Archive for the ‘Vocal’ Category

Time to Plan for Easter Music!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Flowers520

Gearing up for Easter music!  Planning ahead is the key! How many of you church pianists are involved in planning for your church’s Easter service?

I’m trying to decide on a nice Easter ensemble medley for maybe three to four pianos, flutes and clarinet for an offertory. Feeling the creative juices flowing too! I think I’ll adapt my trio piano version of “Power in the Blood Medley” for this group.

Concerning choir music…we usually don’t have a full-fledged program due to time limitations but try to learn new songs for these special occasions.

One of my favorite Easter cantatas is “The Bread of Life” by Lloyd Larson. All of the music is very well done!  I found a fairly decent recording of this very cantata on youtube.  It helps to hear a good representation of the music before tackling a new song…also provides the director with the interpretation ideas of the song such as word coloring (emphasizing certain words to elevate the meaning of the text)…. and also….what tempo is most effective.

At this point, the one song we’ll be learning from this cantata is “Taste and You’ll See” a nice upbeat piece on the Christian’s experience  of God’s salvation.

I’m sure I’ll be sharing other resources for Easter offertories and vocal specials along the way as we look towards an effective Easter service for God’s glory!

So…start getting ready now for your Easter service while you have ample time! 🙂   Not counting the last week of December….Easter is 15 weeks from now.

Sounds like a long time but not when you’re preparing new music or a cantata….even if it’s an easy program.  Have fun as you seek out Easter music!

Easy Christmas Program Ideas!

Monday, November 14th, 2016

music christmas ornament icon

Many church pianists have already been practicing for their church’s Christmas program.

In many cases, the church pianist IS the choir leader and has the task of deciding what to do for a Christmas program.

My son is our choir director. He works at least 50 hours a week and the father of three small children. Needless to say,  I help out by coming up with a simple program to fit our 40 minutes per week choir practice time. (this accounts for starting roughly two months in advance; which may vary from church to church depending on your choir’s ability)

My son and I have about a 40 minute commute to church so we’re very time conscious!

Our most-involved Christmas program back in 2011 was entitled “Christmas at Home” by Ron Hamilton. We used the “readers theatre” version due to limited time. The main actors were acting their first play ever. (Part Two sampler of our Christmas at Home)

In recent years, we have experienced a much more pleasant, relaxing time through having easier Christmas programs.

I have written two VERY easy Christmas programs…one of which is FREE HERE.  I’m still editing the second FREE Christmas program.

Now…ideas for enhancing your Christmas Program

  • Lyrics taken from cantata books make for great narration when coordinating a chronological list of songs together for a short choir concert. (That’s what we’re doing this year)

  • Include congregation by having them sing a song in the program. ( the choir could sing a descant taken from a hymnal while the congregation sings the melody) Another neat idea…have Pastor lead congregation in  reciting Luke 2:14 at the appropriate time during the program. Very effective! (Tip: Include Luke 2:14 in the Christmas program bulletin)

  • The congregation could also stand and sing a song following their verse (Luke 2:14) Song suggestions: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World (include lyrics in the program bulletin)

Easy Christmas Program Suggestion:

  1. Several different adults recite the Christmas story(Luke 2:1-19) in microphone off stage while children in appropriate costume act out the narration.

  2. Stage setup:  Only two scenes: Manger scene center stage, shepherd scene on left or right of manger scene. (props for shepherd scene not necessary).

  3. Songs can be inserted appropriately throughout the narration.

  4. Extra tip:Remind children that they must listen to what’s being read so they can act accordingly…to avoid appearing mechanical

Also a good idea to remind narrators to read with conviction! It brings the story to life!!

Hopefully this will help church pianists or choir leaders trying to find last-minute ideas for an easy Christmas program.

Please feel free to leave comments or ideas below.

A reminder: I do have over a dozen FREE piano and vocal Christmas arrangements available HERE.

Sharing a few links that may give you an idea as well (don’t fully endorse all the ideas at these links… but you can sift out what you like)

Possible lyrics for poems

Creative Church Idea Attic

 

 

His Eye is on the Sparrow…Complete!

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

I know this one took me a while but I’m especially picky with vocal arrangements…trying to get them just so for publication.

I’ll probably want to tweak it here and there over time but there’s a time where an artist’s creation must come to a close.

This particular song reminds me that my God is always watching over me. I don’t need to feel discouraged or troubled because God is my constant Friend and He cares for me!

I also plan to publish this in a lower key if there’s a need.

His Eye is on the Sparrow
Sacred vocal solo, High voice--Key of C (7 pgs.) Price covers two copies. (*not a flute arrangement :)) Plan to make one though.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Price: $5.50

His Eye is on the Sparrow: Almost Ready!

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Sparrow-with-color

I have a friend test-driving “His Eye is on the Sparrow” vocal solo arrangement 🙂

Hope to publish this arrangement in the next week or two.

I know I’m slow but I try to focus on quality and not quantity as my husband kindly reminds me to do.

 

Update: His Eye is on the Sparrow

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Sparrow-with-color

Finished inputting “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (all 6 pages)

I would be to my parent’s house by now for Father’s Day weekend but truck in shop prevented the trip.

So…here I sit catching up on His Eye is on the Sparrow 🙂

This particular arrangement has a very full-sounding accompaniment style which means pretty advanced level.

Now for final editing stage.  Here’s a sample from the piano/vocal arrangement for His Eye is on the Sparrow...(I used a flute for the vocal score in the recording)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Mina Oglesby: Music Book Sale

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Mina Oglesby, author of many songs such as “We Have a Saviour” and “Rest Will Come in the Morning” is selling her ten remaining song book titles for $1 each plus shipping while supplies last. (Special closeout sale!)

Mina’s songbooks make the perfect resource for church pianists who play for vocal specials.  The arrangements in the books are simplified and perfect for the church pianist who can improvise.

Mina’s songbooks can be purchased on her website at www.minao.com

 

Mother’s Day Song by Reece Yandle

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Just sharing the Mother’s day song that my Dad, Reece Yandle, wrote many years ago.

The sheet music is available in our store at:  http://thechurchpianist.com/music-store/vocal/unison/

or….   

My Mother
My Mother
Sacred vocal solo or group special; unison. 3 & 1/2 pgs. *Price covers two or more copies. No audio included; pdf only

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Price: $6.00

My piano accompaniment isn’t an exact replica of the printed piano score but close enough.

 

 

 

Just Published! Mission Song by James Cordell

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

You will enjoy this mission song…”Bring Their Faces into Focus” by James Cordell and arranged by Jenifer Cook.

The song begins with a Christian’s plea to God… seeking a vision for lost souls amongst the busyness of life and its distractions.

A reminder for Christians  to focus on a world full of faces in need of the Saviour.

James shares the story behind this beautiful song…

“The last scene of  Duey Whitfield’s missionary presentation showed an outline of the Unites States filled with faces of people. However, the faces were intentionally blurry. 

Duey made the point that we so often pass people in our lives, but that they are a blur to us.

We do not take the time to focus on their faces and their need of  Christ. Out of that thought, this song was born.” 

James has dedicated this song to his friends, Duey and Melissa Whitfield, missionaries to the Spanish in the United States.

Bring Their Faces into Focus
Sacred vocal solo, Medium voice, 4 pgs. Great mission song! *Price covers two copies. The following audio is a close enough representation of the piano score.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Price: $5.50

 

 

New Mission Song! Publishing Tomorrow

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

I’ve had many requests for this mission song after posting it on youtube a couple of years ago. We’re excited to be publishing James Cordell’s mission piece entitled “Bring Their Faces into Focus”.  Look for this song to be published by noon (EST) tomorrow.

 

 

NEW! Mother’s Day Song

Monday, April 25th, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed writing the accompaniment for my dad’s song entitled “My Mother”.

A mixed adult and children’s ensemble at our church are singing this on Mother’s Day.

My Mother
My Mother
Sacred vocal solo or group special; unison. 3 & 1/2 pgs. *Price covers two or more copies. No audio included; pdf only

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Price: $6.00

 

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