“O God, Beyond All Praising” (THAXTED)

It was during the turmoil of World War I that English composer Gustav Holst completed The Planets, arguably one of the most popular orchestral suites ever written.   The suite has seven movements, each named for a planet.  While experiencing the complete suite is certainly ideal, movements are sometimes performed individually.  In the case of…

It’s Showtime!

Sometimes, all roads lead to Rome.  For me, all roads led to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  Many years ago, I was the editor of a journal for the International Association of Organ Teachers.  IAOT was having their annual convention in Valley Forge in tandem with a Home Organists Adventure, produced by Bill Worrall.  A month or…

A day in Hammond Organ history

When U.S. Patent 1,956,350 was issued to Laurens Hammond on April 24, 1934, for an “electrical musical instrument,”  the world of music changed forever. My first organ was a Hammond.  My Aunt Vina, my school, my church and just about everyone else I knew who had an organ, had a Hammond organ.  Do you know…

“God of Grace and God of Glory”

“God of grace and God of glory, on your people pour thy power.”  These opening words from the hymn with the same name set the mood for a majestic and jubilant hymn.  Although it is typically used as a processional hymn, I think it makes a particularly effective closing or recessional hymn, asking for God’s…

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

With a few decades now behind me as a church musician, I have attended, played and/or sung for many funerals and memorial services.  Time and time again I have seen people turn to Psalm 23 for comfort in time of loss.  Whenever I hear Psalm 23, I am reminded of a very specific time and…

“March of the Kings”

I really wish I could remember the name of my sixth grade music teacher.  I would like to thank her.  She was a wonderful woman, patiently trying to coax music out of a group of kids who really didn’t want to sing (a challenge for which I have recently gained new appreciation).  I was the…

“He Hideth My Soul”

There aren’t many songs that can be played over many generations and in various styles yet still ring true.  Maybe you will hear it on a Sunday, played as a traditional arrangement on the wonderful organ.  Maybe you will sing it as a congregation. Sit back and enjoy this version sung by Guy Penrod.  As…