I've written a few pieces of church music and song arrangements. Here
they are by opus number.
- "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.
- Fugue on "Vom Himmel Hoch" (MID). (1991)
- Fugue on "Num Komm der Heiden Heiland" (MID). (1993)
- 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
Hancock was kind enough to perform the piece at this service.
- Fugue on K-A-T-H-Y (PDF p. 1,
(MID). Written for
my stepdaughter Kathy when I was first
getting to know her in 1994.
- 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
- Variations on "Innsbruck" (PDF). Written for my father's retirement
party in September 1996.
- A setting of "Away in a Manger" (PDF)
(MID). Written in December 1997 for the
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.
- "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.
- "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.
- A setting of "Loch Lomond" (PDF) (MID) for alto, baritone and piano. Was
Connie's birthday present in December 2002.
- 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.
- "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
composers section. Numbers 7, 9 and 10 are at truefire.com.
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
- Before the music per se, here is the text of a talk Memories of T. Tertius Noble which Mr. McConnell gave to the Lancaster AGO in 1989. Dr. Noble was his teacher in the 1930's and 40's, and he was Dr. Noble's assistant at St. Thomas's Episcopal Church, New York, during the war years.
- March (PDF)
(MID). Untitled, but is possibly the processional he wrote for his own wedding on June 7, 1958.
I think it's the same piece. But I only heard it once 47 years ago, and I was doing something else at the time. --B.W.M.
- Prelude on Praise to the Lord (PDF)
(MID). August 1955.
- Prelude for Organ on the Hymn Tune Perfect Love (PDF)
- Prelude Lead On, O King Eternal (PDF)
(MID). For Brad Lutz on his Ordination, May 18, 1974.
SATB Choir and Organ
The first three are also at truefire.com.
- Second Corinthians 4:6 (PDF)
(MID). An anthem written for Corinth
Church, Hickory, NC, in May 1969. Text from Corinthians and Ambrose
of Milan. Written at the request of Robert Moss, a president of the
United Church of Christ (UCC), because this was Moss's home
- Te Deum Laudamus (PDF). Written for a joint city-wide service of eight churches in 1971.
- Selections from the Letter of James (PDF excerpt) (MID excerpt).
For the 225th anniversary of St. James' Episcopal
Church in Lancaster, PA, 1969.
- Jubilate Deo (PDF) (MID excerpt). For St. James' 250th anniversary, 1994.
- Where the Spirit of the Lord Is (PDF) (MID). A hymn written for a large meeting of the UCC church in November 1975.
- The Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ (PDF) (MID). A setting of the 1959 text of the UCC Statement of Faith (see below for why this is "all in the family").
Solo Voice and Organ
- Love Suffereth Long (PDF)
(MID). A setting of the text from I Corinthians. This solo version from August 1955 seems to be the original. In later years, he also arranged the piece as a duet and as a trio.
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.
- Served at St. Paul's (now Church of the Apostles), Lancaster, PA.
- Was the minister at the Lemasters, PA, four-church parish.
- Served on the commission that wrote the UCC Statement of Faith (1959).
- Was the minister at the UCC church in Conestoga, PA.
- Wrote Heralds of the Cross, a historical drama celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Lancaster Theological Seminary (1975).
- Was the minister at Trinity UCC, Columbia, PA.
Beatrice's sister, Rev. Mary Alice Butkofsky, is also a UCC minister and is a political activist.
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