Here is a setting for organ of the great German pietistic hymn “Jesus, Priceless Treasure” that I composed back in my college days. The text of the hymn is by Johann Franck and first appeared as a six stanza hymn in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica (1653) to a tune presumably by Crüger. The hymn was made famous by J. S. Bach’s motet that used all six stanzas. The text appears… Read More »
Just completed a new piece for Easter: Fanfare on “Christ is Arisen” for mixed choir, brass quartet, timpani, and organ. Hope you find it useful. It begins with a theme that my Associate Pastor said reminded him of Aslan, you know the great and powerful lion from the C. S. Lewis book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe who as a character has many similarities to Christ. That theme serves… Read More »
The season of Lent is a “season” of the Church Year – a time for somber reflection on our sin and our sinful nature. It is a time for penitence and confession and a time to receive God’s forgiveness – to hear with new ears and open hearts and minds how much our God loves us. As the liturgical year developed in the Christian church, Lent became a forty-day penitential… Read More »
As we come across another milestone in the Liturgical Year, I’m reminded of the great gift that the Liturgical Year is to those who practice it. The greatest gift is that the Liturgical Year helps to keep our attention focused on the person, the work, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. And that’s what the Christian faith is all about, isn’t it?
Upon reading 1 Chronicles 23-25, many people do not realize that the establishment and organization of the worship and music of the tabernacle and temple was not done so at the whim of King David, but rather because it had been ordained and instituted by God. In his book The Lord’s Song: The Basis, Function and Significance of Choral Music in Chronicles, the renowned Australian Lutheran theologian Dr. John Kleinig points… Read More »
I woke up this morning with Allen Pote’s “A Song of Promise” running through my brain (we rehearsed it for good 30 minutes last night at our choir rehearsal). It is an interesting and effective setting of a passage from the book of Isaiah. And then I realized that one of the unique things about a choir rehearsing good quality sacred choral music is that singers are doing one of… Read More »
This setting of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” is the second motet in a set entitled Three Latin Christmas Motets and is dedicated to the American Kantorei of St. Louis, Missouri. It musically intertwines two manifestations of the God incarnate: that which occurred with the birth of Christ and that which happens when believers observe the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The primary textual and musical element is the ancient, but… Read More »
This setting of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sets all seven verses of the hymn modulating into four keys while passing the melody from voice to voice before finally concluding with several sudden and surprising key changes that lead to what I call a “Picardy third on steroids” (i.e. a major chord built on the altered note of the E minor Picardy third). This motet is available with the standard… Read More »
Congratulations to all the students who performed this afternoon at the Illinois Music Educator Association’s annual state conference in Peoria. Your performances were truly musical and very inspiring touching many aspects of our lives and souls. Thanks also to the teachers and directors who made these concerts possible. Your efforts are producing blessings upon number. It is essential for us as church musicians to tap into the hundreds and hundreds… Read More »
Jubal’s Lyre is my personal blog plus a way for me share my music with everyone on my own timetable. A lot of it is still on my computer. In time I hope to share most of it with you. Please contact me if you have any questions. Soli Deo Gloria!