Songs for my Father is a love offering to God, my heavenly Father, and a gift of love to my earthly father. As a young child my parent’s devotion to their faith in Christ encouraged my own step of faith at the age of six. Our home was often filled with the singing of hymns and gospel songs. I find great consolation and encouragement in singing of the promises of God, and whether in joy or in sorrow the words and melodies of hymns are often on my mind and in my heart.
The music on this recording features the arrangements of Harold DeCou. I was introduced to many of these pieces as a teenager and they were important to my technical and artistic development. The lush textures and harmonies reflect the pianism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries providing a rich palette of colors for the listener to experience.
God glorified through Christ sacrificed compels the believer to give voice to poets’ words in songs of faith. “What a friend we have in Jesus, all my sins and griefs to bear,” wrote Joseph Scriven. “What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” May these sacred songs lift your spirit, lighten your load, strengthen your faith and draw you closer to God.
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Her mastery of the keyboard is only surpassed by the passion and heart she displays for her Savior through interpretation of these classic hymns. The audience was clearly touched by the Spirit of God through her performance.
As I sat and listened, I was reminded how powerful these songs are in my life – how each holds so many layers of memory and story and faithfulness.
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Nan Childress Orchard has performed nationally. She is an active chamber musician performing regularly with her trio, Terzetta. She has performed with orchestras in Oregon and New Jersey, and has performed for, and with, international artists including Jean Pierre Rampal and Lukas Foss.
She received a D.M.A. in Piano from Rutgers University, an M.M. in Vocal Accompanying and Chamber Music from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.A. from Portland State University. During her graduate work at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Childress was introduced to the field of scholarship in the history of women composers. Since that time she has performed many works by women on the harpsichord, fortepiano and modern piano, including a performance of the Keyboard Concerto in E-flat Major, by Maria Hester Park on a replica of an 18th-century piano. She has commissioned and performed works by New Jersey women composers and one of the pieces is featured on the Beauport Classics CD In Concert: Composers in Collaboration.