Composition Notebook: March 2015

Subject: When the Wedding Became a Marriage, by Aaron Giles, words by Vera Giles

The origin of this one came from a conversation I had with my wife about how there were tons of songs about Mary but almost nothing about Joseph. We came up with a couple: Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine obviously, and The Cherry Tree Carol. But not really much else.

Then she mentioned that she had written a poem a while back about Joseph, and I thought maybe I could work it into a composition.

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Composition Notebook: January 2015

Subject: SATB + descant harmonization of Ecce, Deus by Alfred E. Fedak.

Interestingly, I did not first encounter this hymn tune in its original form. Instead, the music was set to a different text (“Mary Heard the Angel’s Blessing”) and published in Voices, Found, a supplemental hymnal that focuses on texts written by women.

I gravitated to this piece because we elected to sing it in Advent, and it was in a minor key. Personally, I love minor key Advent/Christmas music, and also really loved the 3/4 lilt of this relatively simple tune.

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Composition Notebook: December 2014

Subject: SATB arrangement of The Face of Christ, originally written by Susan E. Bloomfield.

So in the time leading up to Advent this year, we were handed this simple piece to sing as our gospel acclimation (if you visit the link above, you can download the lead sheet, at least as of the time of this post). I think the idea was to choose something that both our choir and our praise band could sing, to create continuity between two services that typically have vastly different music.

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