Performing at the Mother Church in Boston

» Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in Music Performances, Music Reflections, Sheet Music | 0 comments

Performing at the Mother Church in Boston

It’s hard to believe that Tessa and I just performed for a service at The Mother Church on Sunday!

Just last week I was sitting here at my desk in DC, dreaming up an organ part for a piece I wrote earlier this year: Come To This Fountain. This solo had already been approved for the service, but I was following an inkling that adding organ to the existing piano/vocal arrangement would be pretty powerful.

But would it sound good? Could it blend smoothly with my piano accompaniment? Would it support or distract from the solo’s text (Mary Baker Eddy’s Communion Hymn)?

Now, a week later, I’m listening to one of the practice recordings that we ran before the service. The Mother Church organist Bryan Ashley was wonderfully open to the idea, even though he’d never mixed piano and organ there before. I wrote out the new arrangement and sent it to him a few days in advance, Tessa and I flew to Boston, and we tried it out at rehearsal the night before.

After a couple of times through, Bryan found a good combination of registers that sounded AMAZING. As I listened back to the recording, goosebumps rose on my arms with the organ’s entrance at the 4th verse, and again a few measures later when the organ highlighted a key change. Goosebumps are a good sign. It was going to work! Smooth blend with piano, strong support of MBE’s text, and a great sound under Tessa’s strong and clear vocals.

We got the thumbs-up from everyone else, and suddenly the organ plan was official. After performing it at the service Sunday morning we received many compliments about the organ highlights and the song as a whole … so it seems to have gone splendidly 🙂

Below is a recording of a rehearsal take. (Note: it might be hard to hear the organ on computer speakers – try headphones or speakers with good bass!)

Come To This Fountain (“Communion Hymn”)
Words by Mary Baker Eddy
Composed by Jay Frost

Vocals: Tessa Frost
Piano: Jay Frost
Organ: Bryan Ashley