Spring Cleaning: Shout for Joy

I’m always surprised at how well things can turn out sometimes when you have no idea what you’re doing. This setting of Psalm 100 was really a matter of me reading the Psalm and thinking, “Hmm… It sounds like this one could use some music.” Out came “Shout for Joy.” It turned out pretty well, and I’ve even returned to it a few times since then, updating it and creating an arrangement for piano and choir.

One of my favorite memories of this piece is when I lived in Salzburg in 1988/89, I attended a big Christian youth conference in Aachen, Germany. It turns out their praise band needed a bass player, so I volunteered. A few days into it I showed a few people this song, and they asked me to sing it during worship. I wrote an incredibly hard violin solo which I gave to an incredibly good violinist, and we sang the piece in front of a few thousand people that night.

This Ostertreff gathering, by the way, was a real turning point for me, faith-wise. Kind of an adult conversion. I went from being a temporary agnostic who hung out with Christians because that’s who was friendly to me, to becoming a Christian. It was a good Easter.

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