New Music: He Is Risen (Congregation)
At a General Conference of our Church in 2015, I was struck by this undeniably wise message:
“When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”
Robert D. Hales
Those “can’t do what we’ve always done” moments will hit at various times in life for each of us. For me, one of those times is now.
In the past couple of months, my heart has just been too busy to write. Normally I hear lyrics every day–in the simplest sentences spoken by children, in the voices of learned scholars, in testimonies borne over the pulpit, in casual conversation… you name it. Right now, that’s just not the case.
So I’m doing what matters most. Or, at least, I’m celebrating what matters most–the promise of life found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The new music this time is a congregational accompaniment for the Easter hymn “He Is Risen.”
(Yes, I do have a choral arrangement of that hymn and some of you have used it to accompany a congregation, but it really wasn’t meant for that purpose and requires some fussing to make it work.)
Until I’m able to find words to write again, there may well be more congregational accompaniments and instrumentals forthcoming. It’s just the way things are. Thank you to all those who have prayed for our family. It helps. It really does. And thanks for being patient with me.
Also, here’s a big shoutout to Rebecca Lord for sending me this gorgeous rendition she directed of “Beautiful Savior” (SSA version) with the BYU-Idaho Women’s Choir.
(Dr. Rebecca Lord conducting, Allison Vest on piano, Edward Poston on organ, and Clarissa Tracy on flute).
A lovely reminder that He’s what matters most.
Links to material in this post
He Is Risen (Congregational Accompaniment)
Beautiful Savior (SSA)
Yay! Yay! Yay! Thank you for another congregational. Just what I want and need. You’re the best!! Please know we love you. You have already given us enough soul-stirring music to last us a lifetime. You are my hero in so many ways. Prayers for you, our beloved Sally Deford.
Thank you for your service of following the Spirit as you translate those thoughts into musical notes and text to be shared!
We sang the two part choir “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.” The choir was able to harmonize beautifully and feel as well as share the Spirit as we sang.
I appreciate how you share your talents so freely. I absolutely love involving the congregation in making beautiful music with special accompaniments.
Sally, I have learned that sometimes our journey in life takes us in different directions and we don’t always know why. I do know this, years from now, you will look back on this part of your journey and see a growth and understanding that you didn’t think possible. My journey in life has seemed to always prepare me for the challenges that came. I was bullied as a child, which helped me to have more compashion as a special educaiton teacher, which helped me years later taking care of my husband who lived with early onset alzehimers for several years (he passed away two years ago). Now I am on as mission in Hawaii serving the Lord. I actually teach ukulele lessons at the Polynesian Cultural Center to hundreds of people from literally all over the world. I pray every day for the Lord to give me opportunities to bear my testimony. When I tell people about my husband’s passing, the door is open for me to talk about the Savior. I would never wish my trials on anyone, but I am thankful for the ones I have had, all of them have helped me to grow and learn and become close to the Savior. Keep on writing your beautiful music Sally, you have uplifted and inspired so many of us. May the Lord Bless you, Sister Robinson
Let me add my voice to the chorus singing your praises. Maybe it’s time to take a rest. Maybe it’s a time to pivot. Either way, lots of good vibes are headed your way.
Whenever we work on one of your arrangements, I tell my choir what a wonderful gift you have given to us and all the world. I do not know of any other composer or arranger that is so talented and puts out such quality music for free so that all can enjoy your gift.
Thank you so very much for sharing your time and your talents. I pray the Lord will help you feel how much you have blessed my life as well as so many others.
Ditto to that comment. Sally Deford makes my heart sing. I love her compositions and arrangements. I’m so grateful for her generosity and thankful for her great talent.
All I can say is that I want more of her.
Those of us in your music community are so sorry to learn of your passing through some deep waters at this time. Our prayers are with you now, as our gratitude has always been. It would be difficult to calculate just how much your music has enriched the worship gatherings of the Church, not to mention your sweet generosity in sharing your amazing talents with us. We love you!
P.S. My current ward bishopric is quite firm in its preference for LDS hymnal music (or arrangements) for choir, postlude, and prelude music. So your congregational accompaniments are particularly welcome and do fill an ongoing need in my ward..
My prayers go to you and your family. You are a beautiful, giving person.
I am so very grateful for all the BEAUTIFUL music and support you provided for us through the years. You listened to His voice and you are in His hands.
I am singing THE MASTER’S VOICE on Sunday. Thank you.
Thank you Sally for your beautiful music.
Our choir loves singing your arrangements.
May God continue to bless you with all you stand in need of.
You will be in my prayers, Sally. I have loved your music for so many years. I hope that the things of the heart will work out for you the way that the Lord intends and the way that will strengthen you that you wouldn’t have imagined. Have you ever loved someone that you didn’t know personally, like President Nelson? I have loved you and your spirit just by your talent and the way you so generously share it with the world. Thank you does not seem adequate to let you know how grateful I am for you.
Love, Darla John
Simply lovely. Thank you
It is a delight to play the music you compose….God has certainly given you a wonderful
Sally. Thank you for all you do for the music world. I love playing your music. We use your pieces that go along with the hymn book and love them and so does our congregation. Thank you. May the Lord bless your heart with soothing memories. Death is hard on the living
Oh Sally, Thank you for all the pleasure and comfort you have given me over the years with the beautiful music you have created. Our prayers are with you and your family at this time when you need to stop, rest, and renew your strength. You have blessed countless people with your testimony-building musical messages. Know that you are loved, not only by the Lord, but by those of us whose testimonies have grown through singing, playing, and listening to your music.
I’m sorry that you are having difficulties right now but I had to write and let you know that for me right now your congregation accompaniments are a wonderful addition. We have been called to serve in a tiny branch. I have a good pianist but not enough members for a choir. We love our branch but I have missed being able to do something special music wise for holidays. Your post came as an answer to my pondering and prayers.
Thank you for sharing your talent.
Generations, our barbershop quartet here in Grand Junction, has been singing several of your songs over the years. We love the Christmas song entitled “Born Is The Light of The World”. If you’d like to hear us sing it for you,
I’m at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Junction Stake