Back in my first year of BYU Singers we spent a gagillion hours preparing for this PBS broadcast called “The Pilgrim’s Journey Home.” It was many hours of blood, sweat and tears making this broadcast what we wanted it to be. In addition to the broadcast is the recording that accompanies it. The DVD is all right, not a big deal for me, but this record is something I’m really quite proud of. BYU Singers contributed two solo songs for the program, one of them being Dr. Staheli’s arrangement of “I Feel Like I’m on My Journey Home.” I LOVE this song and especially this arrangement. There are very few other pieces that speak to me to the same degree. Let’s put it this way: It’s one of the songs I want played at my funeral.
The performance of this piece has got to be one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. First of all, the musicality and sound of this performance had reached a whole new level of maturity, even from the previous week. Second, I had just finished being incredibly sick earlier that week. It was like waking up after your head had been in a paint mixer the whole night. It also happened to be after a whole night of terrible nightmares that seemed to continue for endless hours. It was a tremendous challenge, but after sufficient rest and spiritual counseling, I was able to get out of bed, put on a tux and sing this music. It was a miracle.
In addition to what BYU Singers performed there are two other songs on here that are quite special. Their two piece written by good friends of mine: Daniel McDavitt and Jared Oaks. The first is “The Promised Land,” by Daniel. It was written for Concert Choir the year previous that I had the opportunity to premiere. It’s an incredible piece that’s so well crafted. The second is “Pilgrims on a Journey,” by Jared. This was written for the Women’s Chorus and features the cello studio here at BYU with Julie Beven playing the solo. The first time we in the choirs heard this piece, we were stunned at its beauty. It’s a really remarkable setting of fantastic words.
You can now buy it here on iTunes.