Pictures are done!

I am so excited to finally have all 10 paintings by Jay Wegter finished!  He did a remarkable job and they are just beautiful!

This weekend, I was privileged to have professional photographer and friend Lou Korell take pictures of the paintings.  These pictures will be projected during the performance while the orchestra plays underneath and the narrator reads the story.

Lou Korell taking Pictures of the Light Princess

Looking forward to seeing you all there on February 27 and March 6!

Only TWO Months Away

I am so excited to announce that the premier of The Light Princess and several other works is only two months away!!!!  While there is still so much left to do, it is very exciting to see how God is working out all of the details and how everything is coming together!

Announcing Premier of Light Princess

I would love to invite you to one of the two concerts (or both!) that these works will be featured in!  Please keep checking back for more details as it gets closer.

P.S.  If you are unable to make the concert, I am looking into live streaming it, so stay tuned for more informaiton.

Carol of the Kings

Four years ago, during my freshman semester, I arranged an “epic” piano duet.  Inspired by dueling piano duets (and long before I had ever seen the Piano Guys), I wanted to show how some of these traditional Christmas carols can be very exciting.

The piece sat waiting for the next four years until, recently, Wendy and I had the opportunity to play it for our last TMC Christmas chapel.  The video below is the first public performance ever of “The Carol of the Kings!”

I hope you enjoyed this piece and please  comment below to let me know what you think!  (I am taking suggestions for future pieces).

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be up to date on latest releases and new songs.

Meet the Witch

Artwork by Jay Wegter

Artwork by Jay Wegter

It is never a good idea to forget to invite someone to your daughter’s christening.  Especially when that someone is your own sister … and she’s a witch!

But that’s exactly what the king does in George MacDonald’s The Light Princess, and this witch isn’t especially happy about it.  She’s so mad, in fact, she curses her infant niece by stealing her gravity!

This week, I had the opportunity to see the second picture in this series by artist Jay Wegter and was quite excited to meet my villainess for the first time.  Here is a sneak peek of a portion of the picture.

This scene is from George MacDonald’s short story The Light Princess when the wicked witch, after learning that her curse upon the princess has been thwarted by using the water of a magic lake, decides to exact her revenge.  She revives an ancient and magical snake and uses it to travel underneath and drain the lake.  Then she casts a spell that dries up all of the lakes, rivers, and streams and all of the tears so that there is no more water in the land.Sketch of The Witch

Jay put some incredible detail into this picture and the result fits perfectly with the story!  It was fascinating to watch him transform the piece from a simple storyboard, to a full sketch (as shown here), to the full masterpiece!  I am so excited to be working with him and I can’t wait to finish the rest of the pictures!

Want to see the finished painting?  Keep checking back for more sneak peeks! :o)

Yes, Jesus Loves Me!

Two years and two days ago, on March 10, 2012, Pastor Tom Givens (the former senior pastor at my church) lost a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease and was promoted to glory. Tom, a loving father and husband and a faithful pastor of a church of thousands, left behind an incredible legacy in his devoted service to his Lord.

Pastor Tom (as I knew him) had a great impact on my life.  I remember him playing hand games with us kids after services, drawing faces on our hands when our parents weren’t looking, or serving in the nursery right up until his sermon.  He always seemed happiest to be with children and his jolly smile and laugh made us feel right at home.

When I first learned that Pastor Tom had Lou Gehrig’s disease, I was very deeply moved.  It seemed impossible that such a strong man could be weakened so greatly.  I wanted to do something to help encourage him and, one night, I had the idea to arrange his favorite song, “Jesus Loves Me”, for our church orchestra to play for him.  You can listen to the recording here:

When I started arranging the piece in February, I had no idea that I would only have two months to finish it.  At first, the notes came easily and I knew exactly what I wanted.  My composition professor at the time graciously waived my private lesson assignments and made this song the focus of our lessons.

But just a few weeks into the piece  the worst thing happened that could ever happen to a composer – writer’s block! For a week I couldn’t write a single note no matter how much I tried.  I was so depressed as I felt that I was letting Pastor Tom down and I had just received word that he was doing worse.

About a week later, I was inspired by the idea to write a section expressing my emotions that wasn’t a part of the original song.  This part ended up being my favorite and (in an incredible marathon of 40 hours of composing in just 3 days!) the rest came easily and I completed the song.

The Grace Baptist Orchestra, under the leadership of Lisa Hernacki, all rallied around the idea of making this their gift to honor Pastor Tom. Because Pastor Tom at this point could not travel to the church to hear it, we decided to make a recording to bring to him. With the help of sound engineer Scott Weber, we were able to complete the recording and, after 6 hours of editing, the song was finally finished.

Everything was set to present the CD and we decided to present it the following Wednesday. But then something happened that none of us expected:  late that Saturday night, Pastor Tom passed away peacefully.  He never got a chance to hear the the arrangement – instead, he was hearing the music of heaven.

The recording of Jesus Loves Me was played at his memorial service on April 1st, 2012.