recital at The Master’s College Music Department this Friday at 6:00pm.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

A Favor

Last night was truly a magical evening as I was able to see a concert that was four years in the making become a reality!

Tunes, Tales, and Truths Family Concert

I have a favor to ask of those who came to the concert:  As you can imagine, these tunes have been in my head for four years and we have been rehearsing them for months, so I have no idea what it was like for someone to experience the music for the first time.

I would love to hear from you regarding what your impression was of the concert and your experience!  Please share your comments below or feel free to email me.

Thank you!

Just Finished the Dress Rehearsal!!

Just finished a several hour dress rehearsal with the GBC orchestra and the choir!  It was so much fun to finally see everything come together – especially with the tech team in there!  I especially appreciated Lisa Hernacki’s guidance and leadership as she kept us on track.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of what the concert will look like:

Birds eye view of Dress Rehearsal

Every wonder what is going on behind the scenes?  We have an amazing tech team helping out with this concert!  Here’s a peek into the control room during The Light Princess runthrough.

Control Room During Dress Rehearsal

Now all it needs is an audience! :o)

Taking Candy from a Baby

By far, the most swinging and eclectic piece of the concert is Taking Candy from a Baby. While the title itself may give some pause, the story behind this piece is just as crazy!

I had been given an assignment to come up with a trio for Cello, Horn, and Oboe in the Lydian mode.  In true college student fashion, I waited until the last the night before it was due to begin working on it.  By 2:00am I was stumped, but kept having this melody running through my head.  In my mind, I pictured a funny cartoon of a thief stealing candy from a baby only to be nabbed by the police after a crazy chase —and thus the song was born.

A Baby and His Lollypop

The song waited until this past semester before I had a chance to work on it.  I had just been introduced to the world of Jazz music (which I fell in love with) and decided to incorporate many styles including Rag Time, Brazilian Samba, Boogie Woogie, Cool Jazz, Nursery Rhyme, and Fugue.

I hope you  will enjoy this fun piece written in true Looney Tunes style!