I had one of those perspective-changing moments last week as I listened to NPR on my way home from work. It was a story on the life and legacy of Doc Pomus (born Jerome Felder) who was first a blues singer, then a prolific writer for pop and rock acts for decades. Several of the songs that he wrote were familiar to me, but the backstory to “Save the Last Dance for Me” really stood out. If you’ve ever heard the song, you may have thought that it was simply a song about a strange relationship. Why is the singer telling his girl to dance with anyone she wants but to save just her last dance for him? Who would tolerate that? Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: doc pomus, music, writing
Tags: biblical, church, gift, offertory, ORBC, tithe, worship
Our church has recently revamped the way we take our tithes and offerings during a service. The traditional Baptist model is something like the following. The pastor comes before the congregation to speak briefly about the time where we collect the money given to God through His church. After he prays for the Lord’s blessing on the money collected, several ushers begin moving down the aisles passing large saucers throughout the crowd for the faithful to place their gifts into. While the plates go through the auditorium, someone (generally a pianist) will play a song. The intent is to offer a sort of musical mood or worshipful atmosphere for the givers to consider while giving their gifts. At Oak Ridge Baptist, we have completely done away with this model and replaced it with something entirely different. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: collections, fathers, lillenas, lorenz, love, molly ijames, music, new, piano, reviews
Lillenas (a division of the Lorenz Publishing Company) has released a new set of solo piano arrangements from composer Molly Ijames. “The Father’s Love” is a diverse collection of old and new hymns, all set in a tender style. Each title selected for the book carries the theme of God’s great love for His children. Having never played any solo compositions from Molly, I was interested to see how her writing would differ from choral accompaniments.
Tags: chris tomlin, church, hymns, Keith Getty, kristyn getty, modern, music, npr, sacred, worship
On July 9, All Things Considered on National Public Radio aired a four-minute segment by Blake Farmer called Modern Hymn Writers Aim To Take Back Sunday. You can listen to the segment here, and I recommend you do so before reading the rest of this post. While it was mostly an unbiased, informational piece, there were some interesting opinions expressed by those interviewed in the story. Keith and Kristyn Getty generally represented the modern hymns movement, while a Nashville producer Ed Cash discussed praise music and the contrasts between the two sub-genres of Christian music.
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Tags: choral, heather sorenson, interview, music
You may know Heather Sorenson’s name for a myriad of reasons. In addition to composing and arranging, she works in her church in Texas as a music associate and travels extensively as a clinician. In this 20 minute interview, Heather discusses how she began accompanying at a very young age, how she balances her different roles in different ministries, her unique calling to the music industry, and the story behind the writing of God of Heaven. Enjoy the interview below. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: church, congregational, hymns, john wesley, music, rules, singing
- Learn these Tunes before you learn any others ….
- Sing them exactly as they are printed here without altering or mending them at all …
- Sing ALL. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can …
- Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength …
- Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony …
- Sing in Time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it … and take care not to sing too slow…
- Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself or any other creature.
Tags: james koerts, performance, piano
“Master, the Tempest is Raging” is not a very well-known hymn, especially among the younger set with which I identify myself. The hymn is set to a tune that isn’t necessarily the most “singable.” That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad tune. It just means that it’s not structured like a lot of other common hymns sung throughout churches. If you haven’t heard it, you’ll understand when you listen to the recording below. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: be still, contest, drawing, james koerts, piano
(drum roll) And the randomly selected winner of the “Be Still” piano book from James Koerts is… Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: collections, easter, james koerts, music, new, piano, reviews
James Koerts has begun offering digital sheet music in earnest on his site koertsmusic.com. He celebrated this new feature by releasing a full collection of pieces entitled “Be Still.” Your $14.99 gets you 10 songs including well-known hymns like “A Mighty Fortress is our God” and less familiar choices like “Master, the Tempest is Raging.” Is it worth $15? Should digital sheet music cost the same as printed sheet music? Will something independently written and “published” have the same quality that a professionally edited and published piece will have? These are some of the questions I wrestled with when James introduced this new set of arrangements. Don’t forget to check the bottom of this post to find out how you can download a free recording of one of the songs from “Be Still” and enter to win a free copy of the entire collection for yourself.
Tags: blog, follow, google reader, rss
With the imminent shutdown of Google Reader, I’ve been chewing my fingernails off trying to figure out how I’ll ever replace it. Reader has become a pillar in my lifestyle. I use it for virtually all of the news that I consume. I follow my favorite blogs, deals sites, and podcasts all through Google Reader’s RSS functionality. It seems that many people who follow this blog are using it for the same purpose. Any die-hard Reader user has probably already seen everyone’s recommendations on a replacement: from Feedly to Pulse. I’m not sold on any of these thus far, so I’m wondering if anyone out there feels the same way. Below is a survey that I’d like anyone who reads this blog to answer. It’s only one question, so I hope even the “lurkers” out there will take a few seconds to add their input. If you’d like to add more context to your answer, please do so in the comments below. I need to know what direction to go in order to not lose the people that are following Piano Animato through RSS only, and this will help me understand my audience better.