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More about Loren Erickson:
My first introduction to music was playing the trumpet in an elementary school band. How many of those do you see anymore? In Junior High I took up singing and performed in various choirs and musicals through high school and college. When I was called as ward music chairman and took on the additional responsibilities of ward choir director, I wanted to see of I could arrange music for the choir. Many of those early attempts were...well...awful. But I had a very forgiving Bishop and patient accompanists and choir and I continued to learn. I am now stake music chairman and have inflicted slightly less atrocious arrangements on otherwise unsuspecting congregations. I also currently sing with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, a multi-denominational choral movement spanning five western states in the USA. My experience in MCO has had a profound influence on how I look at music, what it means, and why it is important to understand meaning behind notes and lyrics when performing it. I hope that what I leave here is not as awful as I have suggested that it might be with this introduction, but either way, know that there is a little piece of my soul in everything you will find from me here. Please provide feedback on my work. That is the only way I will learn.
When I first paid attention to the fifth verse of this hymn, which we almost never sing, I was struck by how sad it was that the the exclamation point that this verse represents almost never is heard. "How great, how glorious, how complete, redemption grand design...". What a great message.
This arrangement is best presented with strict adherance to tempo and dynamics as marked, The women reverently ponder the immensity of the sacrifice of his blood and body and plant the seed of what would have happened ("a dying world") if Christ had not come. It's very important that this verse be sung slowly and very softly.
The men then declare Christ's victory with a slightly faster tempo and brighter sound, and the pattern continues.
Maintaining balance between the choir and instruments is going to be very critical.
There are hints of several other hymns sprinkled throughout this arrangement, sometimes not too subtlely. If you decide to use this music, please let me know what you think. You feedback is very valuable to me.