Church Music

Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation

Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation

This is the premiere performance of a new composition I finished last month, entitled “Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation.” It was commissioned by the Sycamore Trio (my friends Dan Mattix, Katie Mattix, and Luke Lusk) with an excellent though underused instrumentation of violin, clarinet, and piano. The piece is in three movements, which the performers requested […]

Recommended Reading: Worship and Spiritual Abuse (again)

Recommended Reading: Worship and Spiritual Abuse (again)

Yes, they’re my two favorite subjects to write about, apparently, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I like to read about them. Here are some good things I’ve found lately on the subjects of worship and spiritual abuse, and (in one case) both together: Things that Will Make You Think: Songwriter Matt Blick (whose Beatles […]

New Creation #5: Nailed to the Cross

New Creation #5: Nailed to the Cross

Fifth in a series featuring songs from my CD New Creation. For more information, read this link. The Song Behind the Song Carrie Elizabeth Ellis Breck (1855-1934) was a natural poet. Although she claimed she had no sense of pitch, she wrote more than 2,000 devotional lyrics while holding down the full-time job of homemaker and mother to […]

Return of the Christian Album Covers!

Return of the Christian Album Covers!

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the thrift store…. They’re back!  Yes, you remember those hilariously horrible old Christian album covers I found in one of my old silly posts? Unbelievably tacky pictures from a bygone era of people who were trying to be really cool, and failing dismally, and thinking they succeeded? […]

The Things We Want to Sing About

The Things We Want to Sing About

This is my contribution to Rachel Held Evans’ Rally to Restore Unity. Read about it at the link. Augustus Toplady was, frankly, a bit of a jerk. He was an evangelical Anglican clergyman with a strong Calvinist bent. If he lived today he’d certainly be one of those Calvinists, the kind who write annoyingly combative blogs ranting […]

Pop Goes the Worship War

Pop Goes the Worship War

(Or, How to Start Your Own Worship War With 7 Simple Tools You Probably Have Around Your Home If They Haven’t Burned It Down Yet) – A response to “Pop Goes The Worship” –  Why do people quarrel and fight and split hairs and churches over something as seemingly petty as “traditional vs. contemporary music”? In […]

The Problem With "Worship"

The Problem With “Worship”

I'm hoping to start blogging more about worship and church music in the near future. Meanwhile, enjoy this from a while back. A while back on Internet Monk's website, there was a fascinating conversation on worship–you could do worse than to check it out–prefaced by this zinger: (The theological term for this, if I recall from my […]

New Creation #4: Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed?

New Creation #4: Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed?

The Song Behind the Song Isaac Watts (1647-1748) is known as the “Father of English Hymnody” for very good reason. If he wasn’t the very first to ever write a hymn in English, he was the one who showed the rest of us how it was done. A precocious youngster with an inborn knack for rhyme, […]

"Angels We Have Heard On High" now in print!

“Angels We Have Heard On High” now in print!

Is it too early to think about Christmas? Of course it isn’t. Because I just got a present that I think some of you might want to use for Christmas too: My choral arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard On High” is now in print and available from GIA Publications! Just got the package of […]