Harry Gregson-Williams and “The Chronicles of Narnia—The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” Suite


Harry Gregson-Williams (b. December 13, 1961) is an English composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer, who has regularly written for video games, television, and films, such as Metal Gear Solid series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Martian, and the Shrek franchise.   Gregson-Williams was born on December 13, 1961, in Chichester, Sussex, England, U.K., to a musical family. He is the brother of composer Rupert Gregson-Williams.  He won a musical scholarship to St John’s College at the University of Cambridge at the age of seven, where he was a child chorister, and later attended Stowe School, a boarding independent school in the civil parish of Stowe in Buckinghamshire, where he was a music scholar, followed by a coveted spot at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. from which he recently received an Honorary Fellowship.

Gregson-Williams then turned his attention to teaching, initially in schools in England but later in Alexandria, Egypt. He started his film career as assistant to composer Richard Harvey and later as orchestrator and arranger for Stanley Myers, and then went on to compose his first scores for director Nicolas Roeg. His subsequent collaboration and friendship with composer Hans Zimmer resulted in Gregson-Williams providing music for such films as The Rock, Armageddon and The Prince of Egypt and helped launch his career in Hollywood. He has also been a regular and valued mentor at the Sundance Composers Lab working directly with talented emerging composers from all over the world. Gregson-Williams has four children and has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1995.

Gregson-Williams was the composer on all four installments of the blockbuster Shrek franchise; garnered a BAFTA nomination for the score for the first Shrek; and received Golden Globe and Grammy Award nominations for his score to Andrew Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. He has also just completed work on Adamson’s Mr Pip starring Hugh Laurie. His other recent scores include Blackhat for Michael Mann, Monkey Kingdom for Disney Nature and Miss You Already for director Catherine Hardwicke, The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, Total Recall starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale, music for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the animated film from Aardman, Arthur Christmas, and the action thriller Cowboys & Aliens directed by Jon Favreau as well as the unique documentary Life in a Day.

Gregson-Williams’s long list of film credits also includes the critically acclaimed The Town, marking his second collaboration with director Ben Affleck.     His first worked with Affleck as the composer on Gone Baby Gone. He has worked multiple times with other directors including Joel Schumacher on the films Twelve, The Number 23, Veronica Guerin and Phone Booth; and Tony Scott on Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Déjà Vu, Domino, Man on Fire, Spy Game and Enemy of the State. Gregson-Williams’ prolific output has also seen him scoring Mike Newell’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Mr Pip; Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven; Beeban Kidron’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Aardman’s animated smash Chicken Run; Return to Sender and Smilla’s Sense of Snow, both for director Bille August; Antoine Fuqua’s The Replacement Killers; and the first computer generated animation from Dreamworks, Antz.

Gregson-Williams has also composed music for several video games, having notably helped score every main entry in the highly successful Metal Gear Solid franchise for the Konami Metal Gear series since Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.  In addition, he has scored three of the five games in the recently released Call of Duty for Activision series which became the top selling video game of 2014 and which earned him various music gaming awards.

My collection includes the following work by Harry Gregson-Williams:

The Chronicles of Narnia—The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005): Suite.

Wait Till You See What LGBTQQAP Activists Have Planned for Illinois Schools

Just another reason for godly-minded people to get their precious children OUT of the politically correct, government-run, indoctrination-propaganda-brainwashing centers known as public schools.
While conservatives squeak “uncle” about the “social issues” from the dark recesses of their homes and churches where they hide, the jackbooted Left marches boldly…
Read more:

Watering Seeds and Waiting for Fruit

Watering Seeds and Waiting for Fruit
by Wendy Horger Alsup, Crosswalk.com Homeschool Encouragement (Mon., Feb. 20, 2012)

Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

I’m ok sowing seeds. I don’t mind watering them. But I don’t have much tolerance for the wait for growth or the ultimate goal – fruit. And nowhere is this more obvious than raising my children. I’ve written a couple articles on parenting recently (here and here) on principles that are becoming more and more important to me the further I get into this daunting, winding, sometimes very poorly illuminated road called parenting. Here’s the new one God is applying in my heart – sowing and reaping.

Read more:


Adrian Willaert and “Cingari Sismo”


Adrian Willaert (c. 1490 –December 7, 1562) was a Netherlandish composer of the Renaissance and founder of the Venetian School, who was one of the most representative members of the generation of northern composers who moved to Italy and transplanted the polyphonic Franco-Flemish style there.  Willaert was born at Rumbeke, Belgium, near Roeselare. According to his student, the renowned 16th century music theorist Gioseffo Zarlino, he went to Paris first to study law, but instead decided to study music. In Paris he met Jean Mouton, the principal composer of the French royal chapel and stylistic compatriot of Josquin des Prez, and studied with him.

Sometime around 1515 Willaert first went to Rome. An anecdote survives that indicates the musical ability of the young composer: Willaert was surprised to discover the choir of the papal chapel singing one of his own compositions, most likely the six-part motet Verbum bonum et suave, and even more surprised to learn that they thought it had been written by the much more famous composer Josquin. When he informed the singers of their error – that he was in fact the composer – they refused to sing it again. Indeed, Willaert’s early style is very similar to that of Josquin, with smooth polyphony, balanced voices and frequent use of imitation or strict canon.  The early Willaert admired Josquin so much that he wrote a mass, Missa Mente Tota, in double canon throughout with two free voices, based upon a movement of a famous Josquin motet (Vultum tuum deprecabuntur).

In July 1515, Willaert entered the service of Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este of Ferrara. Ippolito was a traveler, and Willaert likely accompanied him to various places, including Hungary, where he likely resided from 1517 to 1519. When Ippolito died in 1520, Willaert entered the service of Duke Alfonso of Ferrara. Some of Willaert’s motets and chanzoni franciose a quarto sopra doi (double canonic chansons) had been published as early as 1520 in Venice. In 1522 Willaert had a post at the court chapel of Duke Alfonso; he remained there until 1525, at which time records show he was in the employ of Ippolito II d’Este in Milan.  Willaert’s most significant appointment, and one of the most significant in the musical history of the Renaissance, was his selection as maestro di cappella of St. Mark’s at Venice. Music had languished there under his predecessor, Pietro de Fossis (1491–1525), but that was shortly to change. The Venetian Doge Andrea Gritti had a rather large hand in Willaert’s appointment to the position of maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s.

From his appointment in 1527 until his death in 1562, Willaert retained the post at St. Mark’s. Composers came from all over Europe to study with him, and his standards were high both for singing and composition. During his previous employment with the dukes of Ferrara, he had acquired numerous contacts and influential friends elsewhere in Europe, including the Sforza family in Milan; doubtless this assisted in the spread of his reputation, and the consequent importation of musicians from foreign countries into northern Italy. In Ferrarese court documents, Willaert is referred to as “Adriano Cantore.” In addition to his output of sacred music as the director of St. Mark’s, he wrote numerous madrigals, a secular form; he is considered a Flemish madrigal composer of the first rank.

Willaert was one of the most versatile composers of the Renaissance, writing music in almost every extant style and form. In force of personality, and with his central position as maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s, he became the most influential musician in Europe between the death of Josquin and the time of Palestrina. Willaert owes much of his fame in sacred music to his motets.  According to Gioseffo Zarlino, writing later in the 16th century, Willaert was the inventor of the antiphonal style from which the polychoral style of the Venetian school evolved.  With his contemporaries, Willaert developed the canzone (a form of polyphonic secular song) and ricercare, which were forerunners of modern instrumental forms.  Willaert also arranged 22 four-part madrigals for voice and lute written by Verdelot.

Willaert was no less distinguished as a teacher than as a composer.  Among his disciples were Cipriano de Rore, his successor at St. Mark’s; Costanzo Porta; the Ferrarese Francesco Viola; Gioseffo Zarlino; and Andrea Gabrieli. Another composer stylistically descended from Willaert was Lassus.  Willaert, with the help of De Rore, standardized a five-voice setting in madrigal composition.  He also pioneered a style that continued until the end of the madrigal period of reflecting the emotional qualities of the text and the meanings of important words as sharply and clearly as possible.  The Venetian School flourished for the rest of the 16th century, and into the 17th, led by the Gabrielis and others.  Willaert also probably influenced a young Palestrina.  When he died at Venice, Italy, on December 7, 1562, Willaert left a large number of compositions — 8 (or possibly 10) masses, over 50 hymns and psalms, over 150 motets, about 60 French chansons, over 70 Italian madrigals and 17 instrumental (ricercares).

The following works by Adrian Willaert are contained in my collection:

Cingari Sismo.

Vecchie Lettrose.

South School, Torrington, CT


South School

35 S. Main St.

Torrington, CT

The South School is a historic school building at 362 South Main Street in Torrington, Connecticut. It is a Beaux Arts architecture building, designed by Wilson Potter and completed in 1915. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.  It is significant as a well-preserved example of the work of Potter, a prominent New York City-based designer of schools throughout the Northeastern United States.  This building was the first large-scale elementary school for the city and served as a prototype for other schools built in Torrington through the 1930s.  The building was used as a school until 1981. It has been renovated for use as residential apartments. In 2010, a sign describes it as “South School Garden View Apartments.”  Potter was also credited with the design of the 1914 Torrington High School, now much altered and no longer the high school.

The South School is located in a mixed residential-commercial area south of downtown Torrington, at the southwest corner of South Main Street and Brooker Street. It is a large two-story brick building, with a flat roof, granite foundation, and terra cotta trim. The basement is elevated, with a stringcourse of trim separating it from the main levels. The main facade is broadly divided into three sections, with a central section with bands of sash windows flanked by a slightly projecting end sections with blank walls adorned by patterned brick and trim. The corners of the end sections have brick quoining, and the building is topped by a low parapet with wide stepped crenellations highlighted by a terra cotta border. The main entrance is set at the center of the basement level, in a richly decorated segmented-arch surround.

A. F. Weldon and The Gate City March


Alfred Frederick Weldon (June 14, 1862-May 5, 1914) was an American cornetist, music teacher, and composer.  Weldon was born at Hartford, CT, on June 14, 1862, although some sources give the year as 1864.  His family had emigrated to America in the 1850’s. When he was twelve years old, they moved to Chicago, IL. He reportedly studied the cornet from Matthew Arbuckle and D. W. Reeves. One of his first major responsibilities was when he joined the Columbia Theatre in Chicago. He then directed the Chicago Commandery Band, a Masonic Band, and took it to St. Louis,MO, in 1888, when he was twenty-one years of age. He was bandmaster of the Second Regiment Band of Chicago (also known as Weldon’s Band) in the 1890’s and conducted the First Brigade Band of Chicago, as well. It is for this band that he wrote the First Brigade March. He took the Second Regiment Band to state fairs in the mid-west and to New Orleans, LA, in 1900, and continued to play in theater orchestras in Chicago.

Weldon taught at the Chicago Music College and later taught cornet at the Siegel-Meyers School of Music in Chicago. Here he offered correspondence lessons (with weekly examinations) through the school and developed his own “Scientific Method” of cornet playing. His method involved the use of very little lip pressure. Among his most famous students were Bohumir Kryl (cornet), Gardell Simons (trombone), Frank Martin (cornet), John Hughes (cornet), Albert Cook (bandmaster of the Kilties), Charles Randall (trombone), Hale A. VanderCook (conductor of his own band), Jerry Chimera (trombone), and C. Oliver Riggs (cornet).

VanderCook Cornet School (later VanderCook College of Music) was founded in 1909 by Hale A. VanderCook to train professional musicians, directors and teachers.  In that year, Mr. VanderCook purchased the home, school, and studios of his teacher, Alfred F. Weldon. Weldon was one of the most famous brass instrument teachers in the Midwest. The school was located at 1652 Warren Boulevard in Chicato. VanderCook continued Weldon’s teaching philosophy, with an expanded program of teaching.  The college’s current philosophy of music education can trace its roots back to A.F. Weldon.  Weldon wrote for cornet and band. Two of his most famous marches are The First Brigade and The Gate City, the latter based on the melodies of Dixie, Swanee River and Maryland, my Maryland for a brass band Atlanta, GA.  Weldon died at Chicago, IL, on May 5, 1914.  At his funeral, a band of 100 musicians performed his Last Word Dirge. He was buried in the Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois.

My collection includes the following work by A. F. Weldon:

The Gate City March.

Eric Weissberg and “Dueling Banjos” from Deliverance (1972)


Eric Weissberg (born August 16, 1939) is an American musician, singer, banjo player, and multi-instrumentalist, best known for playing solo in “Dueling Banjos,” featured as the theme of the movie Deliverance (1972) and released as a single that reached number 1 in 1973 in the United States and Canada.  Born on August 16, 1939, in New York City, NY, Weissberg attended The Little Red Schoolhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village and graduated from The High School of Music and Art in New York City. He went on to the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Juilliard School of Music. From 1956 to 1958, Weissberg frequently joined Bob Yellin, John Herald and Paul Prestopino at Washington Square Park to play on Sundays from 12-6pm. Public folk-singing in that park was forbidden by the city except for Sunday afternoons. John Herald the lead singer played guitar. Bob Yellin played guitar and 5-string. Weissberg usually played 5-string but also fiddle. Paul Prestopino played mandolin. Weissberg joined an early version of the Greenbriar Boys (1958–59), but left before they made any recordings. He joined The Tarriers, replacing Erik Darling. At the time, the Tarriers had had a hit with “Banana Boat Song;” Harry Belafonte’s version, released soon afterward, became a bigger hit.

Weissberg was taken on as a string-bass player, but the group soon made use of his multi-instrumental talents as banjo player, fiddler, guitarist, mandolin player, and singer. He started performing with the Tarriers while still a student at Juilliard. His first album with The Tarriers, Tell The World About This (1960), has a much rougher feel than the smoothly produced sound of The Weavers or The Kingston Trio.  In 1964 he had one-year’s service with the National Guard, which he had earlier joined. After his return, the Tarriers re-formed. In 1965 the group accompanied Judy Collins on a tour of Poland and Russia, but disbanded soon after. Collins was sufficiently impressed with his musicianship to use Weissberg as a session musician on Fifth Album (1965) and several later albums.  Commercially, interest in acoustic folk groups was waning. Weissberg developed a career as a session musician, playing on albums by The Clancy Brothers, Doc Watson, Melanie, Billy Joel, Frankie Valli, Bob Dylan, Loudon Wainwright III, Talking Heads, Tom Paxton, Jim Croce, Art Garfunkel, John Denver, Ronnie Gilbert and others.

Weissberg is well known for playing the banjo solo in “Dueling Banjos,” used as the theme in the film Deliverance (1972), produced by Joe Boyd and directed by John Boorman. It was released later as a single and became a hit: played on Top 40, AOR, and country stations alike. It reached the Top Ten and was hit #1 in the US and Canada.  Weissberg released a related album, called Dueling Banjos: From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ‘Deliverance’ (1973), which also became a hit. The album was made up mostly of tracks which Weissberg had recorded on New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass (1963), with Marshall Brickman and Clarence White. Also a screenwriter, Brickman later received an Oscar for Annie Hall. They removed two tracks from the 1963 album and added the track for “Dueling Banjos,” releasing it under the new name. One of the original 1963 tracks on the new album, “Shuckin’ The Corn,” was later sampled by Beastie Boys on the track “5-Piece Chicken Dinner” from their album Paul’s Boutique.

Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith was the composer of “Feudin’ Banjos,” which he had written and recorded in 1955. It was arranged by Weissberg and renamed as “Dueling Banjos” in the movie.  Continuing to play folk festivals, Weissberg is nearly as well known in that venue for his dobro guitar as for his bluegrass banjo playing. He has also recorded with jazz musicians Herbie Mann and Bob James. In 1998, he joined Richard Thompson and dozens of other folk musicians on Nanci Griffith’s album, Other Voices Too.  He often tours with Tom Paxton. They frequently play a variant of “Dueling Banjos” in the set, in addition to Paxton’s material.  On February 12, 2009, Weissberg performed at the Riverside Church in New York City with the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College orchestra and chorus, along with the Riverside Inspirational Choir and NYC Labor Choir, to honor President Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Directed by Maurice Peress, they performed Earl Robinson’s The Lonesome Train: A Music Legend for Actors, Folk Singers, Choirs, and Orchestra, in which Weissberg played solo banjo. Weissberg continues to play at folk festivals.

The following work by Eric Weissberg is contained in my collection:

Deliverance (1972): Dueling Banjos.

George W. Warren and “God of Our Fathers” (National Hymn)


George William Warren (August 17, 1828- March 17, 1902) was an American organist and composer.  Born on August 17, 1828, at Albany, New York, Warren attended Racine College, Racine, Wisconsin, and then played the organ at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (1846-58) and St. Paul’s Church (1858-60) in Albany, New York. In 1860, he moved to New York City to become organist at Holy Trinity Church. After 10 years there, he became organist and choir director at St. Thomas’ Church in New York City.  In 1876, a hymn beginning “God Of Our Fathers” was written for a local celebration of the nation’s centennial Independence Day by Daniel Crane Roberts (1814-1907).  Roberts was a 35 year old minister with the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in the small, rural village of Brandon, VT, who was born at Bridgehampton on Long Island, NY, was educated at Gambier College in Kenyon, OH, served in the Civil War as a private with the 84th Ohio Volunteers, and later received a D.D. degree from Norwich University in 1885.

Roberts originally set the hymn to the tune of the Russian National Anthem composed in 1833 by Alexis Feodorovich Lvov, and it was later published in several papers.  In 1892, Roberts then submitted the hymn anonymously to a committee of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church appointed to revise the Episcopal Hymnal. If the group accepted his hymn, Roberts said he would send them his name. The commission approved it, and it was included in the 1892 edition with the Russian Hymn tune. The hymnal editor and organist George W. Warren were to choose a hymn for the celebration of the Centennial of the United States Constitution later in 1892. They chose Roberts’ lyrics, but Warren composed a new tune called “National Hymn.”

This Roberts-Warren collaboration was later included in J. I. Tucker and W. W. Rousseau’s 1894 Hymnal Revised and Enlarged for the Episcopal Church.  Warren himself had edited a hymnal, Hymns and Tunes as Sung at St. Thomas’ Church, published at New York by Harper and Brothers in 1888.  He died on March 17, 1902, in New York City. No music was played at his funeral, attended by thousands, as the mourners believed they could find no finer organist.   He was buried in Albany Rural Cemetery at Albany, New York.

My collection includes the following work by George W. Warren:

God of Our Fathers (National Hymn).

Arthur Sydney Warrell and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”


Arthur Sydney Warrell (1882/1883-August 12, 1939), was an English composer, conductor, and organist.   Born in 1882 at Farmborough near Bath, England, he was educated at Farmborough and at the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College in Bristol. He was assistant organist at Bristol Cathedral, where he worked under Hubert Hunt, and was latterly organist of Clifton Parish Church. He was appointed Lecturer in Music at Bristol University in 1909. There in 1925 he founded the University Choir, Orchestra, and Madrigal Singers, and became known for his prowess as an educator. His skill as a choir trainer became widely known and his Bristol University choir performed numerous contemporary works by Vaughan Williams, William Gillies Whittaker, Peter Warlock, and Herbert Howells. In 1935, Oxford University Press published an elaborate four-part choral arrangement by Arthur Warrell of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a popular English Christmas carol from the West Country of England, under the title “A Merry Christmas,” describing the piece as a “West Country Traditional Song.”

The earlier history of the carol is unclear. It is absent from the collections of West-countrymen Davies Gilbert (1822 and 1823) and William Sandys (1833), as well as from the great anthologies of Sylvester (1861) and Husk (1864). It is also missing from The Oxford Book of Carols (1928). Some think that Warrell himself may have originated it.  The basis for this Christmas carol lies in the English tradition wherein wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve, such as “figgy pudding” that was very much like modern-day Christmas puddings. The greeting “a merry Christmas and a happy New Year” is recorded from the early eighteenth century.  The English custom of performing inside or outside homes in return for food and drink is illustrated in the short story The Christmas Mummers (1858) by Charlotte Yonge, in which a group of boys run to a farmer’s door and sing “I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”

Warrell arranged the tune for his own University of Bristol Madrigal Singers, and performed it with them in concert on December 6, 1935.  Warrell’s arrangement is notable for using “I” instead of “we” in the lyrics; the first line is “I wish you a Merry Christmas.”  Warrell died at Bristol, England, on August 12, 1939.  His “A Merry Christmas,” was subsequently republished in the collection Carols for Choirs (1961), and remains widely performed.  It is generally acknowledged that the Bristol-based Warrell  was responsible for the popularity of the carol.  In the comprehensive New Oxford Book of Carols (1992), editors Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott describe it as “English traditional” and “[t]he remnant of an envoie much used by wassailers and other luck visitors”; no source or date is given.

The following work by Arthur Sydney Warrell is contained in my collection:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas (arr.).

Samuel Augustus Ward and “America the Beautiful”


Samuel Augustus Ward (December 28, 1847 – September 28, 1903) was an American organist and composer. Born on December 28, 1847, in Newark, New Jersey, from an unbroken line of Samuel Wards, beginning with the Rhode Island Governor and Representative to the Continental Congress, he studied music under Jan Pychowski and others in New York City, New York, founded a music store in Newark, and became an organist at Grace Episcopal Church in his home town in 1880, succeeding Henry Cutler.  He is best remembered for the 1882 tune “Materna,” which he intended as a setting for the hymn “O Mother Dear, Jerusalem.” This was published ten years later, in 1892.

In 1889, Ward also founded and became first director of the still extant Orpheus Club of Newark, where he died on September 28, 1903, leaving no surviving children, and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the same city.  In 1910, after Ward had died, his tune was combined by a publisher with the Katharine Lee Bates poem “America,” itself first published in 1895, to create the patriotic song “America the Beautiful.” The tune is now known, almost exclusively, as the melody of Bates’s anthem.   Ward never met Bates.  A brass plaque in Ward’s memory was placed on the Grace Episcopal parish house in 1934. Ward was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

My collection includes the following work by Samuel Augustus Ward:

America the Beautiful.