New Music: “Be Still, My Soul” Redux
Way back in pre-historic times when the internet was still a fairly civil place (wait, was that ever a thing?), and knights and dragons still roamed the earth, an arrangement of “Be Still, My Soul” appeared on this site. It was arranged for solo only, with flute.
I intended to take a shot at it for SATB choir… sometime… eventually. Which has finally happened.
It came about because Rebecca Lord and I were working on this new solo recording with viola. (For the many of you who have asked when we’d hear more from her, well, here you are!)
Isn’t she amazing? The vocals are hers; the viola is hers as well.
Viola. Ah, there’s where the dominoes started to fall. For some reason, there just aren’t that many violists out there so a version for violin (which also works for flute) was in order. Which required more re-writing.
And then… silly me… I plunged into an attempt at the SATB. **sigh** Why do I do this to myself?
Jean Sibelius composed “Finlandia” for orchestra. Then someone used it in a hymn. Then I improvised that hymn for solo baritone voice. Then I found that a few passages clashed with a soprano voice, so I re-arranged it again. So when it was time to try the SATB, I ended up arranging an arrangement of an arrangement of an arrangement of an arrangement.
I *think* it came out okay. It’s very simple–just men unison, women unison, then SATB (with one short soprano split that’s really optional) to the end.
There are a few other things in the works–even if it may appear that nothing much is happening around here. There’s a new Christmas carol, a new grandbaby song!!!, and a few odds and ends. As usual, I’m slow. We’ll see which one shows up next.
We continue to battle the cancer monster at our house. Many of you have sent up prayers on our behalf. I appreciate that so very much! It’s no fun, but the gospel of Jesus Christ makes things okay–even when they’re not. <3
Links to material in this post
Be Still, My Soul (now for solo with viola or violin, and for SATB choir with violin)
I can’t thank you enough for the incredible talent that you possess, and your desire to share that talent free of charge!?! You have truly used your God-given talent for the betterment of all those around you!!! I love using your arrangements — they are all so well-done!!! And I’ve used them for over 30 years!! God bless you for using your Celestial approach to this world!!! God bless you always!!!
With Love from a fellow musician,
in Pocatello, Idaho
Many thanks & God bless!
I’m praying for your family, Sally. Blessings requested in your behalf. Thank you for using and sharing you gifts with the world.
My wife and I are both violists, and we appreciate this new arrangement. Now we have to decide which of us plays the viola and which leads the ward choir.
Her sister plays the cello, and we are going to do Guard Him, Joseph, in the duet version with the cello and piano.
Her voice AND her viola performance are flawless! So beautiful
One of my most favorite songs. I have the sheet music posted on my wall. It was a gift to me from my children.
This song brings me comfort and renews a great feeling of emotion within me. It has served as my salvation in some very difficult times.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful rendition and for all the other music you share with us.
May the Lord keep and bless you always.
I just found your site. Thank you so much for the work you do. I direct a choir in a retirement community. Finding arrangements of hymns they know and that are within our budget has been difficult. I will be returning here often.
Oh, this is so beautiful. I have been visiting you website quite a few times and the music has a special place in my heart. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. We have sung a few of you songs in church and at home. This travels very far, since I am an Afrikaans music loving mother living in South Africa. You inspire me!! May the Lord bless you and your family, and lift you up when spirits are low.
I didn’t know you had cancer (or maybe a family member?), but please know you are in our prayers. My 16 year old son is a recent cancer survivor and it has opened my eyes to the extreme pain and trauma this can bring to an individual and their loved ones!! We are doing two of your arrangements in Stake Conference in two weeks, and I just want to thank you for the wonderful gift of music you have given. It saves my sanity, as a stake and ward musician, to be able to run to your site anytime and print off something beautiful and appropriate for so many different occasions! Have a wonderful Autumn ahead and enjoy this beautiful time of year!
My heart was deeply touched by this angelic recording. Such a truly sweet and remarkably pure voice that instantly penetrated and uplifted my soul. Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully inspiring rendition of one of the loveliest songs ever composed.
Martha H. Bullock
Such a beautiful arrangement of one of our songs of old. It speaks to our hearts. Will keep your family in my prayers over the cancer. I too am under its grip and I continue to serve God in singing his praises.
I absolutely love your hymns sung on utube. They are so uplifting. Everywhere I drive to , I’m listening. Thank you 🙏.
Love your music so much! Many many thanks!!
Wow! Amazing! So inspiring! Thank you for sharing this with all. Blessings to you and your family!
This “Be Still My Soul” came to my inbox this morning. I had been weeping over the news last night that my 33-year-old granddaughter has a brain tumor that will likely take her life. I forwarded the solo version to my family, and we will be singing the SATB version together. This is no accident! Thank you.
When our Heavenly Father causes a coincidence, can it really be called a coincidence? The poet’s beautiful words are so comforting in this song. She was certainly inspired to pen them for each one of us at some point in our lives.
I’m so sorry for this trial in your family. I hope you and your granddaughter find strength in God through all the beautiful ways He will speak peace to you. <3 <3 <3
Sally, this is truly a musical and spiritual gem! I have long been one of your greatest fans and I have used many of your compositions and arrangements over the years – in my past occupation as a choral director and vocal instructor at a high school in Northern Utah as well as in a community choir which I now direct. I myself have been a composer and arranger with music posted on sacredsheetmusic.org and it’s people like you whose artistry and understanding of the human voice make a huge impact upon me and upon many others I know! Thank you for your continuing service to thousands of us and the sharing of your musical gifts!
Lovely. Since I play the flute, I will be snapping up those that work with that. Thanks for sharing your talents; it is most appreciated!
A stunning piece, that I had the privilege to record a few years ago.
Thank you for your sharing of your wonderful talent! I love your music and have used your arrangements for years as a stake and ward choir director and for piano solos and Christmas vocals with grandchildren. Thanks for sharing! So sad to hear of cancer in your family.
Love your musical arrangements and have used several of them over the years.
Speaking of arrangement after arrangement after ….. and so on. A few years back I put together an instrumental group to play at Stake Conference. I took 2 of your arrangements of Beautiful Savior (SSA and SATB) and put them together for instrumental, including piano, organ, cello, flute, and 3 violins and divided out the parts for the instruments and other adjustments. It was a most beautiful number. About half the audience was in tears by the end of the song, it carried that much power and spirit with it. I’m in a new stake now and have been considering putting it together again, as soon as I learn who can play which instruments.
Yay for a viola part!!! Thank you!! The arrangement is beautiful! 🙂
My prayers are with you and your family for healing and peace.
I can’t wait to present this music to our ward choir to learn and perform. It’s beautiful. Thank you for the years of wonderful music. I directed 3 men’s choirs in the Central Utah State Corrections (prison) in Gunnison for 2 years and your music blessed many lives there.
So rich and beautiful.
Your time, your energy, – so greatly appreciated. Truly.
Continued prayers for your home and household. 💕 🙏
So excited for upcoming ‘new’ items. You are a blessing to me. An example to continue moving forward. Growing, developing, even if things are just, – ‘ok’. He does make life so worth it.
Thank you Sally.
I have been so grateful for your generous sharing of your talents with everyone for years–and for FREE! I have printed out many of your beautiful creations and blessed you every time I have played them.
I hadn’t known of your cancer challenge so I don’t know whether you or a family member is the patient, however, I do know that cancer causes the whole family to suffer. My prayers are with you.
Love the beautiful things you do with music, and your over- the-top generosity in sharing.❤️👍💕
The song and accompaniment are beautiful.
Thank you Sally for the beautiful music. God Bless
There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t listen to or study a Sally DeFord piece of music. You’re an inspiration to many thousands, many of whom are listening but do not know that’s it’s your music they’re hearing. I live in Grand Junction and feel pride knowing that we’re in the same state.
Thrilled to know you’re still alive! Thanks a ton!
Oh, Sally….prayers to whoever is suffering from cancer!
You don’t happen to have an SSA version of Be Still…do you?
Gorgeous! One of the prettiest versions of this hymn… well done Sally, and THANK YOU for sharing with us all!