What's new: 'Hymns of Exaltation'

Published: Thursday, Sept. 16 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

Nine music books later, Jerald M. Simon has a CD.

Simon is a Utah music teacher who has produced several books with the goal of "prepar(ing) the next generation of composers, arrangers, musicians, music teachers and musicologists to use their music and their love of music to make a difference in their own lives, their community and the world," his website reads.

The book collection includes clever titles such as "Variations on Mary Had a Little Lamb," "Jazzed about Jazz" and "Cool Songs for Cool Kids." But Simon's latest project, "Hymns of Exaltation," features eight instrumental piano arrangements of sacred music familiar to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A CD of Simon's arrangements complements the 48-page spiral-bound book of music.

"Jerald M. Simon's arrangements are as beautiful as they are musically interesting," Utah pianist Jon Schmidt said in a news release. "I'm sure people are going to love hearing them in church meetings or wherever they are played."

Among the hymns Simon has chosen are "Be Still My Soul," "Nearer My God to Thee," "Abide With Me," "If You Could HIe to Kolob" and a melding of "I Need Thee Every Hour and Lead Kindly Light." The arrangements are unique and at times unexpected.

The books and CDs are produced by Simon's company Music Motivation, which focuses on the concepts of theory therapy, innovative improvisation and creative composition.

For more information, visit www.musicmotivation.com.

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