Still, last month was hard. The cold and grey of January was just bringing me down. My neighbor wrote an article for our Ward news letter about how to deal with the "doldrums" and it sounded just like how I felt. Turning to the Savior with renewed energy of heart and serving as He did really helped. When the storms of life seem too much for us, we can take hold of the Savior's promise that we can find peace in Him.
In Maryland, when I was serving as the Stake Music Coordinator and Choir Director, I was amazed that every time Stake Conference was on the horizon, I would be inspired to write an arrangement. I never knew if the music that was going around in my head would be on the theme the Stake President wanted. And sometimes it wasn't. Still, it was nice to get some inspiration to write a song or create a choral arrangement of a hymn.
One time, the Stake President asked me to have the choir sing two specific hymns. I shook my head and said, "You realize that these two hymns are very similar, in fact they have the same tempo and feel. Don't you think you need a little variety?" We did a little compromise and settled on slower hymn near the beginning and "Master, the Tempest Is Raging" SATB to lead into his talk.
It just so happened that it was the arrangement I had been working on. Because it has such a narrative text, I decided to treat each verse with a little different flavor. The first two verses are sung mostly in unison with urgency and in a minor tonality. The accompaniment has motion as if the boat is riding terrifying waves. The first part of chorus is sung in parts rising to a big crescendo. Then, the mood changes at, "They all shall sweetly obey His will. Peace, peace be still."
The transition is reminiscent of the parting of storm clouds with the sun shining over a calm lake. The third verse, "Master the terror is over, the elements sweetly rest..." is sung lyrically with relief in the voices. The chorus follows the shape of a crescendo, but with testimony instead of fear. Ending very quietly with the Savior's words, "Peace, peace be still."
"Look to me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not." D & C 6:36
"Master the Tempest Is Raging" Solo