Music, with its rhythms, repetitions and entertainment factor, has long been considered a good way to impart values and faith to young people. But even better is music that appeals to the young but with enough depth and feeling that it will be enjoyable for the whole family; music that lends itself to repeated listening. Several new offerings fall into that category.
"The Temple: I Am Going There Someday," produced by Clive Romney, (Little Stream Records) features songs based around the 2002 LDS Primary theme. Included are several favorites from the Primary songbook, such as "I Love To See The Temple," by Janice Kapp Perry; "Families Can Be Together Forever," "The Lord Gave Me A Temple," by Donnell Hunter and "I Will Follow God's Plan" By Vanja Y. Watkins. There are also several new songs written by Romney, including "A Place of Peace," "Inside The Temple," and "They Are Not Forgotten." There's also a very nice arrangement of the standard hymn, "The Spirit of God."
The songs are sung by a group of local children, and their young voices add a sweet sincerity to the music. Arrangements also feature a variety of background instruments, including drums, vibraphone, guitar, mandolin, French and English horns, accordion and a variety of strings to give the music layers and textures that add interest.
Also included is a set of instrumentals tracks to aid in learning, rehearsing and performing the songs. This is one of a series of CDs Romney has done centered around LDS Primary themes, and is a quality addition to the repertoire for young listeners.
In an address to the youth of the church on Nov. 12, 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley introduced what he called the Six B's: Be Grateful, Be Smart, Be Clean, Be True, Be Humble, Be Prayerful.
Janice Kapp Perry has taken that speech as inspiration for "When a Prophet Speaks: Music to Teach the Six B's" (Prime Recordings). In patented Perry style, she delivers songs that are catchy, melodic and full of meaning that deal with being grateful, smart, clean, true, humble and prayerful. Plus, there are songs that talk of the importance of listening to a prophet and the blessings that it can add to your life.
In addition to the CD, Perry has prepared a performance script and sheet music of the songs that could be used for firesides and youth programs.
And while it all works together as a package, the individual songs also stand on their own, imparting important reminders for youth and adults alike.
"The Power Within" (Inspirational Music Showcase), is a collection of inspirational songs and anthems by songwriters Masa Fukuda and Jeannine Lasky. The recording features the voices of 1,600 Utah County children along with lead singers such as Paul Engemann, Alex Boye, Jenny Jordan Frogley and Kelly Shepardson.
The songs, from the stirring "It Just Takes Love" to the powerful "I'm Free" and the tender "Because of You," talk of love, courage, hope, faith and living together in peace.
Fukuda, who was born and raised in Osaka, Japan, and came to study music at the Meridian School in Utah, began working on the project after he heard the song "Angels Among Us" by country superstars Alabama. "When I heard that song, it struck me so hard," he says, "and I wished people would write more songs like that songs that are uplifting yet not necessarily religious."
And so he decided to write his own. "I wanted to provide families with something to listen to and replace some of the negative messages that are prevalent in today's music."
Also available is a two-CD set containing accompaniment tracks from the popular "Songs for Young Women," volumes 1 and 2 (Sounds of Zion). These CDs contain songs by local songwriters such as Janice Kapp Perry, Julie de Azevedo, Michael McLean, Don Stirling, Kurt Bestor, Kenneth Cope, Steven Kapp Perry and others that emphasize values and themes that are part of the church's Young Women's program. These performance tracks will aid young women in performing the songs themselves.
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