Monday, July 19, 2010

Power-Packed Duo!

This short clip made my day. These sisters have got guts, talent, and a very powerful message: "You can achieve your dreams. You can do anything you set your mind to." Watch them do it! Talk about motivation.

Here's the direct link to youTube so you can view the entire screen (sorry, haven't figured out how to reduce the size for my blog yet!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Behind the Scenes: "The Lord Is My Shepherd" and "The King of Love My Shepherd Is"

I can remember listening to an old LP as a little girl – it was an album of hymn arrangements for full orchestra and there was a lush waterfall scene on the big, square cover. We’d listen to it on Sundays, and on other days too, and it gave me such a safe, peaceful feeling inside every time I heard it. One of the songs I connect with this memory is a familiar setting of “The Lord Is My Shepherd,” or Psalm 23.

Naturally that has been one of my favorite hymns growing up, and I attribute this to the feelings I had listening to that record. Over time the lyrics have come to take on a deeper meaning of Christ’s love and grace for me, and is a powerful combination of message and melody.

Several years ago a good friend - and fine pianist - introduced me to the two musical settings included on my CD (tracks 2 and 3), originally written for solo soprano voice. The melodies sat quite nicely on the violin and even though the musical mood of one is in contrast to the other, I identified with the feelings that each piece expresses. One is a deep yearning and spiritual pensiveness; the other is full of joyous gratitude and spiritual fulfillment. I felt the two needed to be paired together, because in my life there have been plenty of moments of both.

We were asked to perform for a prayer meeting that was held before an LDS General Conference in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square – an amazing, historic experience to be part of!

These are the two selections that we performed and they set a beautiful spirit for the rest of the meeting. I remember having such a sense of both reverence and awe for the moment. This was an experience I never dreamed of having, and don’t think it will ever happen again, but my memory of it will always be tied to that special feeling I had as a little girl when I heard “The Lord Is My Shepherd”.

Another favorite memory is with Mack Wilberg's "The Lord Is My Shepherd". I was fortunate enough to be in two of BYU's PBS productions, "A Thanksgiving of American Folk Hymns" and "Songs of Praise and Remembrance". If you ever get a chance to see either of these programs, do it! We put our hearts into them and when you watch and listen, you can't help but feel it. "The Lord Is My Shepherd" (on "Songs of Praise and Remembrance") was an especially tender song for me at the time we recorded it, and I didn't know it while we were performing, but for a good portion of the first verse the camera zoomed right in on me! So I'm grateful to have that recording for a lot of reasons.

Most of all when you hear these two pieces on my CD, I hope you'll get the same kind of feeling I did as a little girl listening to that record. Because my conviction in the message of these songs is what I put into it. It's a piece of my heart.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Seven Fantastic Fathers

I started this post back on Father's Day, but other projects (coming soon!) have kept me from finishing it until now. So better late than never, to honor the special men in my life:

The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering-galleries, they are clearly heard at the end and by posterity. ~Jean Paul Richter

On Father's Day, when I thought of my own dad, I could not help but think about his dad, and his dad's father, too. I couldn't help but think about my mom's dad, and her mom's dad. And of course I've thought about my children's experience with their dad and what this day and relationship means to them. To honor these wonderful men in my life I'd like to share a special memory with each.

Great Grandpa

I remember pulling weeds with Great Grandpa in his garden when I was 23, and marvelling that at his age, he would still even want to do that!


Three years ago I had the unique opportunity to visit with my Grandpa, just the two of us. We stayed up until four in the morning talking and looking at pictures and laughing and crying. That was the best night's sleep I never got.

Great Grandad

When I was 12 my Great Grandad and I started writing letters to each other, and we mailed letters to each other for the next seven years, until he passed away. He is the one who got the tradition of violin playing started in our family.


I loved Grandad's hugs! He always gave me such a warm, firm squeeze that I knew he was thrilled to see me again. I always knew I was important to him.


During the summers of my high school years, I worked as a Nurses Aide at my dad's care facility for the elderly. I loved that I could escape the smoky break room scene and go up to his office to have lunch together. (And laugh about all the great one-liners we'd heard from the residents so far that day...)

My Father-in-Law

When I told my soon to be Father-in-Law that I had purposely chosen a late morning time for our wedding because I don't like to get up early, he smiled and said something to the effect of "I'm not a morning person either - we're going to get along just fine!"

My Husband

The fact that he lets the boys pull stunts like this says enough! He rocks.

Those "whispering-galleries"? Loud and clear, more real and powerful than those at the beginning of the line could ever guess.