Today, May 19th, is the official release date of 2 brand new audio recordings by the talented GenevanSong singers. They are excited about praising the Lord in song and teaching others to do the same! If you are interested in learning to sing hymns or Psalms in four-part harmony, these CDs would be wonderful for giving practical help towards that goal, as it includes instructional vocal tracks along with the final version (we're not aware of other similar Psalm/hymn Cds that do this). Click here to view a photo report of their recording process, and continue reading to find out about our special giveaway!
Nations Praise seeks to teach families and churches how to sing the Psalms in four part harmony. The first ten tracks demonstrate the full harmony versions. The following selections break the parts down to soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, so you can learn your notes and sing along. All selections can be found in The Book of Psalms for Singing.
Jonathan: I have lamented before on this blog about the lack of quality music that conforms to the principles in God's Word. I am especially pleased, therefore, to see what the Lord is doing through GenevanSong. Not only do these CDs exemplify godly, joyful singing, they also invite families and churches to do likewise. The other day, Hannah told me that the Servens had asked us to review their two newest CDs. I was certainly willing to do so. On Saturday, I had to run some errands around town, so I took Nations Praise with me in the car to listen to. It was great! The sound quality was professional, and the harmonies were well sung and blended beautifully. My only wish was that it could have lasted longer! I would say my favorite tracks were The Lord is My Shepherd (based, of course on Psalm 23) and By Babel's Streams We Sat and Wept (taken from Psalm 137). By Babel's Streams sounded like it had an Appalachian flavor to it, which I especially enjoyed. Once I finished all 10 Full Harmony tracks, I decided to put GenevanSong's idea to the test. Was it possible to easily learn a part?
I chose The Lord is My Shepherd to tackle first. I sing bass, so it took me awhile to skip to track 43 on our car's CD player. Nathan Serven's clear voice started singing, and it was only a few minutes later that I was able to start joining in. The bass part was fairly simple, so I was able to get the first couple phrases down quickly. A few more miles down the road and I had the rest of the part under my belt. So far, so good. My next step was to skip all the way back down to track 3 to the full harmony and try singing along with that. I did so--and failed miserably. I completely forgot my part as soon as I heard all the different harmonies together. Back to 43. I listened and sang some more. Back to 3. This time it was a little better. More back-and-forth track skipping ensued. I was gradually able to sing along, each time gaining more ease. I was stuck on one phrase though: ("....green pastures He leadeth me..."). I could nail it every time when singing bass solo, but it wouldn't come with the full harmony. Finally, when pulling up in our driveway, I was able to get it! Once inside, I demonstrated to the rest of the family, and they all agreed it sounded great.
So yes, it does work! Within an hour, I was able to learn a part and sing it along with others, by God's grace. Now for some of you, you might require more grace, but nonetheless, it wasn't that difficult. I am definitely not a trained singer, so I usually am not able to know what notes to sing by merely looking at the notes in the hymnal. Hearing the individual parts by themselves helped a lot. I trust it will help you, too. My next song to learn will probably be either By Babel's Streams or Come Thou Fount from Glory Laud and Honor (see below).
I would heartily recommend the GenevanSong CD's for both musical enjoyment and musical instruction. Keep up the good work, GenevanSong!
Glory, Laud, and Honor seeks to teach families and churches how to sing the Hymns in four part harmony. The first ten tracks demonstrate the full harmony versions. The following selections break the parts down to soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, so you can learn your notes and sing along. All selections can be found in The Trinity Hymnal, and many other fine hymnals.
Hannah: Don't you like the cover photos of these CDs? I was impressed with the quality of the overall design, and after having enjoyed the first 2 volumes of the Servens' Psalms CDs, I was even more pleased with the way the sound turned out on these new volumes. I thought a nice mix of common/unfamiliar hymns were included on Glory, Laud, and Honor. One of my favorites was By Grace I'm Saved. Listen to a sample clip of Crown Him With Many Crowns here. I'm looking forward to possibly learning some of these selections with the family and eventually, church family!
To celebrate the release of these new recordings, Mountain Musings is hosting a CD giveaway, compliments of the Serven Clan! The winner will receive a free copy of each of the new CDs: Nations Praise and Glory, Laud, and Honor. To enter for a chance to win this drawing, make a comment to this post telling one of your favorite Psalms or hymns. This contest will end on Thursday, May 22nd at 9:00 pmEST, and the results will posted on Friday.
~Hannah and Jonathan