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makes it’s premiere on Sunday
By MIKE VOSS;Contributing Editor
Although someone else conducted the choir during one musical selection Sunday morning, Greg Barmer, minister of music at First Baptist Church in Washington, did not mind.
After all, he was enjoying the premiere of a new arrangement of “To God Be the Glory,” a piano/organ duet commissioned for him. The First Baptist Church Choir and congregation accompanied the composition, which was arranged by Joel Raney.
Raney played the piano and Jane Holstein played the organ during the piece’s premiere. The work, commissioned by First Baptist Church, will be published in 2008.
Baker said inspiration for the arrangement came from Luke 2:13-14, which reads: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”
After the premiere, Barmer talked about the arrangement and its public debut at First Baptist Church.
Barmer said there was one thing he definitely felt during and after the piece was performed.
But even more importantly, the arrangement is special to him for another reason, Barmer said.
The arrangement also is special because it’s a version of one of his favorite hymns, Barmer said.
Raney is one of Barmer’s favorite arrangers. The two never met until Sunday.
Raney, worship pianist and artist in residence at First Presbyterian Church in River Forest, Ill., said he felt comfortable while performing at First Baptist Church on Sunday.
Raney, who was in Washington with Holstein to perform at a concert of piano/organ music at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon, said the arrangement of “To God Be the Glory” performed at First Baptist Church is the 12th in a series of similar arrangements. It was the first arrangement of the series to be commissioned, Raney said.
Raney said he began working on the arrangement at the beginning of this year.
Also participating in the premiere of the arrangement was Mike Morgan, music director at Washington’s First Presbyterian Church. Morgan and Barmer have performed piano/organ duets many times.