John Baston and the Concerto No. 2 in CM for Soprano Recorder, Strings, and Basso Continuo


John Baston (fl. 1708–1739) was an English Baroque composer, recorder player, and cellist. Very little is known about him, except that he was active around 1711 to 1733.  As an English composer who wrote in spirited, full themes, Baston employed the use of simple harmonies that called for quick changes for the solo instrument.  His instrument of choice was the recorder or flute. He may not have been exceptionally talented as a composer, but he had an ability to compose for the theater, and he performed in his own ‘interval music’ concertos in London.  Several of these lively pieces were published as “Six Concertos in Six Parts for Violins and Flutes, viz. a Fifth, Sixth and Consort Flute” (1729).

My collection includes the following work by John Baston:

Concerto No. 2 in CM for Soprano Recorder, Strings, and Basso Continuo

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Biblical Homeschooling, Bible story, 5/2015

May, 2015

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me


By Wayne S. Walker

     While Apollos, having left Ephesus, was at Corinth, Paul, now on his third preaching trip, returned to Ephesus.  Shortly after arriving, he came across some twelve disciples and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed.  This might refer to receiving miraculous gifts from the Spirit through the laying on of the hands of an apostle.  They replied that they had not so much as heard if there were a Holy Spirit.  Paul then asked them another question.  “Into what then were you baptized?”  Their response was “into John’s baptism.”  So Paul explained the purpose of John’s baptism as preparatory to Christ, which would distinguish it from the baptism of the great commission (note Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:16), and when they heard this, they were immediately baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

There is only “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5), but not every activity called “baptism” which one might experience fits the Scriptural pattern.  It must have the proper authority—the name of the Lord, not John or some church (Acts 10:47-48).  It must be the proper action—burial or immersion, not sprinkling or pouring (Romans 6:3-4).  It must have the proper purpose–“for” or in order to remission of sins, not because one is already saved (Acts 2:38).  It must be done by the proper subjects—penitent believers, not infants, babies, or small children (Acts 8:12).  It must be in the proper element—water, not the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:36-39).  And it must have the proper result—entering the one body, not joining some denomination (1 Corinthians 12:13).  If one’s baptism does not fit this pattern, he or she will need to be baptized scripturally, as these men were.  After this, Paul laid his hands on them and they received some miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit.

After this, Paul went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for some three months about the kingdom of God.  However, some of the Jews were hardened and refused to believe, even speaking evil of Christ’s way before the multitude.  So Paul left the synagogue, took those who had become disciples with him, and began teaching the gospel daily in the school, probably a lecture hall, of a man named Tyrannus.  This continued for about two years so that the gospel message spread throughout the whole region as both Jews and Greeks living in the Roman province of Asia who might come to Ephesus on business would hear Paul’s preaching and then take what they heard back to their homes.


  1. Where was Apollos when Paul returned to Ephesus?
  2. How many disciples did Paul come across shortly after arriving in Ephesus?
  3. What was the first question which he asked them?
  4. Into what had they been baptized?
  5. When Paul taught them further, what did they do?
  6. What happened when Paul laid hands on them?
  7. Where did Paul speak for three months?
  8. When he left there, where did Paul go to teach?
  9. People throughout what Roman province heard the word through Paul’s preaching?

Schools ask 12-year-olds if they’ve had sex of all kinds

If you have chosen to send your children to a public school for their education, then you may feel that your school is a paragon of perfection and an epitome of enlightenment.  However, if you are still interested in protecting their innocence, just read the following article about something that is going on in public schools all over the nation, often without any parental consent or even notification.  It is something that you at least need to be aware of.

Schools ask 12-year-olds if they’ve had sex of all kinds

by Leo Hohmann, World Net Daily

Schools across America don’t need Common Core or its invasive testing component to dig deep into a student’s personal and family life.

Public-school systems have been awash in a culture of privacy-destroying data mining for years, say experts on student privacy.

The recent bombshell reported by showed that students as young as 13 or 14 are being given surveys asking their sexual orientation, how often they have sex, whether it is anal, oral or vaginal sex, how often they carry guns or other weapons, and the list goes on.

“This is obscene,” said Boston radio talker Jeff Kuhner, host of “The Kuhner Report,” which did an hour-long show on the survey earlier this month.

Kuhner was talking about the popular “Youth Risk Behavior Survey,” which is given to children in Massachusetts schools, grades 7-12, as well as schools across the country.

The main reason the surveys are given is to create misleading “statistics” that are used by radical groups from Planned Parenthood to LGBT groups, which use the data to persuade politicians to give more taxpayer money to their organizations – and let them into schools to help solve the “huge” problems that the surveys reveal, according to Mass Resistance.


Biblical Homeschooling monthly meditation, 5/2015

May, 2015

Monthly Meditation


by Wayne S. Walker

     “Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant” (Psalm 135:3).  The New Testament teaches Christians to “Praise the LORD…; sing praises to His name” just as the Psalmist exhorts.  Sometimes, this raises questions in people’s minds.  I was recently sent the following request.  “Thank you for your review of Sacred Songs of the Church.  Some of your comments really got me to thinking about the songs we sing in our worship services.  I love God with all my heart and pray that I am doing what He commands.  Maybe you can help me understand this a little better, since you have a better knowledge of these songs and their writers than I do.  My question is:  How can we know that the songs we are using to worship and praise our Heavenly Father are acceptable to Him?  I am looking forward to hearing from you.  Thank you so much for your time.”

This is a very difficult question to answer for a couple of reasons.  First, the scriptures do not give us much specific information about the kinds of songs that are acceptable to the Lord in worship.  All we know is that He authorizes “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16).  The usual definitions given to these terms are that psalms are devotional songs which are of the character of the Old Testament Psalms, hymns are songs of praise to God, and spiritual songs are songs which teach spiritual truth.  However, I am not sure that Paul is intending to give us three hard and fast categories into one of which a song must fit to be approved but to provide general descriptions of the kinds of songs that God wants in worship.

Secondly, there is a great deal of personal taste involved.  Historically, following the break between the English church and the Roman Catholic Church, the English churches sang only the Psalms.  When “hymns of human composure” were first introduced, the older generation objected to them, but with the passing of time they gradually won out over the Psalms.  Then, when gospel songs began to be popular, again the older generation expressed its preference for the more sedate hymns, but in succeeding generations the vast majority of hymnbooks contained a combination of older hymns and newer gospel songs.  Now, we have the introduction of the so-called “praise song” drawn primarily from the genre of “Contemporary Christian Music,” and the differences in tastes between the older and younger again become pronounced.

Most of our newer hymnbooks contain a mixture of a few Psalms, some hymns, a lot of gospel songs, and a growing number of the contemporary “praise songs.”  It is no secret that I do not care for the vast majority of these “praise songs.”  However, I have no desire to set myself up as some kind of standard to dictate to brethren what they can and cannot sing.  Yet, I do have some serious concerns about many of the “praise songs.”  Now, I have no objection to new songs.  I have often led “new” songs and have even written some myself.  So the problems that I see with a lot of the “praise songs” have nothing to do with their being new but with their content and nature.

Since we are to be singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord, the primary focus in our singing should be that of praising God in hymns.  However, since we are also to be teaching and admonishing one another, there ought to be a place in our singing for spiritual songs on scriptural topics that edify and exhort us as well.  So, how can we tell if the songs we are using to worship and praise our Heavenly Father are acceptable to Him?  Of course, we must first make sure that they are in harmony with truth.  At the same time, we must not fall into the trap of assuming that “calling things by Bible names” means “calling Bible things by King James names.”  There must be allowance for poetic license.  But Bible truth must be a priority.

Second, we should strive for songs that are Christ centered rather than man centered.  Obviously, some judgment will be involved as to how to apply these concepts.  This does not mean that all songs in worship must be hymns that directly praise Christ, although we would do well to have more such songs in our assemblies.  Merely singing “Let’s just praise the Lord, praise the Lord” ten times to a catchy tune is not the same thing as actually praising the Lord.  It is not wrong for us to sing about our faith, our hope, our love, and so forth, because those are scriptural topics by which we can teach and admonish one another.  Yet, we should be careful to strive for songs that place more emphasis on God and Christ than on us.

Third, we ought to seek out songs that are singable.  The singability of various songs will differ from congregation to congregation depending on people’s abilities.  However, the vast majority of hymns and spiritual songs which have endured through the years were intended for congregational worship and thus have simple melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that are within the reach of the average congregation to render.  In contrast, so many of the newer “praise songs” from the “Contemporary Christian Music” genre, like the southern gospel style of convention songs that were so popular a few years ago, were written for primarily entertainment purposes and, while often very catchy, are frankly rather difficult for a large number of people, not only harmonically and rhythmically but even melodically.  I believe that considering these three guidelines will help in choosing songs that are without a doubt acceptable to the Lord and beneficial for us.

Octave Chanute Air Museum, Rantoul, IL

Octave Chanute (1832–1910) was an American civil engineer and aviation pioneer, born in France, who provided many budding enthusiasts, including the Wright brothers, with help and advice, and helped to publicize their flying experiments. At his death he was hailed as the father of aviation and the heavier-than-air flying machine.

The Chanute Air Museum, located at 1011 Pacesetter Drive, Rantoul, IL 61866, is dedicated to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret aviation and aerospace artifacts. Special emphasis is directed to the life and accomplishments of Octave Chanute, the former Chanute Air Force Base and its technical training programs, and the history of Illinois aviation.

The museum is open Monday throuth Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. Admission Prices are Adults $10.00; Seniors (62+) & Military $ 8.00; Students (K-12) $ 5.00; and Children (4 years or under) FREE. Phone: 217-893-1613; Fax: 217-892-5774

For more information:

Granville Bantock and his Celtic Symphony


Granville Ransome Bantock (August 7, 1868–October 16, 1946) was a British composer of classical music who was born in London, England, on August 7, 1868. His father was an eminent Scottish surgeon.  He was intended by his parents for the Indian Civil Service, but he suffered poor health and initially turned to chemical engineering. At the age of twenty, he began studying composers’ manuscripts at South Kensington Museum Library and was drawn into the musical world.  His first teacher was Dr. Gordon Saunders at Trinity College of Music. In 1888 he entered the Royal Academy of Music where he studied harmony and composition with Frederick Corder, winning the Macfarren Prize in the first year it was awarded.   Under Corder, a former pupil of Hiller in Cologne, he did well enough to have a number of his student compositions performed at the academy, including a one-act opera, Caedmar, an Egyptian ballet suite from the incidental music to his own play Rameses II, a dramatic cantata The Fire Worshippers, and Wulstan a scena for baritone and orchestra, all marks of his very considerable ambition.

In 1893 Bantock founded a music magazine, The New Quarterly Music Review, but this lasted only a few years.  Early conducting engagements in 1894 and 1985 took him around the world directing the musical comedy troupe of George Edwardes and Stanford’s opera Shamus O’Brien. In 1897, he became conductor at the New Brighton Tower concerts, augmented in 1898 by the foundation of the New Brighton Choral Society, where he remained for four years and pioneered the works of Joseph Holbrooke, Frederic Hymen Cowen, Charles Steggall, Edward German, Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford, Corder and others, frequently devoting whole concerts to a single composer. In 1900 he conducted a program of British music in Antwerp, including first performances of some of his own compositions, among which was the symphonic poem Jaga-Naut, intended as the second of 24 projected symphonic poems, based on Robert Southey’s poem The Curse of Kehama.  In 1900, he became Principal of the Birmingham and Midland Institute school of music.   He was a close friend of fellow composer Havergal Brian. One of his earliest well-known works is The Witch of Atlas, a tone-poem which Bantock wrote in 1902.  Succeeding Edward Elgar, he was Peyton Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham from 1908 to 1934.

Many of Bantock’s works have an “exotic” element, including the gigantic choral epic for soloists, choir and orchestra, Omar Khayyám (1906–09).  Among his other better-known works are the overture The Pierrot of the Minute (1908).  In addition, he was conductor of the Liverpool Orchestral Society with which he premiered Delius’s Brigg Fair on January 18, 1908. His music was also influenced by the Celtic folk songs of the Hebrides, as in his 1915 Hebridean Symphony, and the works of Richard Wagner.  Yet his music never strayed far from the territory of wistful romanticism that he had found by the turn of the century. He was influential in the founding of the City of Birmingham orchestra, later the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, whose first performance in September 1920 was of his overture Saul.  His Pagan Symphony dates from 1928.  In 1934, he was elected Chairman of the Corporation of Trinity College of Music in London and was knighted in 1930.  He retired from his position in Birmingham in 1934, continuing thereafter his activity as a composer, a conductor, and an examiner for Trinity College of Music. One of Bantock’s later famous orchestral pieces, his Celtic Symphony for string orchestra and the mythic-bardic strains of no fewer than six harps, was composed and first performed in the early 1940s.

Bantock’s long life and teaching at the University of Birmingham for 26 years put him at the center of British musical life.  His students included the conductor and composer Anthony Bernard and the composer Eric Fogg.  He wrote around 800 pieces in genres from opera to light music.  Shortly after the composer’s death in London, on October 16, 1946, a Bantock Society was established. Its first president was Jean Sibelius, whose music Bantock championed during the early years of the century. Sibelius dedicated his Third Symphony to Bantock.  Edward Elgar dedicated the second of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to Bantock.  Unfortunately, until recently, Bantock’s music had all but disappeared from the modern concert venue.

The following works by Granville Bantock are contained in my collection:

Celtic Symphony for String Orchestra and Six Harps (1940)

Hebridean Symphony (1913)

The Sea Reivers, Hebridean Sea Poem No. 2 (1917)

The Witch of Atlas, Tone Poem for Orchestra No. 5 (1902)

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources