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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
In his book The Light Princess, author 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.
I cannot begin to thank my orchestra family enough for the countless hours and rehearsals they poured into making this concert a success. It was such an amazing treat to be able to write for people I knew and hear them add an exra bit into their parts to make it come to life!
Most especially, I really want to thank my conductor Lisa Hernacki for the tireless hours she put in – from conception of the concert to realization. What many of you may not know is that she was one of the key players in setting me on the path to composition. She was the first person to tell me I should consider being a composer and one of the first people to take my writing seriously.
Lisa, thank you for being so influential in my life and for all that you have poured into me!
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!
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.
Several people have approached me recently wondering what the difference is between the two concerts (February 27 and March 6). I wanted to help clear that up so that you can decide which concert you would like to go to.
Tunes, Tales, and Truths! is a concert that is geared toward people of all ages and will be featuring the live Grace Baptist orchestra (a 60 piece ensemble) as well as a choir. Some of the pieces you will here there are:
Some of the pieces you will hear at this concert are:
Hope this helps and I can’t wait to see you there!
Here’s a brief glimpse into one of our early rehearsals of The Light Princess. Enjoy!
Less than a week now until the world premier! I can’t wait to see you there!
Rehearsals have been going so well for the upcoming concert in just 8 days! I’m looking forward to another great rehearsal with my orchestra family tonight, but in the meantime, here is a fun peek into last rehearsal. Enjoy!
Last night was the first full run-through of the Light Princess and the first time I had the opportunity to narrate with the orchestra. I was (and still am) so very excited for the upcoming concertand greatly encouraged to hear how well it came together!
Conductor Lisa Hernacki and the orchestra family have spent hours working on the music in preparation for the upcoming outreach concert on February 27. Last night was the first time I was able to hear my music all the way through with the orchestra and it was exciting to hear something that has been an idea for so long come to life. It was just magical!
I hope you won’t miss the world premier of the concert and hear, for the first time, the magic come to life!