Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Let All My Life Be Music (An Offer)

The above is the title of a song of yesteryear. Not the (An Offer) part, just the words before that. I loved the song. At one time I thought about having it sung someday at my funeral. I thought it would always apply to me, and define who I was.

A funny thing for a writer to claim, right? Maybe not. Many creative talents go hand-in-hand in creative persons. Music, art, photography, writing, serious crafting, pottery-making . . . Writers of my acquaintance also make use of those talents in their lives, as a business or for pleasure.

Yeah, yeah, Marsha, but what does that have to do with you?

Quite a lot, actually. I started life in a musical family, and music performance has played a big role throughout my growing years and into my adult years. I've served in my church as a musician since I was 14 years old. Pretty much continuously. I studied theory, composition, and appreciation, both in high school and college. I played viola in high school and college, as well as majoring in vocal performance. I've sung in college, church, and semi-professional groups, and soloed with the Tempe Symphony Orchestra, as well as at thousands of church, school, and local events. I've sung opera, Broadway musical pieces (off Broadway--wa-a-ay off Broadway), art songs, sacred music, and a whole range of others. In fact, I was on the operatic track until Life Happened. Yeah, music has been there for a long time.

Get to the point, Marsha.

I've dabbled a bit in music composition and arranging. Lately that endeavor has sprung up and smacked me in the face, to the extent that for the last two nights, I've been awake until 6 a.m. working on pieces. I've done four this year. One has been performed already. A couple of them are still works in progress. Last night's effort came to me as I was ready to go to bed, and it flowed so cleanly that I've only been making slight changes as I've checked the work on my keyboard. Now I know how Mozart felt. Not that I'm in his pay grade, but the feeling must be the same for the amateur as for the icon.

The current work is an original musical setting of Folliott S. Pierpoint's lyrics known as FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH, written for three-part mixed voices, that is SAB. I wrote it specifically for my church choir, which is very small, and often (make that almost always) lacks tenors. There is no LDS (Mormon) doctrine embedded in the work; it is suitable for church, civic, or school groups, depending on your community.

For a a limited time this summer, I am going to make the piece available for free to several choir directors via portable document format (.pdf) or Finale .mus file, with certain conditions.
  • You let me know what type (church, civic, school, etc.) and how large a choir you direct;
  • You make sufficient copies of the music for your choir and accompanist, and no one else;
  • The piece is not to be shared in any way with others, except through your performance of the work (no giving the sheet music, files, or audio to your Aunt Betty for her choir's use);
  • You perform the piece within one year;
  • You give me feedback on several points that will be explained to you who participate.
I may be reached through the regular channels if you know me, or at, or by U.S. postal service at Marsha Ward, P O Box 53, Payson AZ 85547.

I will let you all know here when I have received requests from sufficient choir directors, so you won't have to get in touch with me in vain about participating.

Thank you.


  1. Oh how I understand the 'pull' of the creation of music. There is just something that connects to the soul. Best in this endeavor.


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