The girl with the flaxen hair

In September 2002, I sat in a master class at BYU-Idaho waiting for my turn to accompany one of the class violinists. 

I wasn't thrilled to be there because the new freshman violinists were all scheduled to perform and they were almost always out of tune and scratchy sounding. Not my favorite.

A beautiful freshman girl with flaxen hair had her turn and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was she lovely, she played so perfectly in tune. But it was more than that. Her violin seemed like a natural extension of her soul. 

As she played, I became more and more enraptured because it was as if I could understand her emotions through her playing. 

I thought to myself, "gosh, I wish I could be her accompanist...."

Long story short, we were engaged by Christmas and married the following May. 

It was love at first listen!

One of our favorite things to play together are expressive hymn arrangements in church. 

Writing arrangements for Janae has been a true joy because I known that she has these emotional super powers in her playing. Rather than trying to write her arrangements that showed off her technical abilities and her performing prowess, I kept raising the emotional bar to see how clearly we could convey the spiritual message of the hymn. The goal was always to create a special, almost revelatory atmosphere in Sacrament Meeting via instrumental music. 

This is the kind of music I feel we need more of in LDS church services. The kind that does not focus on the performance itself, but on the powerful emotive potential of music that was written with ONE intention in mind, bringing the Spirit strongly to the ears and hearts of the congregation.

I've worked hard to pour this same 'spiritual intention' into the arrangements of my new book, Sacred Airs: 9 Hymn Arrangements for Solo Woodwind or Brass Instrument and Piano.

I'm almost finished with it.

And I'm giving it away for 30% off when it's ready.

To get on the "VIP" notification list and get it for 30% off, click the link below and type in your email address:

More soon!