Religious Arrangements

“For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” 

Doctrine and Covenants 25: 12

 

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I’ve always found a lot of inspiration, both spiritually and musically, from the Hymns and The Children’s Songbook. Sometimes, when I can’t think of the words to pray, I sing, or think of my favorite hymn, and I know that my Father in Heaven hears the song of my heart.

Most of what I post on this page will be arrangements altered from what is in the Hymns and The Children’s Songbook and will likely be approved for use in sacrament services.

As a quick head’s up, usually the sound file I embed under each song’s title for you to listen to is the full version (accompaniment and vocal parts combined) so that you can get an idea for what it will sound like altogether. However, I also try to include multiple additional sound files with just accompaniment, just vocals, and just each vocal part by itself for anyone wanting to hone in on a certain aspect. I know its been really helpful for members of my choir, so I wanted to make sure all of you have that same ability. It gives a lot more flexibility for self-practice for those of us who can’t plunk it out on the piano.

Until I find a better way to organize this, all the arrangement will be posted in alphabetical order:

  • Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy (4-part Men or SATB Choir)
  • Come, Follow Me (3-Part Instrumental, Violins and Flute)
  • Coventry Carol (SATB Choir)
  • Does the Journey Seem Long? (SCA Women’s Chorus)
  • Each Life That Touches Ours For Good/Lord, I Would Follow Thee (Medley) (SATB)
  • Every Star Is Different (SAB Choir)
  • Have I Done Any Good? (SATB Choir)
  • How Gentle God’s Commands (SCA Women’s Chorus)
  • I Often Go Walking, Mother Dear (Primary Medley)
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel (SAB Choir with Viola obbligato)
  • The Prophet’s Medley (SAB Choir)

I’m hoping to have these as links in the future to click on, having it take you down to that song, but I don’t know how to do that right now. Bear with me as I navigate this magical new world of website creation and management.

Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy

Okay, so I didn’t actually do much with this. I’ve done two things–the first thing I did was convert the tenor clef that’s in the hymnal to an easier-to-read tenor clef, written as a treble clef, but sung an octave lower. That’s on the men’s chorus version. The second thing I did was convert it to a traditional SATB hymnal format that I feel works better than what’s in the hymnal to accompany a men’s chorus. It’s also perfect for using as a congregational hymn when played this way, as I put the melody on top (in the men’s chorus, it’s inverted). So, I really didn’t do much–this is basically just straight from the hymnal, except much, much easier to read. The sound file above is the SATB version.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3)

Come, Follow Me (3-Part Instrumental, Violins and Flute)

Come, Follow Me (Hymn no. 116) is a beautiful tribute to the call of our Savior. Truly, those simple words are what we should all strive for in life! This simple instrumental arrangement was prepared for the very talented primary children in my ward for their Primary Program for 2015. The violins play the soprano and alto staves while the flute has been added as a descant. The flute descant by itself can also be viewed on the Interludes and Descants page.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

 

Coventry Carol

I sang this song with my high school choir and always loved it. It’s a song sung by the women/parents in Bethlehem when Herod orders to kill all the young children born about the same time as Christ. It’s a haunting last lullaby, and perfect for around Christmas time. I made this arrangement for our 2015 Christmas Program. It’s fairly simple and easy to learn, so don’t be afraid to try it!

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

Does the Journey Seem Long? (Women’s Chorus)

 

Hymn number 127 is a beautiful piece, giving us hope to our sometimes bleak outlook to the difficult trials we face in life’s journey. I created this arrangement for the young women in my ward to sing for their New Beginnings. The youth theme for 2015 is Embark in the Service of God, and the New Beginnings theme is Journey, or Venture. So, when I was asked to find something for them to perform, I thought of this hymn and customized it for a women’s chorus, with three parts. And. It’s. Beautiful! I took out the original fourth verse and instead added my own–one that fits well for a group of women! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good/ Lord, I Would Follow Thee (Medley)

I uploaded the playback from my music program (I use Finale), but it doesn’t loop back to the Segno or skip to the Coda for the ending, either, so don’t plan to use this to sing along with. To sing along to the parts, visit lds.org and use their music player for they hymns this song uses. You will need to change the key for Lord, I Would Follow Thee to Eb Major (3 flats) for accuracy.

I love this arrangement! Musically it is simple and beautiful, copied, from the most part from the hymnal versions with just a few added twists. The medley was inspired by Rachael Christensen, our current ward choir director. I simply pieced together an introduction, ending, and some transitions to make it flow better. I love the way it turned out!

The song begins with a sweet introduction leading into the first verse of Each Life That Touches Ours for Good, followed by a transition into the 2nd and 3rd verses of Lord, I Would Follow Thee. After another transition, the choir sings the 4th verse of Each Life That Touches Ours for Good, repeating the last refrain for emphasis. What a beautiful and inspired piece!

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

 

Every Star Is Different (Choir Vocals and Violin obbligato)

 

This is one of my favorite primary songs, and I wanted to have my choir sing it along with the primary kids in our ward. So I wrote out the soprano, alto, and bass parts to be sung along with the accompaniment available from the Children’s Songbook, including the descant with either flute or violin. It’ll be awesome. Click this link to access the song online from lds.org. I suggest clicking to listen to either “music only” or “words with music” under the audio tab on the music player, as the parts player doesn’t recognize DC al Fine or first and second endings–the same problem I have with all of my MP3 files for this song. Technology…

So just keep that in mind when listening to the parts from these MP3 files–I tried, but I couldn’t get the playback function in my music program to participate with me. If I ever figure it out I’ll be sure to update this!

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

Have I Done Any Good?

 

Hymn no. 223 in the hymn book is often overlooked as being a bit hokey, but the message of this hymn is pure and beautiful. I think each of us can ask, every day, if we’ve done anything to be proud of. My favorite part of this song is in the chorus, “Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,/ A blessing of duty and love.” True joy comes from service, and this arrangement brings a lot of that to light. I hope your choir can enjoy it as much as mine did!

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

How Gentle God’s Commands (Women)

 

Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is above rubies. I feel that this song emanates virtue when sung by a group of righteous women. It is so powerful and pure, and its message is clear: God’s commands are gentle and kind, and abiding by his precepts is the only way to find lasting happiness and peace.

Arranged from Hymn number 314, I only really made a new accompaniment for it. The parts the women sing are from the hymnal, which is why there are no vocal parts written into the music. The only difference is the additional repeat and slowing down of the music at the end, but the parts themselves are still the same as the hymnal.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

I Often Go Walking/Mother Dear (Medley)

 

This is pretty much straight from the Children’s Songbook and is perfect for Mother’s Day! It’s a cute, simple arrangement that mashes the two songs together quite well. If you’re comfortable, it’s easy to embellish the piano part for the second verse of “I Often Go Walking” to make it sound more grandiose.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Joseph Smith’s First Prayer

 

I arranged this version of the song to sing as a solo when I was in Young Women’s. I think it’d be nice, in the future, to update it as a choral piece, but for now it makes a halfway decent solo or for a choir singing in unison (like a youth choir).

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

 

A beautiful arrangement of the song that I made for my ward to use in our ward’s Christmas program. This song is so beautiful, and the viola on top of everything else is just fantastic. It’s great as a choir piece, but it would also make an awesome Viola/Piano duet. It would likely work as a solo, too. I don’t have too many men in my choir, so it’s unison for the most part, until about halfway through.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

The Prophet’s Medley

 

Great for use around General Conference! It’s a compilation of four different songs about prophets (We Listen to a Prophet’s Voice; Come, Listen to A Prophet’s Voice; Follow the Prophet; and We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet) that I put together because–why not! It’s very powerful and moving, bringing out my own personal testimony of how blessed we are to have a living prophet who speaks to us in these latter-days.

It’s arranged for three-part choir, but if you have enough men you could likely add the base notes from the hymnal without any issues. For clarification purposes, the Altos and Men sing together on the ending (“We thank thee, O God, for a prophet”) while the Sopranos sing separately (“Come, listen to a prophet’s voice”). It’s written oddly, so hopefully that clears up potential confusion there.

Download the Sheet Music as PDF:

Additional Sound Files (MP3):

 

 

 

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