Category Archives: Hymn tunes

A Christian’s Duty

When one of the members of the St. Sinner Orchestra went to the hospital with a bowel obstruction, I knew just the song to cheer him up: Blest Is the Man Whose Bowels Move. I wrote a tune (“A CHRISTIAN’S DUTY) … Continue reading

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Let Us Walk in the Light

My last collaboration with Christopher Webber was successful enough that I’ve been asked to compose two more tunes for his hymn texts. This time around it’s a simple text–much simpler than his normal fare. Since his texts–and the tunes that … Continue reading

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We Break This Bread

At this summer’s Hymn Society meeting in St. Louis, I was approached by a publisher about composing some tunes to go with a new collection of hymn texts by Christopher L. Webber. I can never resist an opportunity to compose new … Continue reading

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Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart

This hymn tune is another one that’s been hanging out in my idea folder for far too long. From the very beginning, the refrain was just how I wanted it: a perfect wedge of notes that vibrated with dissonant energy. … Continue reading

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WCRC Take 2: God of All Creation

My second attempt at a theme song for the World Communion of Reformed Churches 2017 General Council was inspired by their meeting place: Leipzig. Leipzig, of course, is famous as the city in which Bach worked for almost three decades … Continue reading

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WCRC Take 1: Semper Reformanda

I’ve been asked to write a song for use at the World Communion of Reformed Churches 2017 General Council. The difficulty of this sort of assignment is that–with intuition rather than information–I have to project what might be needed and … Continue reading

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Another Foothold

I recently posted a quick demo of a new tune I wrote for Debra Rienstra’s sweet setting of Psalm 25. Yesterday we introduced the song to the congregation. It went swimmingly, in part due to the leadership of the Rienstra … Continue reading

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Foothold (Psalm 25)

10 years ago, my friend Debra Rienstra wrote a hymn text based on Psalm 25, called “Foothold.” Not only that, she won the Fuller Seminary School of Psychology Fortieth Anniversary hymn competition with it. As I began to work on an … Continue reading

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Tenebrae: The Shadow of Desertion

The 2nd movement of my Maundy Thursday piece for cellos. Since the text  begins with “when they had sung the hymn,” I decided to give this movement a hymn-like structure–very simple rhythms with a singable melody. Of course, the harmonies … Continue reading

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Rhyme or Reason

I was challenged to write music for a somewhat irregularly metered hymn text based on Ecclesiastes. (Okay, not directly challenged, but I accepted it as such.) Since the text talked about stretching and striving, I thought this rising melodic figure … Continue reading

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