Being an EFY counselor is a popular summer job for many LDS college students,
but few of these individuals have influenced EFY as a whole as much as Michael
Hicks, a composer and
musician from Salt Lake City, had been an EFY counselor for a couple years and
completed his first CD of arrangements when the EFY administration asked him to
arrange a song for the young women at EFY to sing. After a couple revisions and
the perceived need for something for
the young men to sing as well, Hicks put
together what is now known as the EFY Medley.
I had no idea that it
would be so big, Hicks said. I knew there would be some people who would be
interested in buying a CD of it, so I used my own money to print 500 CDs they
were all sold before I could even get it done. People were really excited about
Hicks was only 24 when
this medley exploded with popularity. Since then, nearly a third of a million
youth have learned and sung the song at EFY programs. Hicks had the opportunity
to be a counselor several times after EFY began using his song, and said the
experience was really incredible.
It was so
humbling and powerful all at the same time, to see 1500 youth at a time stand
and sing it, Hicks said.
particular medley is what Hicks is best known for, several other recognitions
have come his way. His compilation of Be Still My Soul, originally written for
BYUs Vocal Point, received two Pearl Awards in the category Sacred Recorded
Song of the Year. Additionally, EFY representatives asked for a rendition of I
Know that My Redeemer Lives that has been included on several EFY CDs since.
I also wrote
this song as a counselor for EFY, Hicks said. When I got my schedule for that
summer, I had one session scheduled in
not the most exciting place around. That week was the same week my best friend
was getting married, and I probably could have given the session to someone
else, but I really felt that I had to be at that session. That was where I was
asked to arrange this song for a fireside and I know that it really has touched
a lot of lives.
Hicks has never
pursued being a label artist, but continues for the simple love of the music.
For him, its all about seeing peoples faces and hearing their response to the
When I write or
arrange a song, I just try to be really perceptive to the sacred nature of the
hymn, Hicks said. I dont try to be fancy or showy when I arrange because I
want to be true to the nature of the song. Its not about me; its about the
music and conveying the appropriateness of the song.
Hicks grew up in
a musical family and started playing the piano and drums when he was seven.
Like most children, his mother had to encourage him to practice. However, once
he started playing music he liked, he said his mother had to beg him to stop.
Even today, he is involved with music in almost all aspects of his life as he
works for a music production company doing marketing and sales and pursues his
own musical interests on the side.
said his relationship with the EFY organization has helped him make more
connections within the music industry, he said he is most excited about the
motivation speaking opportunities that have come.
Thats kind of
why I wanted to do a CD in the first place, Hicks said. I love speaking,
especially to the youth, and sometimes when you have a CD, more people hear
about you and want you to come speak. So really the most important door that
has been opened, the door Im most grateful for, is the speaking
about Hicks can be found on his Web site michaelrhicks.com.