I Surrender All

Like the ebb and flow of the ocean tide, so does the rubato feel become inherent in this arrangement.  The piano establishes a gentle, yet persistent pattern in the piano while the violin performs the well-known melody with great reverence.  As the work builds, so does the tempo until the final chorus of the hymn brings the arrangement back to its original idea.  This will be an excellent addition to your church library.

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Kelsei Peppars, violin
Recording produced at Ashland United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri with Shaun Agnew, Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Known all over the world, Beethoven’s melody already makes its listeners smile with joy upon hearing its first few notes.  This arrangement seeks to heighten that excitement by creating a rhythmic and melodic playfulness from both violin and piano.  Loud fanfares encompass both ends of the work, and the melody receives a jocular rhythmic change in its original form while also utlizing meter changes of the atypical 7/8 and the compound 6/8 to sustain that new feel.  This will be a joyful experience for all!

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Kelsei Peppars, violin
Recording produced at Ashland United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri with Shaun Agnew, Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries

Kum Ba Yah

Using the familiar spiritual sung around many campfires, this arrangement preserves that invigorated spirit in an uptempo backbeat (boom-chick) rendition.  The violin becomes utilized as a ukulele, held on its side while its strings are strummed across the fingerboard, while the piano performs the melody.  The arrangement ends with a key change and embellished build to the final chord hit from both instruments.  You and your audience will have lots of fun with this work!

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Kelsei Peppars, violin
Recording produced at Ashland United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri with Shaun Agnew, Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries

Ombra Mai Fu

The opening aria (also simply known as “Largo”) from Handel’s opera Xerxes is a short, beautifully-written work somewhat atypical to the style of the Baroque era. The accompaniment plays similar to a contemporary pop ballad. The melody effortlessly soars above and should be treated as such. This aria has become one of Handel’s most popular vocal songs outside of his Messiah oratorio.

https://youtu.be/DCHsZF8O8z4

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Panis Angelicus

César Franck’s vocal work has become one of the most popular sacred songs of all time. The gentle lyricism of its melody and supportive piano accompaniment (originally written for the church organ), along with its original lyrics by St. Thomas Aquinas, have propelled this work to become universally beloved. It was included in Franck’s Mass for Three Voices in 1860 (though somewhat incomplete at the time), but found its own identity many years later after it had finally been completed. The longer phrases of this work allow the instrument to “sing” and create a serene atmosphere for the audience.

https://youtu.be/Qo_Uh5BEN3E

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Someone to Watch Over Me

Perhaps now the most famous ballad of George and Ira Gershwin, this popular song was originally written in 1926 as an upbeat jazz, rhythmic tune first performed by Gertrude Lawrence in the musical Oh, Kay!. After the musical closed, the standout song became interepreted in many different fashions, including the slower-tempo torch song that has now becomes its standard. Typical of George Gershwin’s melodies, each phrase easily connects to the next and vividly illustrates the emotional journey to create a moving musical message for audiences to enjoy.

https://youtu.be/AxArQuERyLM

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Ständchen

The dramatic nature of the opening piano accompaniment creates an intrigue on which the instrumental melody performs its lyrical, contrasting phrasings. As the songs moves between harmonic major and parallel major keys, the intensity of the melody drastically increases and becomes cathartic to the audience. A contrasting section drives the momentum toward a final declaration and echoic resolution, a typical treatment in many works of Franz Schubert.

https://youtu.be/Dk3GFROH-Rk

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This is My Father’s World

A consistent African rhythmic figure is played in the piano while the violin soars above with the melody well-known hymn.  This continues through multiple key changes culminating in a breakdown, a liberating celebration that may have your audience dancing in the aisles.  This jubilant arrangement will become a standout at your next worship service.

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Kelsei Peppars, violin
Recording produced at Ashland United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri with Shaun Agnew, Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries

What Wondrous Love is This

This Dorian mode melody may have a haunting quality, but it also brings a sense of hope to its listeners.  Its simplistic nature in the first verse, with arpeggios in the piano and the melody performed by the violin.  A slow Irish feel encapsulates the second verse noted by the violin’s embellishments and of the melody.  The end of the work makes one final statement that embodies the hopefulness of the original hymn.  This will be a strong performance and worshipping experience for you and your audience alike.

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Kelsei Peppars, violin
Recording produced at Ashland United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri with Shaun Agnew, Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries

The Yankee Doodle Boy

The Great American Songbook has become filled with proud, historical repertoire over the years, none more than the songs written by George M. Cohan as they most notably display the Americana ideologies. Light-hearted, Patriotic, and entertaining to all of its listeners, The Yankee Doodle Boy has become one such notable song. This tune (usually the chorus) is usually educated to elementary school children, so its familiarity is still heard today. In this arrangement, the bouncy piano accompaniment is equally matched with the jaunty lyrical melody, creating a fun setting that will catch the attention of the audience.

https://youtu.be/p7W_Jmlol5Y

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