What's new: 'Hymns Plus' features songs for classical guitar

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

HYMNS PLUS: Songs of Faith, Courage and Heritage for Classical Guitar,” by Allan Alexander and Mike Ericksen, Empath Music, $19.99, 58 pages

“Hymns Plus: Songs of Faith, Courage & Heritage for Classical Guitar,” by Allan Alexander and Mike Ericksen, is a well-arranged collection of hymns and songs for the beginning to intermediate classical guitarist.

The tunes are well-arranged and notated by Alexander; several of the songs were written by guitarist, composer and publisher Ericksen.

Among the 14 tunes the book contains are well-known, traditional hymn favorites such as “How Great Thou Art,” "God Be With You Till We Meet Again,” “A Poor Wayfaring Man” and “Come, Come, Ye Saints.”

Other more contemporary songs include “Light Up the Land,” written by Greg Ericksen, and “Walk the Path of Faith,” by Emily Christensen, adapted to classical guitar by Mike Ericksen.

“The beautiful melodies of the hymns come in and out of the variations and introductions. The ambitious student will want to use the songs and variations to create their own unique feel and texture,” writes Ericksen in the book’s foreward.

A song list contains a brief description, background information and credits for each song.

Tablature for each piece is provided in the last section of the book. However, sometimes the numbers in the notated music don’t seem to exactly match up with the tablature. Integrating the tablature beneath the notated music and including the chords or tuning might be helpful.

Accompanying the spiral-bound book is a CD recording of each song featuring guitarist and arranger Alexander.

Ericksen, of Utah, is one of five members of the musical group Cedar Breaks that produced a DVD called “Tyme: Aspects of Home,” along with a CD by the same title. The folk music videos on the DVD are accompanied by majestic video footage of Utah.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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