This was a fun piece to write, and one of my favorite choral works (so far). It’s dedicated to Fr. Robert Hawkins, the former pastor at St. Luke’s, and was originally performed at his retirement mass in June of 2018. The title is taken from one of his best-loved homilies. It wasn’t easy to record, since we were so scattered (Caroline literally ‘phoned’ her part in from Maryland), but as always, the vocalists of Listen Above brought the words to life. It has also been performed by the Mt. Hope Vocal Ensemble.
I originally wrote this for my own high school graduation, but was never totally satisfied with it, so it’s been rewritten countless times over the years. Someday I’ll grab all of the demos and make one (unlistenable) EP out of them. We had an amazing audition choir at Mt. Hope HS in 2018, and they inspired me to finally finish it and write an SATB arrangement, which we then recorded and performed for graduation. It was the first official release by Mt. Hope Music, and due to the terrible events of that year, it was also used as part of a fundraiser to benefit the Stoneman Douglas High School victims fund.
Released as a single in May, 2018.
The SATB arrangement is available through JW Pepper and SheetMusicPlus.
The idea behind Listen Above is very simple: write songs with a universal, positive, message, and put a band behind them that sounds like the best of all the 70s hard rock bands wrapped up in one. By far, our favorite review referred to the song “Your Love Prevails” as sounding like ‘Linda Ronstadt fronting Deep Purple’. That was the idea, exactly. This album (and band) turned out to be very popular, and features some incredibly talented musicians, including Luke Imbusch of The Rare Occasions on drums.
Album originally released in August, 2016. Please check our website for tour dates and more information about the band.
The second album by St. Luke’s Church Contemporary Choir, Abide In Our Hearts has some of our most-played songs. “Give Thanks” was written for our summer religious education program, and the children enjoyed it so much that we decided to give it a formal recording. Everybody loves a good ‘Alleluia!’, once in a while. “Everlasting God” was one of our first original songs, dating back to at least 2002, and is still to this day one of our congregation’s favorites. The album’s centerpiece, however, is “Fr. Bill’s Blessing”, written after the passing of our pastor, Fr. William Jenkinson, in 2005. It sets his personal prayer of farewell (with which he ended every mass) to music, and includes a classical piano solo, in honor of his own great talent.
Album originally released in October, 2008.
The SATB arrangement of Fr. Bill’s Blessing is available through JW Pepper and SheetMusicPlus.
“Rejoice Tonight” was the first release from the music ministry at St. Luke’s Church. It was a collection of Christmas music, done in our offbeat style, and featured a country-rock version of “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” (my first attempt at playing mandolin, which is obvious to anyone who hears it), as well as a faux-jazz guitar solo of “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. The title track was the first original song we released, and it wasn’t even half-written when we recorded the drums. The miracle of (basement) studio technology. This album was one of our best sellers, and still gets a fair amount of play during the Christmas season, which currently starts around the end of July.