Musical Compositions

I've written a few pieces of church music and song arrangements. Here they are by opus number.
  1. "As Vesta Was" (PDF) (MID). From college days (1982). The soprano sings only one note, a G, and the challenge is to make the rest of the harmony interesting. The first two lines of text are from the well-known madrigal by Thomas Weelkes. The third line explains the joke.
  2. Fugue on "Vom Himmel Hoch" (MID). (1991)
  3. Fugue on "Num Komm der Heiden Heiland" (MID). (1993)
  4. Fugue on "Vater Unser" (MP3). Written in February 1994 for the service honoring my father Frank McConnell's 50th anniversary as organist and choirmaster at his church (see below). Gerre Hancock was kind enough to perform the piece at this service.
  5. Fugue on K-A-T-H-Y (PDF p. 1, p. 2) (MID). Written for my stepdaughter Kathy when I was first getting to know her in 1994.
  6. Prelude and Fugue on "Come, Labor On" (PDF). Written at the request of Lewis Bruun for an 82nd-birthday recital he gave my father in October 1995.
  7. Variations on "Innsbruck" (PDF). Written for my father's retirement party in September 1996.
  8. A setting of "Away in a Manger" (PDF) (MID). Written in December 1997 for the choir of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Stillwater, OK when we needed a tape of church music to use on a float in the city's Christmas parade.
  9. "Music for Kangyan Chen" (PDF) (MID). A fugue for unaccompanied flute. Written for my wife Connie in June 1998 when we were expecting the birth of our son Nicholas.
  10. "Nearly They Stood Who Fall" (PDF) (MID). The text is a poem from The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis. Dedicated to Andrew Shenton and the choirs of Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton. Was mostly written at Salisbury Cathedral during our choir's 2000 tour. Its final form dates from the fall of 2001, when the choir performed it the first time.
  11. A setting of "Loch Lomond" (PDF) (MID) for alto, baritone and piano. Was Connie's birthday present in December 2002.
  12. A setting of "Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear Me" (PDF) (MID) for voice and piano (2006). The text is one of Nicholas's bedtime prayers. The piece is a study: it has an original tune, but strictly follows the harmonies of Edward MacDowell's To a Wild Rose.
  13. "An Eton Christmas" (PDF) (MID) (2007). This is an arrangement of "Carmen Etonense", which is the school song of Eton College, the well-known boys' school in England. The "Carmen" is a magnificent tune with a medieval flavor. The arrangement was written for a Christmas Eve party given by friends who have sons at Eton. It sets the tune in counterpoint against different Christmas songs.

The first four pieces are at www.kunstderfuge.com in the new composers section. Numbers 7, 9 and 10 are at truefire.com.


Frank McConnell

Frank McConnell (1913-2005) (photo) was the organist and choirmaster at St. James' Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA from 1944 to 1996. As a professor at the Lancaster Theological Seminary from 1946 to 1987, he took the seminary choir on tours throughout the Northeast. He was a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was the founding Dean of Lancaster's AGO chapter. Here is his obituary as it appeared in the newspaper, and the eulogy preached at his funeral by Rev. Dr. Nathan Baxter.

Here is a video of Frank playing "Variations on a Welsh Tune" by T. Tertius Noble. Thanks to Mike Carter, a longtime tenor in Frank's choir, for making the video.

Below are a few of Frank McConnell's pieces. Many more are in Selected Works of Frank A. McConnell, an 80-page book of his compositions put together by Mark and his wife Connie. Please e-mail us if you'd like a copy of the book.

T. Tertius Noble

Organ

SATB Choir and Organ

The first three are also at truefire.com.

Solo Voice and Organ


Rev. Beatrice McConnell

Beatrice W. McConnell (photo) was the first woman ordained as a minister in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which later merged into the United Church of Christ (UCC). She graduated from Ursinus College in 1944, having majored in chemistry and biology. She graduated from the Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1948, and was ordained. Here are some of her career highlights.

Beatrice's sister, Rev. Mary Alice Butkofsky, is also a UCC minister and is a political activist.


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