What's new: 'Sweet is the Work' combines the beauty of the harp, flute with missionary hymns
"SWEET IS THE WORK: Peaceful Missionary Hymns on Flute and Harp," by Steve Alder and Julie Keyes, Opus2Music, $16.98
“Sweet is the Work” brings together a collection of 12 well-known missionary focused hymns in an exceptional composition. Two instruments, a flute and a harp, blend in harmony throughout favorites such as “Faith of our Fathers,” “The Day Dawn is Breaking,” “Carry On” and “Onward Christian Soldiers,” all masterfully arranged by Kurt Bestor.
Flutist Steve Alder is a Mormon who has played the flute professionally for more than 30 years. He studied music while attending Brigham Young University and played with the Mormon Youth Symphony for 15 years.
Alder, a doctor by trade, has added the musical sound of the flute to the Utah Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Opera Orchestra on many occasions. The range of his talent can be heard from the warm and deep notes during the first verses of “Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy” to a higher set of notes later in the piece.
The music of the flute gently surrounds the elegance of the harp, played by Julie Keyes, a graduate of Brigham Young University. A sought-after harpist, Keyes has played with the Utah Symphony, Ballet West Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic and others. At age 15, Keyes made her debut as a soloist, and at age 17 she became a 2nd harpist for the Utah Symphony, becoming the youngest member.
Since then, the now busy mother of five daughters continues to devote her musical talent with the harp into teaching, arranging and touring. “Sweet Is the Work” highlights her ability on an instrument that few know how to play. Her talent is showcased during “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd” as her fingers fill the song with the Spirit.
Alder and Keyes teamed up with Bestor to create this album. Bestor, an Emmy-winning composer, brings his 20 years of experience to “Sweet Is the Work.” He engineers each piece to allow both instruments to shine. This album will calm your day and fill your heart with instrumental inspiration.
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