Now, don’t pity me–boring is comfortable. It does, however, make it difficult to think of things to tell about myself. So here are a few less-than-serious things that might not send you to sleep on the spot. If you’re interested, read on. If not, be thankful browsers come with “back” buttons.
I was born, as one publisher wrote on a flyleaf, “a long time ago.” He then proceeded to give the date. Which I shall not do. The great event took place in Eugene, Oregon, where people rust instead of tanning. (When I was a kid, someone published “Oregon Un-greeting” cards, meant to warn people away from the lovely state. I learned that line and many other cheery things like it from those.)
I’ve been married to the best man in the world (who just keeps getting better) since 1979. Dennis and I met at BYU, got married, had kids… and that’s when my real education started. We have four children, and now the baby is all grown up.
We currently live in Colorado Springs, where people fry instead of tanning. We average 250 sunny days a year. Drop in and bring your sunscreen. 🙂
My education also included listening to grandma practice on the accordion. All of this makes me wonder why I never learned to polka.
I love sports–as a spectator. I live in snow country and have never been snow skiing. (How do you spell chicken?) I’m still a true-blue Cougar fan. For awhile I was a jinx of the worst kind, since every time we attended a bowl game, the Cougars lost spectacularly. We broke the jinx, however, the year we drove to a bowl game in a snow storm, and ended up sleeping on the road for 5 hours while a jack-knifed tractor-trailer rig was towed off. We showed up at the game too bleary-eyed to see straight, but they won.
Hey, whatever it takes.
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I love, love, love your music! Your website is the first place I check for new (to me) music.
Here’s my dilemma: my current ward choir has no high sopranos, one occasional tenor, and an outstanding cellist who loves playing with us. Recently, I’ve adapted a couple of your pieces for this group.
May I have your permission to do this? (Please say yes – they’re already done. I’m just now getting around to asking.) And do you want copies of these adaptations to upload to your website?
From the FAQ: “If you would like to modify voice parts to fit your particular group of singers or instrumentalists (e.g., change SSA to SATB, etc., or score the music for instruments), you may do so provided you do not distribute the modified copies beyond your performers.” So you’re covered. 🙂
Sister dear, I Love You
Love you back!
I downloaded He is risen for the congregation. I’m the ward pianist in Lake Forest Park, Wa. ward.
The organist, Dave Horsley is alway looking for something to wake up the congregation(crowd)
Is it possible that you might have the organ part of this so we can use this for the Congregational singing.
We like to surprise them with the hymns being a little different, with the transition, than they are used to.
The Bishop just smiles, kind of rolls his eyeballs, but has never said anything about our arrangements of the hymns.
Bro. Guy Forbes
Lake Forest Perk, WA
My wife & I are big fans. We were visiting Colorado Springs Feb 12th and were attending your ward. We would have not known it was your ward until we heard you being sustained to your new calling.
Congrats. Wish we could’ve met and thank you for all your wonderful music. We are also musicians and have played and sang your songs.
Greg and Kathi Spears
Thank you once again for all you do to bring joy and spirituality to the world. I so appreciate your beautiful arrangements!! I do have a question, however, and this may make you laugh. I seriously thought that you had made a congregational arrangement of Oh Come All Ye Faithful and that I had used it many times!! But evidently not since I couldn’t find it in your list when I looked for it after I couldn’t find my copy in my stack of Christmas music! How did this never happen? (Not that I wish to put pressure on you!)
Nope, that’s one I haven’t done. I have used this one before: https://www.aaronwaite.com/oh-come-all-ye-faithful-congregational.html You might want to take a look at it. 🙂
I am 10 years older than you and have played the piano as an accompanist forever. I was ward organist starting at age 13 and my favorite thing to do is accompany people, especially the choir. So, I am so grateful for your music. It is wonderful to be able to use your choir music and for FREE! Wow. I always know that if the music is written by Sally DeFord that it will be beautiful, creative and a little challenging. I have accompanied choirs around the world and appreciate your sharing since most choir budgets are close to zero.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t say it enough.
Just wanted to say enjoy playing your music…..it’s a delight to have talented composers that share their gift.
I’m a member of Ledbury Community Choir, based in Ledbury, Herefordshire, UK. I will be introducing your lovely song ‘Peace is born on earth’ at our Christmas concert on 19th December 2022, I found this website whilst looking for a little information about you to use in my introduction, for your song and the information, I thank you most sincerely.
I have a question about your beauiful and lovely song Peace, peace havenly peace. You are the Composer, but who has written the lyrichs? Perhaps you too? 💜
Mvh Solvår in Norway
Guilty as charged. The lyrics are mine too. 🙂
I have been performing your music for years! I performed two of your arrangements, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, and Abide With Me, at my stake conference in England this weekend. They can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXva5-Jjmf1tDfgxxAmlWTQ/videos if you want to see them.
Thank you again for sharing your talents.
That is a great suggestion! Thank you Sally for your gift of music to the world! In Alberta, Canada we have sung many of your arrangements in choirs! This fall, To Those Who came Before me, My Grateful Spirit sings, and soon City of David! You have a special gift with words and music that heals our souls! Cannot thank you enough!
I am grateful for all you do to share your gifts and talents with so many. Your music brings me joy. Thank you for your generosity.
During our last rehearsal, I introduced some of your compositions to our singers. The reception was unanimous.
Only we are French and it would be good to be able to sing to our delight in our mother tongue. Under what conditions would this be possible?
Thanking you again for the beautiful emotions reflected in your compositions.
I am Deborah from Austria, and I discovered your site long ago. Especially before Christmas, a time which is celebrated in this country, I play your songs, and they always move so much! I love everything you are and do. I am eternally thankful that you generously share your gifts with us.
I don’t remember who said that Bach’s music is the only tangible proof of the existence of God, but I would have to add your name. I don’t believe in God, but I believe in the divine in everything in us and in what surrounds us. Your music makes me feel that everything is alright if we have trust. It gives the desire to be good and appreciate and value God’s work – or whatever you call it.
Thank you, and many greetings from the mountains.
P.S: I just read that you would like to have some of your pieces’ records. I play the piano and would be pleased to send one of them when I am ready.
Do you have any violin trio with it without piano arrangements suitable for sacrament? In our ward There are two other violinists and me. We are accomplished violinists. We are looking for something to play.
yet again I’m so grateful for all your work and talent. I finally tried out the “personal composer” to change keys for some of the songs you wrote that I love, and now they are in the perfect key for me to sing. Thank you!
During the last General Conference (April 2022) I listened to the choir sing, “If the Savior Stood Beside me”. To say it made an impact on me would be an understatement. I always look forward to the General Conference, but I sensed this one would be special long before the Conference. I thought it would be the inspired messages as it usually is, but in truth, it was your hymn that moved me to tears. I look upon my life and think I am doing okay, but I could do much better and your words inspired me to try. I have the lyrics copied to my cell phone and I refer to them several times a day. Thank you.
This is so kind! Thank you. Really thank you. 🙂
I love your piano arrangements, particularly the Christmas repertoire. Thank you! But night now I’m looking for a good arrangement of There is a Balm in Gilead. I don’t see one on your site, but maybe it’s there and I’m missing?
Please let me know if you’ve done a good version of that spiritual. Thanks so much!
Dear Sally, greetings! “Grace and peace” (2 Peter 1:2)
Your “Gethsemane” is particularly beautiful – thank you. Heather sings it so well!
I would like to ask our soloist to offer this song on Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022.
We are holding a service of worship with readings and music for Lent/Easter.
Your generosity is marvellous! And I have downloaded the score.
May I offer some recompense for this provision? Do yo have a Paypal account?
Please advise. Thank you and blessings. David (St. Paul’s Church, Castle Hill (Sydney) NSW Australia.
Thank you so much! No recompense could be better than using the song to praise the Lord. <3
Thank you for your kindness in sharing music and the spiritually significant words of things like “A Heritage of Hope and a Legacy of Love”. Best wishes always!
Sally, you are such a bright and shining light in the world of the music of the Restoration. You inspire me with your creativity and gracious gift of music to this world. Keep up this great work.
With highest regards, Don Westover
I`m not really sure – did you compose the song: Love knows no borders ?
It`s a wonderful song – when did it come into your mind? 11.09. – after years?
I found your “The First Noel” on a Facebook group. Wanting to livestream it, I located you on this website. To my delight, not only is permission granted to livestream, but there are so many of your compositions that I adore. We are blessed for your sharing of your talent. Thank you.
Ma’am Good Day!
I just want to say thank you to you, for sharing your beautiful music which is free to download.
Some of your song, I sing it already in our church. Thank you very much Ma’am.
I have to admit that I fell in love with many of the songs you composed. God is so wonderful that He gave you this very special gift. Your songs and accompaniments are soothing to the soul and the lyrics are assuring and very meaningful. I thank God for you because your music has blessed not only me but also many people in my church. God bless you as you continue to make music for the Lord.
Hi Sally, I absolutely love your arrangements! My wife and I sing your O Holy Night arrangement every Christmas service for years now because we really love it. I was surprised that I only stumbled into your page today. I am in awe how you can create fresh takes of loved songs and may God bless you as you continue to share them with everyone. I hope I can bring myself to inspire others as you do. – Marion from Melbourne
Hello Sis. Deford,
Thank you for sharing your incredible, God-given talents with the rest of us. You truly are one to let your light shine and uplift everyone you can. With that I’m mind, I wonder if you’re up for some more “lifting?”
I try every year to find a ward-choir-worthy version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Come, Come Ye Saints,” but to no avail. (I am really not a fan of the trumpet fan fair chords in the BHofR that the Tabernacle Choir uses.) Beebe has a fantastic organ accompaniment for congregation (for BHotR), but the organ is too much for most choirs, and unfortunately, it loses too much in a translation to the piano.
Lund has a CCYS, which is quite good, but I still don’t LOVE it. (Sometimes simpler is better.)
Is there any chance you could provide us with another of your amazing choir arrangements, or even just accompaniments, for these two hymns?
I figure that it’s too much to hope for anything in time for use this July, but, hopefully with your beautiful gifts, next year we could try again.
With much admiration and gratitude,
I started to know your songs. I knew some of them and we’re singing in my family worship. God is using you to spread His words through your songs. Thank God and thanks to you. More power and have a nice day! God bless🙏🏻🙏🏻
I want to THANK YOU Sally for you unselfish gift of your music to the world! I have been learning many of your beautiful solos and singing them in our church! This gift it truly priceless to me, and all whom it touches and heals!
Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do. If ever you come to Wales, you will be welcomed with red carpets and rose petals to walk on. God bless you and your family forever!
I grew up in Stockton, California. I am about 10 years older than you are. But somehow I have this memory of a Sally DeFord in our stake…But she was a grown woman, much older than me. She wrote music. So I read your article here, which despite your “dull” life is cleverly written and enjoyable! Perhaps to be have your soul inspired with such beautiful music and words, a person requires just such a quiet life. You are prolific in ways others cannot be. Thank you so much. I have just listened to the Choir at Temple Square sing “If you listen with your heart”. I knew it immediately from Primary, and love the simple truth the words teach. I decided to find out once and for all who you are and if the woman I remember from my youth is related to you in some way.
How nice you are! 🙂
That certainly wasn’t me, though I did live in the Fresno area for a year or so, and I don’t *think* we’re related, but you never know!
Thank you for making your tuneful, beautiful compositions available. I play and enjoy the piano solos, and I have used the Personal Composer demo to transpose some of the vocal solos for my husband. He is a French horn player and we often play horn and piano/organ music in church. Your solo melodies work very well on the horn. We have just finished videorecording several of your Christmas pieces for viewing in December at the retirement center where we live.
Thank you for your beautiful Solo, “Created in His Image”, which I heard this morning online at Christian Science.com. It has inspired me to print it, and sing it as a Solo at my local church, whenever they open again! LOL!
I appreciate the ability to print out your music online at no charge, and your God- given gift of music is being shared and loved each time I sing this Solo. THANK YOU!!
We used to live on Vail Circle (moved there in 1988) and I have a memory of you coming to our door, I think looking for one of your daughters.
I thought when I practiced “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” for a Primary presentation and saw your name that it must be the same person I met all those years ago.
Now I play the organ for our branch in eastern Washington. I will look for your music online for prelude or maybe a solo.
Congrats on all your accomplishments!
I have loved all the songs you have written and arranged. Of the ones I have sung/heard, I especially love “Born is the Light of the World”.
Do you ever arrange songs for newcomers (who is also an oldcomer. I’ll be 72 this year)? I have composed the melody, with chords and suggested style, for two songs, but they have no real accompaniment. They are for two scriptures—Moroni 10:4-5 (which I called God’s Promise. People have questioned the title, because they think it is Moroni’s promise, but it is actually a promise from God as well. I’m not determined to call it God’s Promise, but that is the way it came to me,) and the second is based on James 1:5-6, which I call simply “If Any of You Lack Wisdom”. I wrote these songs many years ago, and they were used in a Stake Play and other places,
I am the choirmaster at Joliet First Presbyterian Church. Your music has been a part of my solo work and choral work for many years. I am always amazed that I can go to a site providing free compositions and find music of the highest quality, equal to commercial providers like Mark Hayes, Lee Dengler, Mary McDonald, Pepper Choplin and others. Yes, free is always enticing to any conductor and performer, but it has recently filled a need due to the pandemic. Our current services are being delivered virtually minus my wonderful choir. To keep music as an important component while I have been self-quarantined, I have been working through your song list and preparing multiple selections for my pastoral staff to include in our weekly broadcast via YouTube. I have always enjoyed singing your music, but over this last 9 weeks I have added 15 new pieces to my repertoire so far. They have added greatly to our worship, especially through the thread of hope you often weave into your lyrics. So thank you for your gift to me and to my congregation. Continue what you do in Peace and with your obvious Love of our worship language, music.
Praise God for the gift of music in you!
I love your music. I learned to Polka for my first dance festival in 1969. I am the ward music chairman in my congregation. My second wife and I sang “How Great is the Miracle” in church. I am planning to do it again this year. I do not know, if my wife will do it again. My first wife, Donna, died last July. I retired that same month. Keep up the good work. It would take me about 10 minutes to teach you how to polka. I became a dance director right after Donna and I married. I would love to see you again, but more important to me would be to discuss some of the things we have been doing at church in Dayton, Nevada. We now have three choirs, including a choir for women/young women and a choir for men/young men. I am able to sing with the men/young men as well as the main choir. A member of our congregation invited me to sing with the Carson City Chamber Choir. I really enjoy it.
I am such a fan of your compositions. We are so blessed at the church I work at: We do your music regularly. Christmas Morning we are singing A CAROLE TO THE KING, along with the handbell choir: I arranged a score for them similar to the piano accompaniment. I would love to attend one of your concerts. Are you in Salt Lake City? That is on my bucket list.
Can you help finish a song that my girlfriends son started on the Piano? He took his own lufe 1 year ago and it would really help in the healing process. I would be so grateful.
I enjoyed performing your arrangement of “Oh Holy Night” as a tenor solo as a communion anthem during the Christmas season at St Michael and All Angels, in South Beddington, Surrey, at the end of 2017 and the audience enjoyed it too! I hope to give a repeat performance at the Carshalton Frost Fair this weekend.
Dear Sally, I don’t know if you’ll ever get this message. I wish I could sit and talk with you about how you changed my life! Have you ever lived in Provo Utah? I’m the Summer of 1993ish maybe? I’m trying to piece this part of my life together or rather this particular girls camp experience. It was the first time I’d ever heard of the savior stood beside me. Our Stake Camp music director brought her guitar up to Camp Mia Shalom and taught it to us. I remember that woman as being either you or another woman whose name I’m trying to track down. I’m hoping it’s you! I was 12 years old and well if I ever meet you I’ll tell you how that song and two other simple songs I learned at camp that year got me through some very dark days while I was kidnapped from my own home, and later stalked by two seperate people one of whom ended up in prison because of stalking me. Anyway- I LOVE you! Hopefully one day I can meet you!
Kathryn, that’s quite a disturbing experience you had! I’m glad those songs helped you through it. I’m not the person you remember, so your hunt continues, but I am thankful that I was of some help to you during that time. <3
I love your music because it connects with my soul. I first heard, If the Savior Stood Beside Me at a baptism in Kent Washington years ago. Later our choir director introduced us to Write Thy Name Upon My Heart. I now live in Orem Utah and have served as choir director for 4 years. Last year we sang Because He Lives. This Easter we will be singing In the Silent Garden. All I pray for is that the members of the choir will feel the spirit testify of the truths that we sing. Your music permits that to happen. Thank you.
Sally, I am an old friend from Fort Collins. I have talked with you many years ago once or twice on the phone. I think my website is still listed on yours as a reference. www.lisapowellmusic.com
I am back to writing arrangements and am currently arranging a new tune version of “Master the Tempest is Raging”. I would love to talk with you about how you come up with accompaniments, etc. If that would work any time, please text me at xxxxxxxxx. Otherwise I have a big binder where I have studied your music as inspiration for many pieces. Ironically the one I always come back to is “I Need Thee Every Hour”. I love the minor section and the change of accompaniment. I talked with a well known composer in Utah, went to his house, and the thing that he told me was to always be changing it up on a composition, to keep the listener interested in the piece. I try and do that and try to change keys, etc. Anyway, keep up the great work. I have also communicated with Nathan Howe who is also writing excellent pieces as well here in the “land of inspiration”, Colorado!
I would love it if you could do an arrangement of “It Is Well With My Soul”. It is such a beautiful song but needs a little…something. You are just the person to do it. 🙂
What a wonderful gift that you have been blessed with and openly share with others! Your music and lyrics resonate and awaken familiar memories. Thanks for sharing your inspired gift and brings happiness and warm familiar memories to others. “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” was the special number in our Sacrament meeting today. It was a fitting expression of love for the Savior by the performing artist and by you for having composed it.
Sally, I do believe that your choral arrangement of “O Holy Night” is the best I’ve ever used over the course of 40 plus years. Thank you!
I love your piano duet for “My Heavenly Father Loves Me”. I played in 2 other wards I have been in going back to 2008. I never had a problem with getting someone to play with me until I moved back to AZ. I would love to play it again in my new ward, however, having trouble getting someone to play with me, maybe I’m that “big of a nerd”. I love your songs. Thank you.
I am looking for the Church’s requirements for submitting a hymn. Do you have the actual harmony and musical requirements for the hymn tune? Not looking for the text requirements.
Please answer as soon as possible. I have looked in lds.org but only see HOW to SUBMIT a hymn–not the actual requirements other than must be hymn-like.
Thank you for this amazing music! I am so glad and blessed to find this website. It’s a great help for me. God bless you more. 🙂
Hi Sally! Greetings from Zambia. I am a big fan of your music and my favourite is, “If I listen with my heart”. Am kindly requesting for the exact music of the song in your recording. Thank you
I cannot say enough about how amazing and wonderful you are– to do what you do with your music is so amazing. Thank you for you talent and for your kindness — I again am so amazed that you so willingly and generous share your gifts to the world— I am so grateful for my sister, whose children sing your beautiful songs, to teach me about Sally DeFord.
This Sunday in Sacrament meeting, my niece sang your ‘I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day’ –not a dry eye in the audience
I am writing a history of Christmas music for my church’s Christmas Eve service. Do you have a story behind “Jesus, Lord at Thy Birth?”
The title and first line were inspired by the final line of “Silent Night.” Other than that, there’s not really much back story for this one, other than Christmas itself of course!
I love your music! I Just graduated in piano performance and am a composer and arranger as well. I love to teach as well and am starting my own studio. Looking forward to following your blog!
Sister Deford, your music holds a special place in my heart and I am so appreciative for your generosity in making it so available to all of us. For some years I have accompanied ward choirs, primary and now play for our small branch in the most northern village in Alaska, right on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. It is not an easy thing to get to a good music store and as Christmas is quickly approaching I want to start playing Christmas songs for prelude. This website is an answer to my silent prayers.
Thank you, Patty! As I read this, I tried to imagine the difficulty of getting to a good music store from the northern-most small town in Alaska… I’m sure my imagination didn’t do it justice. 🙂
Thank you Sister Deford for pondering over and writing beautiful music and inspired words.
Your words and thoughts help us to endure well in this life.
Thank you so much again,
Hermie and Tim Griffiths