Saturday, July 9, 2011

30 Songs in 30 Days, Day 23: A Song That You Want to Play at Your Wedding

Song: "Prelude" from Te Deum
Composer: Marc Antoine Charpentier
Orchestra: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Conductor: Sir Neville Marriner

We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary just last month. We were married at the Tree Farm in an outdoor wedding in the manner of the Quakers. Quaker services, weddings included, don't traditionally have music but Tree Farm Quakerism has always involved the singing of songs at meeting. We also wanted to involve friends and family as much as possible in our nuptials so we invited a couple of our friends - husband and wife trumpeters - to play.

I was unsatisfied with the options for processionals so I wrote my own. I am not much of a composer but I hammered out something simple. My players graciously sorted out the transpositions for me. Sadly, I didn't keep the sound file I created for it. I must have the score around for it somewhere but who knows where?

We also wanted a trumpet call to ceremony and our players brought "Prelude" for that purpose. During the ceremony, my father led us in a selection of songs: "Simple Gifts," "Vine and Fig Tree" by Shalom Altman, "Morning Has Broken" and finally "As We Leave This Friendly Place," an adaptation of J.S. Bach's Chorale 38 as arranged by Vincent B. Stilliman. I also created a trumpet arrangement of the last one for our recessional.

For our reception in the meadow, we rented a stereo system and asked a few friends and family members to make good, old-fashioned mix tapes for us. By special request, my new mother-in-law created a compilation of traditional Lebanese music. There was also my a cappella arrangement of "Here, There and Everywhere," as explained on Day 1. As a special treat, the Maid of Honor/Wedding Cake Baker provided a stirring recitation of the lyrics to "Stand by Your Man" as part of her toast.

It was a wonderful day, made more so by the personal involvement of those nearest and dearest to us.


I hope you'll join us for the "30 Songs in 30 Days" challenge, inspired by the tumblr list. Our 30 Songs roster:

Stay on target...
Marc Whitman's Blog
Haley says "Hello" To You

It's never too late to post your own. Tomorrow is...

Day 24: A Song That You Want to Play at Your Funeral


  1. The whole selection is lovely, perfect.

    I could listen to Simple Gifts forever and never be tired of it.