Christmas Gloria Final Scores Ready

Final scores are now available for the Christmas Gloria for performance Christmas Eve. Players and singers will receive new scores on Christmas Eve. Would advise that instrumentalists and soloists transfer former rehearsal notes into these new scores. You can print them ahead of time if that’s easier for you.


Very few note changes. Most changes were adding phrasing marks.

Here’s an overview of changes:

  • Articulations and phrasing marks added
  • Baroque ornamentations added to Flute and Oboe (trills and mordents)
  • SATB Chorus rephrasing of “Glorificamus Te” section.
  • Note values changed in final section – stronger delineation between orchestra and chorus
  • Trio section – phrasing marks added – added lyrics “bonae voluntatis” to end
  • Tuba part re-scored to anchor on lowest A range.
  • Oboe/Flute parts swapped in first section
  • Timpani part combined to include Timpani, Concert Bass Drum, Triangle and Sleigh Bells

Gloria Challenge Part IV – Press Release

Press release by Vicky McCarty:

Imagine what it must have been like to be there the night Silent Night was heard the first time. Or any of the lasting works of composers who excitedly sat and composed to have special music ready for Christmas. Hearing a major work for the first time – being present at the debut is something that not everyone has an opportunity to experience. But those attending the candlelight service at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church on Christmas Eve will have such an experience.

Conrad Askland has been working in the mode of the old masters, and an assemblage of musicians and singers will perform for the first time his work, Gloria in D. This is an undertaking similar to that of years past. It will be a meaningful Christmas experience, and a wonderful Christmas gift to the community.

Askland has been music director at MVPC for the last year and has directed the music for several theatrical productions in Skagit county. The Christmas eve performance will be his last before he leaves to be Assistant Bandleader and Keyboardist for Cirque du Soleil in Macau, China.

Gloria In Excelsis Deo – Latin and English

Latin text

Gloria in excélsis Deo
Et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis.
Laudámus te.
Benedícimus te.
Adorámus te.
Glorificámus te.
Grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam glóriam tuam,
Dómine Deus, Rex cæléstis, Deus Pater omnípotens.
Dómine Fili unigénite, Jesu Christe.
Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fílius Patris.
Qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis.
Qui tollis peccáta mundi, súscipe deprecatiónem nostram.
Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserére nobis.
Quóniam tu solus Sanctus.
Tu solus Dóminus,
Tu solus Altíssimus, Jesu Christe,
Cum Sancto Spíritu in glória Dei Patris. Amen.

Literal English Translation

Glory in the heights to God
And on earth peace to men of good will.
We praise You.
We bless You.
We adore You.
We glorify You.
We give You thanks for Your great Glory.
Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty.
Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.
You who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
You who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
You who sit at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For You alone [are] the Holy One.
You alone [are] the Lord.
You alone [are the] Most High, Jesus Christ.
With the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Gloria Challenge – Part III

*Updated 12/23/07 – These scores are now final versions. Please transfer rehearsal markings to these new scores. We will have copies of new scores for you on Christmas Eve. 5pm call time for rehearsal with chorus and chamber orchestra.*

Musicians – your scores are available in .pdf format here:

Christmas Gloria Instrument Scores

MP3 Gloria practice tracks for musicians and vocalists:

Premiere performance will be at the 7pm Christmas Eve service at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church – 15th and Broadway in Mount Vernon, WA.

Gloria Challenge – Part II

Ah…the Gloria Challenge Part II. I thought I’d write a little background on why I think it’s so cool, and some of the earthly details on creating inspiration.

The “Gloria Challenge” is to write a complete Gloria for chorus, chamber orchestra and organ in one week. And then perform it Christmas Eve.

Original post of the Gloria Challenge click here

I’m a JS Bach nut. Most people that know me get that well enough. If I could listen to just JS Bach the rest of my life I’d be a happy man. I was raised Lutheran, so there’s that whole part of it too. JS Bach was Lutheran, and the king of counterpoint, and the king of Baroque music. He had several sons who were also composers – they called him the “old Bach” and thought his music to be old fashioned. Bach had lots of personality problems with his church employers – and from most accounts they didn’t really realize what they had. Part of Bach’s duties was to rehearse the choirs and write weekly Cantatas for the services. I think he has three existing yearly cycles – that’s three years of different chorales and cantatas for each week of the church calendar.

One of Bach’s sons was given all of the old JS Bach manuscripts when his father died. The son ran into money problems himself at the end of his life and sold many of them. I think I even heard a story that some of Bach’s songs were used to wrap cheese. His music was largely forgotten until Mendellsohn revived and re-discovered JS Bach’s music. Ever since then Bach’s music has been revered as some of the best in Western civilization. Bach lived 1685-1750, his death closed the era of what we call the Baroque Period. Mendellsohn revived the music around 1820. That’s all off the top of my head, feel free to correct me on dates.

Bach was very devout to his faith. On all his manuscripts he would write “S.D.G.” for “Soli Deo Gloria” – or “Only for the Glory to God”. It was a reminder of what his music work was all about. He even had manuscript paper created for him that had the S.D.G. watermark.

So that’s some background. The part that has always fascinated me is how he often wrote a full work in just a week and then had it performed at the church service. I always wanted to do that….I’m sure I’m not the first musician to have a little Bach fantasy like that.

While I’m waiting for my next Cirque Du Soleil gig to start I’ve finished all my theater shows and concerts. The only thing left is to finish my post as music director of a church through Christmas Eve. I get stir crazy pretty quick – so last week late at night I emailed a couple musicians to see if they’d like to play for Christmas Eve. I got a couple responses that people were busy – which was great, because the next morning I realized how much extra work that would be. But one musician emailed back Tuesday night and said they had cancelled their gig with the Philharmonic to play for the service.

Yikes! Now I was stuck – I had messed with a musician’s income. I decided Tuesday night to go ahead and try to write a Gloria in week. I set my scoring computer up and started Wednesday at 3pm. My deadline is the following Wednesday at 6pm – to have the piece complete for chorus, organ and chamber orchestra. As crazy as the challenge is – several musicians from my pit orchestras have volunteered to play the piece and we have emails flying all over the place to beef up our chorus.

I worked on the piece all day Thurs-Fri-Sat – Right now the score is 14 minutes long at about 50 pages. I’m going to have to cut it down quite a bit but I’m very pleased with the progress. It’s in neo-classical style. Since the piece is also a tribute to the work of Bach – it begins with the chorus singing “Soli Deo Gloria”.

Here is the original GLORIA latin text:

Gloria in excelsis Deo,
et in terra pax hominibus
bonae voluntatis.

Laudamus te.
Benedicimus te.
Adoramus te.
Glorificamus te.

Gratias agimus tibi
propter magnam gloriam tuam.

Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,
Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine Fili unigenite
Jesu Christe.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei,
Filius Patris.

I have used this portion of the text in this order, with addition of SDG:

Soli Deo Gloria – Only for the Glory of God

Domine Deus, Rex coelestis, – Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty
Deus Pater omnipotens. – Lord the only
Domine Fili unigenite – begotten Son
Jesu Christe. – Jesus Christ
Domine Deus, – Lord God
Agnus Dei, – Lamb of God
Filius Patris. – Son of the Father

Gloria in excelsis Deo, – Glory in the heights to God
et in terra pax hominibus – And on earth peace to men
bonae voluntatis. – of good will.

The whole first paragraph takes up only about 45 seconds, where Gloria in excelsis Deo is the bulk of the piece, with a duet around “et in terra pax hominibus” and chorus responds with “bonae voluntatis”.

The beginning paragraph is set for a dark Medieval sound, which to me signifies part of the mystery of Christmas. The waiting and apprehension of not quite knowing what is coming. Sure, we know now – we’ve got the book. But what did it feel like back then for people that knew it was coming, but weren’t at the pretty manger scene. Was it a little scary and unsure?

After the intro the Gloria breaks into a traditional neo-Baroque sound that is a mix of Handel and Bach. Brass fourths and french horn hunting calls with timpani and woodwinds in Baroque motor rhythms. The “et in terra pax” is a duet with a slightly modern sound, but still something Bach could have done. This is a respite from the banging of the timpani and honking of the brass. Then the chorus resumes with the main uptempo theme, does a circle of fifths walkdown and build up into a pipe organ cadenza, then finishes with royal fanfare.

Now the sleigh bells…..yes, I put a section in for sleigh bells. I realize it has nothing to do with the biblical Christmas story, and that Santa Claus nor his reindeer appear in either Matthew, Mark, Luke OR John. But it makes me laugh everytime I think about it, and the Gloria is ALL about joy. So they stay in.

So there it is. Scores will be available in a few days and I’ll post scores and recording after Christmas so you can check it out.

My mother asked me how the piece was coming along and I said sadly, “It doesn’t sound as good as Bach” to which she replied: “Hmpfff….that’s only YOUR opinion.”

Bach wouldn’t be impressed. No one can be Bach. But I think he’d be flattered that 300 years later we’re still in awe of his passion and music.

The congregation will decide Christmas Eve if we hit the mark or not……..

The Gloria Challenge

It’s just to much fun not to take the challenge. One week to write a Gloria for SATB, Chamber Orchestra and Organ. I’m starting on it today. If you’re a local musician and would like to be scored into the piece for our 7pm Christmas Eve service in Mount Vernon, WA please email me.

Vocalists interested in joining us on the piece for Christmas Eve please join us for practice Wednesday December 19 from 6-9pm at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church – 15th and Broadway across from Skagit Hospital.

Will I pull it off? Is it too much and I’ll fall on my face? Will it sound good and inspire men’s hearts or be some superficial diddy suitable only for a child’s toy? Will it be the greatest music ever heard? Stay tuned….

Lyrics – How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

words & music by Carl G. Boberg and R.J. Hughes

CD Review: Paula Sexsmith


This is a music review I found of a project I produced for Paula Sexsmith. The album was a Christian praise and pop CD entitled “Worry ‘Bout Nothin'”. Here’s the review, or go here to read the original Paula Sexsmith CD review.


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phillipians 4:6-7

I don’t often come across music by independent artists that is this expertly produced. Worry ‘Bout Nothin’ shows an excellence in production that is a pleasure to hear, allowing the music to be a very nice medium for delivering her messages of worship, praise, encouragement, and prayer. If I didn’t know better, the expertise obvious in some of the complicated arrangements of strings, piano, percussion, and voice would almost lead me to believe Michael W. Smith had a hand in its production.

“Pillar of Fire” introduces Paula’s warm and pleasant voice, backed by upbeat percussion and some screaming electric guitars. The energetic nature of the song perfectly compliments the image of Christ as a pillar of fire in a dark world, much like God was a pillar of fire to guide Israel through the desert many thousands of years ago. “Pillar of fire, love of my life. You inspire me to walk in Your love. You bring God’s presence, protection and guidance. Jesus You are my pillar of fire.”

“I Feel Small” turns prayerful, a la Anointed’s “Send Out a Prayer.” A Morse Code S.O.S. introduces the thoughtful and vulnerable song, in which I can picture Paula standing small in a huge world, looking upward for the God who gives her significance in an overwhelming world. The reverb effects on her vocals feel a bit out of place, though.

“Worry ’bout Nothin’ throws the throttle open in a juiced up encouragement to take to heart the apostle Paul’s admonition to cast your cares at the feet of God and let Him do the worrying. Christ Himself told us not to worry about tomorrow, because today has enough worries of itself. This song expounds on the spirit of that message, encouraging us not to worry about anything, but rather to pray about everything.

One of my favorite songs on the CD is “Glory to the Lamb,” an absolutely beautiful contemporary praise and worship number. I hear what sounds like a penny whistle or pan flute in the background, while an Aramaic recitation of the Lord’s Prayer adds a unique element to the song. Very simply, the song says “Glory to the Lamb, glory to the King of Kings. Jesus You are faithful and true. Every nation will bow and worship You. Jesus You are worthy of all praise. Honor, glory, power to Your name. Jesus, You are the beginning and the end. Alpha, Omega, You’re coming back again. Jesus, You’re worthy. Jesus, You’re holy.” That’s about as succinct a description of God’s praiseworthy characteristics as I’ve heard!

Worry ‘Bout Nothin’ was a pleasant surprise, one which I suspect will spend some time in my car CD player. The songs are well sung and purposeful, and the production work on the CD is second to none. If you have the opportunity to do so, I encourage you to listen to this CD!

Creation 2007 – Creation Northwest


Creation 2007 Northwest at the Gorge Ampitheatre in George, WA. Here are some pictures from the Creation festival. Visit the Creation concert series website.

I’m told that David Crowder stole the show with a very inspiring performance. Was also told he played the guitar from the video game “Guitar Hero” as well as a toy keytar. And you know I love keytars! Visit the David Crowder Band website.

*Note* – I’ve been told that some of these pics are from Creation 2006.


Creation 2007 Main Stage


Aerial view of the Gorge in Washington State


Baptisms at Creation


Evening Concert and candles


Casting Crowns performs in concert


David Crowder



Toby Mac

Bands, Musicians and Events at Creation 2007

Relient K • Switchfoot • Newsboys • Toby Mac • David Crowder BAND • Chris Tomlin • Jars of Clay • Kutless • Leeland • Emery • Barlow Girl • Hawk Nelson • Thousand foot Krutch • Skillet • Superchic[k] • Downhere • Disciple • KJ-52 • Sanctus Real • Phil Wickham • Falling Up • Pocket Full of Rocks • Group 1 Crew • Ayiesha • Woods • Aaron Shust • Starfield • Britt Nicole • Project 86 • MXPX • Family Force 5 • Stellar Kart • Run Kid • Run • Ruth • House of Heroes • Fireflight • Red • Voice • Everyday Sunday • Day of Fire • SPEAKERS Ron Luce • Bob Lenz • Harry Thomas •Reggie Dabbs • Pam Stenzel • Jeremy Kingsley • David Burke • Michael Yankoski • Jose Zayas • Justin Lookadoo • Zoro • OTHER FEATURES Candlelight Service • Prayer Tent • Fireworks • Gear Giveaway • Huge Video Screens • Exhibit Area • Youth Leaders VIP Area • Youth Leader Seminars • X-Games • Mountain Top Lookout • Food Court • Water Baptism • Campfires • Beautiful Camping • Fun Contests • Modern Worship Tent • Musician Seminars • Comedy Night • Blues Night National Talent Search • Skateboard & BMX .