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not be a religious man myself but I know good music when I hear it, and this is very
good! . . . I dont think that I have ever given such high
ratings to so many songs before. But
the fact is that they are well deserved because the
music is amazing. Simply wonderful religious ballads and they
really get to your heart. . .everytime."
Fredrik Cole: Trax In Space
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come;
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
When weve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
Weve no less days to sing Gods praise than when we first begun.
Arrangement Copyright © 2000 Don Wigton
Vanessas inspiring voice savors this classic as only she can! Her heart-felt rendition over Dons bluesy piano and B3 is emotionally-charged and deep. It is an absolute must!
"So the Wigtune Company did it again! Another wonderful song with beautiful harmonies and not to mention the vocals which adds something truly amazing to this piece. Download it if you havent done so earlier." Fredrik Cole: Trax In Space
Nobody despised the gospel more than the slave trader John Newton. However, God touched Him with His grace and Newton not only turned his life from sin to God, but became a powerful preacher in early America. It is no wonder, therefore, that he penned one of the favorite praise songs of all time. Newtons tombstone (penned by himself) tells it all: John Newton, clerk, once and infidel and Libertine, a servant of slavers in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had so long labored to destroy.
Even though his health failed and his memory deteriorated at the age of 82, Newton declared, My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two great things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior!
This version of Amazing Grace features
an incredible vocal solo by Vanessa. It is a
Amazing Grace has always been my favorite hymn. During my college years the mens chorus that I was in performed a version of that song that tore me apart. I was not walking with God at that time, but the words and vocal arrangement ripped right into my soul. That experience had a lot to do with my turnabout towards God.
Since that time I have been wanting to create an arrangement to the hymn. However, the opportunity just never came up. Therefore, when we began collecting song ideas for Vanessas first solo album, Amazing Grace immediately came up. As you may be aware, this hymn has been put in every context imaginable. . . from pipe organ to country to bagpipe. When I asked Vanessa how she would like to perform it she asked for a laid-back blusey feel.
After recording the instrumental tracs I played them for her and she went bananas! It was just what she wanted. So we immediately took it to the studio to lay her vocal. The song was so perfect for her that she laid it in one cut. There are a lot of good versions of Amazing Grace out there. After hearing her sing it, I have become convinced that hers is right up there with the best.
Arrangement Copyright © 2000 Don Wigton
Selah sings this hymn filled with power. Starting with two quite verses, the song builds to ecstatic exaltation The Bible declares that The heavens declare the glory of God. (Ps 19:1) When the believer looks at everything that God has made, how can he/she help but worship Him. What a day that will be, though, when Christ returns to take His people home as the proclaim How Great Thou Art!
The favorite song "How Great Thou Art" was written by the Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament, Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1940). After a walk through the lovely summer evening near Kronabäck, Sweden, probably in 1885 a thunderstorm came up suddenly and the wind blew fiercely over the meadows. After the storm was over he looked out over the Mönsterås Bay which was suddenly as clear as glass. It was then that he heard the call of the thrush, and then the evening church bell in the still evening which inspired this hymn.
Though the words were published first in the Mönsterås Times March 13, 1888, Boberg forgot about the text until some years later when he heard it being sung to its current melody, a Swedish folk melody.
Twenty-two years after its original creation, in 1907, the German version "Wie gross bist Du" was created. In 1927 it was published in Moscow in a Russian version of the German text. Stuart K. Hine, an English missionary to Ukraine, found some version of this Russian text and sang it at an evangelistic meeting with his wife. He then translated the first three stanzas into English, which was sung at a evangelistic meeting in England during the First World War. These three verses he published, in both English and Russian, in 1949 in Grace and Peace, a Russian evangelistic paper which Hine edited and it went to Russian emigrants in North and South American. He added the fourth stanza in 1948. Hine actually wrote the second and fourth verses of the song as we know it today.
Dr. J. Edwin Orr of Fuller Theological Seminary first brought the song to America. After hearing heard it sung in Deolati, India, by a choir of Naga tribesmen from Assam he introduced it to various Christian groups in America. During a revival in New York it was sung more than 100 times by George Beverly Shea at a Billy Graham Crusade which increased its popularity. Sweeden, where the song was originally written, began to publish it in mass.
When I was ministering at First Baptist Church of Bakersfield as the leader of the Sunday morning praise team I had the great pleasure of working with the evangelist/pastor Dr. John Lavendar. After a time had passed I discovered that this hymn was his favorite of all. Therefore, I was determined to make an arrangement of the piece that would rise up to its great distinction among that body of believers. It was not long before we were singing the hymn regularly. One day when the praise team was leading the congregation in How Great Thou Art Dr. John proclaimed the piece The National Anthem of the church.
It was years later with Selah that I made the full arrangement of the piece as it stands now. This was accomplished in order to provide a dramatic conclusion to the musical we performed (The Last judgment) that depicted the Book of Revelation. The hymn certainly rose to the occasion through the years in our many church performances of the musical. Every time we sang it the audience was consistently lifted up into ecstatic praise to their wonderful God.
We eventually recorded it. Yet I remember that I did not like the final mix. However, the original song files had been deleted from my computer and lost forever. There was no way to re-mix the piece and I had no intention of releasing it.
Sometimes it is good to get away from things for a while. Many times that which you think was so good turns out to sound awful while that which you hated you suddenly love. As things turned out the latter example was my experience. One day I happened upon the master tape and was moved to tears. The mix suddenly sounded perfect and, quite frankly, without flaw. So I released it on MP3.com. It has since turned out to be one of Wigtunes most successful pieces.
If you are a pastor I dont know if you will declare it as your churchs national anthem. But I am certain that it will encourage you in your praise of the Lord!
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee;
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
Evermore shalt be.
Holy, Holy, Holy! Tho the darkness hide Thee,
Tho the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in Powr , in love, and purity.
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Arrangement Copyright © 1999 Don Wigton
Dave and Laurie join Vanessa to sing this contemporary arrangement of Reginalds Hebers great hymn. This favorite of many congregations depicts the marvelous scene before the Throne of God in the book of Revelation. (Rev 4) Kicking off with tight harmonies this arrangement builds and builds until you cant help but exalt the Lord.
Reginald Heber, the author of this hymn, was always trying to improve the music and the Anglican that he served at in Hodnet, England. His superiors frowned on the use of anything but metrical psalms, but Hebner introduced hymns by Newton and Cowper nonetheless and even wrote hymns of his own. His greatest, Holy Holy Holy would eventually impress Alfred Lord Tennyson as being the worlds greatest hymn.
It was after leaving England to become bishop of Calcutta, India, that Herber was surrounded by the worship of false Gods. Nonetheless he was always impressed by the holiness of God. The tune to this song is called Niacea, named after the church council that met in 325 AD and affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity.
This is the first hymn that I ever arranged. At the time I was in charge of the praise team of a traditional church that was attempting to incorporate modern praise choruses in the service. The pastors had determined that it would help the older people in the congregation to adapt if I would include hymns in my repertoire. At the time I was a bit independent and bull-headed. In addition, I had been away from hymns for so long that I had come to the conclusion that they were irrelevant to my life.
However, the leaders of the church gave me a hymn book to study. As a result, I put together an arrangement of this piece.
It soon became the congregational favorite song that our team played. Slowly I had to admit that I like the hymn a whole lot as well. I had begun to learn that I when I adapted traditional hymns to contemporary media they worked for everyone. . .including myself!
When Selah formed, Holy Holy Holy soon became a permanent part of our repertoire. I found that it became a favorite everywhere we ministered. Eventually, because of its illusions to the throne room of God as described in Revelation 4, Holy, Holy, Holy was included in the Wigtune musical Before His Royal Throne which is based on Johns vision of the Latter Days. This longer version of the piece contains a long introduction over which a description of the work of Jesus in heaven is described. Reading Revelation 5:1-8, as depicted below, will increase your enjoyment of the musical work which intendeds to instill a wonder and awe of Jesus who died for your sins.
Then I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll? But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. And when He had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb.
This arrangement is sung by Vanessa, Dave and Laurie. It starts off with strong acapella harmonies in the first verse. As the second verse begins, the piano enters quietly. From that point the arrangement continues to build with additional instruments until the last verse sounds with authority. This excitement in the piece of music is sure to lift you up in praise and adoration of your Lord who is worthy to take the seals and open them.
The book that was sealed is the deed to the earth, and had no one been found worthy to take it, the world would have remained in Satans hand forever. That is why John wept when no one was found worthy to take the book and break its seals. Yet Jesus, who proved His worthy by dying on the cross, took the book from His Fathers hand. Indeed, we have much to be thankful for. In particular, we can praise Jesus who died so that we might live in His glory forever!
is a subsidiary of Wigtune Company, formed as a service to the body of Christ. Our vision is to encourage scriptural worship in the Church by offering free praise music and hymns performed in a contemporary manner along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training. The worship study book lends theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing. Click on one of the links below to enter into the Wigtune resource that interests you !
Copyright © 1999 Don Wigton. All rights reserved.