Seeking wedding music

Posted: April 15, 2014 in General
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Many of you helped me source some arrangements that I needed for a wedding a few years ago. I need your help again for another wedding that I’m playing for at the end of May. I need 30 minutes of prelude music, plus a number of specific songs for during the ceremony. I have possible arrangements for the songs below that are in bold. If you have good “weddingy” arrangements or collections you can recommend for any of the songs (even ones already in bold), please let me know in the comments below with a link if possible. Thanks for all your help. Read the rest of this entry »

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His Robes for Mine CD

Image courtesy churchworksmedia.com

Sometimes an album that I intend to review just slips through the cracks for a while until I have an opportunity to get my hands on it. “His Robes for Mine” from ChurchWorksMedia is one such album. Released in February of last year, this recording is perhaps not new to a lot of my readers. Still, the message and content are worth considering even as it completes its first year since release. Read the rest of this entry »

When am I on?

Posted: March 3, 2014 in General
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A few Sundays ago, I had a “first” during my career as a church pianist. We had been rehearsing “When Love Came Down” for a few weeks and were ready to perform it this particular Sunday morning during the worship service. I came at 9:30 to rehearse with the choir one last time before the Sunday school hour. At 10:45, someone came and asked me to diagnose what was wrong with our building-wide audio system and get it fixed for the service. I installed it, so people come to me when something’s not working right. Normally, it just takes a few minutes to get it working again, but this time was a little different. Read the rest of this entry »

Easter is coming, and that means lots of music is being practiced for churches around the world. Different denominations celebrate and commemorate our Lords’ most sacrificial act differently, but most of them will use lots of music. Next to Christmas, Easter is probably the most popular time of year for big music programs in churches. Whether you’re preparing for a big choir and drama program or just planning to play for communion or offertory, there’s some new music from the Lorenz catalog you’ll want to consider. Read the rest of this entry »

Faders

Image: Wikipedia.org

So I got curious about the “fade” in recorded music a while back. I’ve always despised them, even before I really knew anything about music or the recording industry. Just recently, I decided that it was time to get to the bottom of where it came from and why some recording artists still insist on using them. You know what I mean. You’re listening to a song that gets to the 3:00 or 3:30 mark, and the volume starts to get lower and lower until the track ends or a commercial/announcer starts talking over it. Read the rest of this entry »

There’s more to music than music

Posted: November 1, 2013 in General
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Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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 »

Offering

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Philosophy
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Image courtesy of G92.org

Image courtesy of G92.org

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 »

Click the image to purchase

Click the image to purchase from Amazon

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.

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Image Courtesy of Stephen Jerkins via NPR.ORG

Image Courtesy of Stephen Jerkins via NPR.ORG

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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Heather Sorenson

Heather Sorenson

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 »