Sometimes a new piece of music is commissioned to fit a unique need for a service. But other times there is plenty of music out there, but the gift of a new composition is chosen to heighten a celebration, honor a specific occasion, or celebrate God’s love shown to us through an individual. In these latter instances, a familiar tune or old favorite is chosen – but given a fresh dimension through a fresh arrangement.
One of our composers recently accepted two assignments which illustrates these approaches. In the first, he was asked to arrange an old favorite, “Lift High the Cross,” in memory of a widow’s late husband. It was his favorite him, so a fresh arrangement using his favorite instruments – hand bells, SATB choir, brass, organ – was commissioned. Our composer met with the lady who commissioned the piece and together they brainstormed instrumentation to bring out the text of each stanza of the hymn. The piece will debut this fall, when the congregation has its annual Dedication of Parish Musicians.
The other assignment illustrates some different approaches. Here the occasion was not so much to honor a specific person, but for other reasons. And the emphasis was on arranging a newer hymn, “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It”. This piece is still in progress, but the composer has met with the patron and they have decided on a unique instrumentation that weds the text with the musical gifts of the patron’s parish: mens’ chorus, children’s choir, choir chimes, clarinet, organ, and strings! The piece is slated to premier this coming winter at a Lutheran Child and Family Services Hymn Festival.
Whatever the reason, and whatever the piece, our composers will work with you to fashion music appropriate for the occasion, to the glory of God.