Behind the Music

Sheet MusicThe following post was contributed by Clark Williamson, Director of Music Ministries:

The John Wesley Bell Choir will wrap up their ringing season this Sunday with a musical offering of a song made popular in 2002 by Josh Groban, “You Raise Me Up”.  Arranger Sandra Eithun orchestrates the usual handbells with hand chimes but this time adds two percussion instruments to the mix:  wind chimes and suspended cymbal.  The bell choir finale is also inter-generational.  The ensemble has been blessed with the participation of Liz Collins, Rae Schwarting, and Austin Mather ringing with the adults.

During the interludes between major sections of the prelude, if you listen closely, you’ll detect short phrases from the sacred hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.  The original music for “You Raise Me Up” was composed by Rolf Lovland, from Norway.  He teamed up with Irishman Brendan Graham for the lyrics.  There are places in the words of both songs where God is at work to create signs of hope and encouragement when everyday life puts hurdles in the path of our faith journey.

“You raise me up so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when I am on your shoulders.
You raise me up to more than I can be.”  …

“…Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided,
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”