Christmas March to Bethlehem in a Great Chorus that Brightly Shines

This December’s offering consists of three Christmas pieces to help put you in the mood plus an energetic Grand Choeur by Hollins for New Year’s. One of the Christmas pieces is my first restoration of music written by Carl Mueller. I hope you will enjoy it and add it to your seasonal repertoire.


1. PETITE MARCHE CHAMPÊTRE DE NOËL by Robert Leech Bedell. His full English title is “Rustic March of the Villagers at Christmas,” and it was written for an AGO chapter back in 1942. If you need a short children’s processional for Christmas, this is it.

2. IN BETHLEHEM’S TOWN, by Carl Mueller. Mueller based this appealing music on two well-known tunes, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Fairest Lord Jesus.” It goes through lots of keys and textures, giving impressions of Bethlehem from Bible times.

3. GRAND CHOEUR NO 2, by Alfred Hollins. This big and lively piece is in three and I think it’s perfect for New Year’s and January. Visit the page to hear a professional recording by another blind organist, David Liddle. Hollins is always worth the work!

4. TOCCATA ON “HOW BRIGHTLY SHINES,” by Garth Edmundson. His “Vom Himmel Hoch” (1937) is his most performed piece, and this toccata from 1955 is related in style to it. It is indicated for use on Christmas and Epiphany.

MONTHLY DISCOUNT BUNDLE. To get the four pieces mentioned above, I offer a special price so you can buy all of the pieces above with one click and save money in the deal. ** Because this month’s bundle weighs less than usual, the shipping charge is reduced! ** I welcome your support, and if you don’t want to play a particular piece in the group, consider giving it to a student or another organist.


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A Late November Air (American)

A Late November Air (American)

As many of us continue to prepare for Advent and Christmas, here’s a little break for us. Just relax, and let Christopher Marks play the Variations on Stephen Foster’s famous “American Air.” It’s from 2014, and Flagler’s efforts can serve to remind you of the long-standing programs at Chautauqua — you see, Flagler held the post there for 17 years. The outstanding organist, Jared Jacobsen, holds that position now.


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Playing for Years from an Ancient Copy

Thank you. I’ve played the Candlyn for years from an ancient A P Schmidt copy so I’m delighted to have a newly printed copy … likewise the Jenkins set. —New York, USA



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All Hollow’s Eve on a IV/77 Schantz

All Hollow’s Eve on a IV/77 Schantz

I am pleased to share Jim Roman’s performance of Robert Leech Bedell’s “All Hollow’s Eve” on the Grace Presbyterian Schantz. It’s a lot of fun and Jim does an outstanding of communicating the musical program. Additionally, don’t we all want a change from typical loud, scary Halloween pieces?

Bedell used the following tableaux as the program for this piece: “A Witch’s Rondevous in an Enchanted Glen – The Ride of the Night-Hags – Pastoral Dance of the Happy Spirits – With the dawn of All-Saints Day, the Creatures of Folklore and Legend, suddenly – vanish!”


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A Letter from William Faulkes

A Letter from William Faulkes

Here is a letter that we received from Robert Glick. The circumstances of his receipt of this letter by Faulkes from 1899 is given below the transcription. I and John Apple have endeavored to transcribe the letter but some items were unrecognizable to us. Should you have greater understanding of what he wrote, please post in the comments below.

First, I present the images of the letters. They are in this page set at 600 pixels, but if you click on them, they will open and zoom to fill your browser. I hope you enjoy this bit of correspondence from the past!

Also, scroll to the bottom for links to the organ music of Faulkes.


4 __
Anfield, Liverpool
May 15th 1899

Dear Sir

Accept my best thanks for your letter [so] P[?] order (9/8) [August 9] safely to hand. I did not wish you to send money for the 2nd set until ready, as I have not yet had any proofs so it may be two months or more before I can send you the music. However it does not matter if you do not mind.

I send you also Nos 5, 7, 9 & 12 of my “Series for Ch[urch] & Concert Use” which please accept. If you can recommend my pieces to any of your friends I shall be very grateful.

My new book will be exactly the same style as the 1st set of six & about the same length.

Yours faithfully
William Faulkes

To __ Esq[uire], F.R.C.O.

P. S.
The pieces that have been most played are —
Cantilene in A, Grand Chorus in D: out of my set of _Twelve_ (out of print)
Offertoire in G, Processional March in F, Sonata, Concert Ov[erture], Andante Pastorale,

Menuetto G minor (out of print): Series for Ch[urch] & Concert.
March in C (Six Pieces 1st Set)

Letter explaining Faulkes’s letter

Dear John,

I enjoyed meeting you and talking with you at the OHS Convention. As you requested, I am sending you a copy of the letter from William Faulkes. It was inside a piece of music I inherited from an old organist friend who has long since died.

All the best,
Robert Glick
July 11, 2006



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So Many of these Wonderful Pieces Available

“Dear Michael, I received the music. Thanks for the quick delivery and for making so many of these wonderful pieces and arrangements available to us.” —Pennsylvania, USA


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New Recording of Johnston’s Forest Vesper

Edward F Johnston’s Forest Vesper (Nocturne)

Edward F Johnston (photo above from 1919, 5 years after this music was published) was not a relative of mine. Let’s get that one out of the way. I have, though, been drawn to the few organ composers with my last name. And why not?

The second recorded performance of his “Forest Vesper” comes to us from the lyrical genius of Steve Schlesing. Steve’s style is known to many of us on my list of organ music restoration devotees; he is a master of pulling every last drop of emotion from romantic and sentimental scores. This one was envisioned and first played on a Wurlitzer in 1912! It’s one of my favorites, and I am so grateful to Steve for his efforts in doing this for us to hear. Enjoy!

Steve writes:

I’ve recorded the Forest Vesper on the Reuter sample set … it almost plays itself on this organ. The Vox Humana really gets to shine in the “Prayer” section. Being in G Minor, it sounds like “fall” to me.


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Backstory and Poem Are Helpful for Performer

“Thank you for your email. I received the music in today’s mail. I’m amazed at the speed and quality. The backstory to the music and poem really help to increase the accessibility of the work.” —New York, USA

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Of the Father’s Love, Ropartz’s Varied Theme, Faulkes’s Carillon, and Federlein’s Grand Choeur Militare

Oh Boy, for November’s offering, I have chosen four pieces that absolutely have to please everyone! The Candlyn Divinum Mysterium was the most requested piece of 2016-17. I offer the only recording I could find, and that is John Apple playing the Rodgers Trio! It is truly beautiful and absolutely earns a place in your church. The others offer something for all tastes! And for the first time, all four pieces are available as PDFs!


1. PRELUDE ON “DIVINUM MYSTERIUM,” by Candlyn. This is Candlyn’s most beautiful and most played piece. It is an absolutely gorgeous and playable arrangement of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” that captures the beauty and quietude of the chant melody. If you don’t have this, get it now!

2. THÈME VARIÉ, by Guy Ropartz. This lovely “Varied Theme,” not really a theme and variations, is just a great piece for service or a light interlude for concert. It is number four in his six pieces but is the most often played. I offer two contrasting performances for you to hear.

3. GRAND CHOEUR MILITAIRE, by Gottfried Federlein. From 1912 comes this clever march with a military flair.

4. CARILLON, by William Faulkes. His light and lyric Carillon is a change from the usual loud and boisterous piece. To me, it has the quality of a well-tuned music box.

MONTHLY DISCOUNT BUNDLE. To get the four pieces mentioned above, I offer a special price so you can buy all of the pieces above with one click and save money in the deal. I welcome your support, and if you don’t want to play a particular piece in the group, consider giving it to a student or another organist.


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Delighted with Music by Frederic Wood

“I am delighted to tell you that the music that I ordered from you by Frederic Wood arrived during this past week whilst I was away on holiday playing the organ in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. It was well worth the mishap of the initial posting [first shipment was lost in transit] as they seem to be charming pieces. With good wishes and thanks.”

—United Kingdom



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