An Afternoon with Keith Getty

Last week I had the opportunity to meet composer Keith Getty – a modern day hymn writer and one of my heros in music.  Keith met with the composers for lunch before giving a two hour seminar on the music field and the importance of music in worship.

I ended up taking over three pages of notes, but I wanted to share some of the highlights with you:

Keith and Kristyn Getty TMC Music Event

One of the biggest takeaways from meeting with Keith was the emphasis of the importance of good quality music in worship.  As Keith pointed out:

God’s people have learned their history through song.  Therefore our songs frame our responses.

Keith explained that music in worship needs to not only have a beauty about it, but also an excellence and depth in the meaning of the words that we sing.

If our songs have the greatness of God’s love, but not any of His other attributes, we have failed.

Session with Keith Getty

At the seminar, Keith stressed the importance of good songs and good lyrics explaining that one of the most important questions a pastor can ask himself at the end of the service is:  “How well did the congregation sing?”

Churches with good preaching but shallow songs breed shallow congregations.

When asked how he can write so many songs of the faith and find his drive, Keith explained:

Be the best musician you can be, but make sure your faith grows faster than your talent.

These quotes are only the tip of the iceberg of what I took away from meeting with Keith Getty.  I greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with this excellent musician and humble man and I was greatly inspired in my own writing as I heard from him.


An Incredible Field Trip!

Today, a few of my classmates and I had the opportunaty to take a trip to the UCLA School of Ethnomusicology to tour their classrooms and see their world instrument collection.  We had the privilege of having Dr. Helen Rees, an expert in Chinese music, as our guide and she was able to show us about how the instruments are played.

One of the most unique things about the UCLA Musicology collection is that they are a working collection.  This means that, unlike most world music museums, students have the ability to actually touch and learn to play the instruments on a daily basis.

Photo taken from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Website

My favorite room of all was the Gamela room where we got see an incredible collection of Bali and Javanese Gamelas which were very ornately decorated.

I would highly recommend the trip and I am very grateful for the staff there who were so kind to us!

An Overwhelming Response

Wow, what a whirlwind of a week!  God has been so faithful in helping my family and me through two major concerts!

When counting all of the people who attended between the two concerts and the live stream, we believe that there were about 1,000 people who came and heard the music.  Since that time, I have received overwhelming responses about The Light Princess  and the rest of the music and I wanted to share it with you.

Watching The Light Princess

I can tell a lot of work went into this concert.  It’s inspiring to see how much creativity can come from one mind and to hear of what inspired her.  Wonderful concert, 5 stars! – Matt

Watching the Light Princess

Praise the Lord for all your talents and hard work! Your music was enchanting and fit so perfectly with the wonderful story of The Light Princess.  It was a blessing! – Paige



I love every single minute! – Delphine

Watching The Light Princess

[The] music was AMAZING! I could listen to The Light Princess every day!  Praying God continues to use your music to touch hearts. – Rebecca

Watching The Light Princess

Thank you so very much to all who came and participated!  This was truly an amazing experience and I so appreciate you!

Tonight’s the Night!

Hi Everyone!  Please come to my Senior Recital tonight at The Master’s College at 6:00pm!  You will hear a wide variety of music from small ensemble to big band to The Light Princess.  Admission is free, but I would recommend coming early as seats are first come first served.

Thanks and I can’t wait to see you there!

Senior Recital AnnouncementP.S. If you can’t make the concert, the link to the live stream of the concert is here.

Here’s a Glimpse into the Concert


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

Forgot the Glass Slippers

One of my favorite moments during the concert was backstage during the intermission.  There I got several hugs from this precious little girl and her little sister.  Even better was when they asked to see my glass slippers!  (I had to explain how I left those at home.)



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!