"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

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April 14, 2021 | #101 Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square

Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is streamed online every Wednesday at 12:00 noon MDT. Piping Up! can be viewed on TheTabernacleChoir.org, the Choir’s YouTube channel, the Choir’s Facebook page, and Broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. When concerts are concluded, they are available for on-demand viewing on the Choir’s website, YouTube and Facebook.

These programs continue the tradition of noon organ recitals at Temple Square—a tradition that has lasted for more than a century. The concerts are produced without an audience and comply with all COVID-19 guidelines. Each concert will feature a different Tabernacle or Temple Square organist and is hosted by Luke Howard.

Repertoire

Organist: Richard Elliott

1. God of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Manz
2. a. Allegro, from Concerto no. 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . George Frideric Handel
    b. Nearer, My God, to Thee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard L. Elliott
3. a. Hymn: Come, Come, Ye Saints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
    b. An Old Melody: All Through the Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
4. "Baba Yaga" and "The Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Modest Mussorgsky

LISTENER REQUESTED SELECTION Go to the Piping Up! web page to make your request!

Focus Piece

An on-going feature of Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is a focus piece with additional inspirational background on a specific repertoire selection. Written by host Luke Howard, a professor of music at Brigham Young University, the focus piece connects the music in a unique way to lift and inspire listeners.

“Nearer, My God, To Thee” (Mason, arr. Elliott)

On this day, April 14, in 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg during its maiden voyage. What happened over the next few hours has become the stuff of legend. The sinking of the Titanic was, and remains, one of the deadliest and most shocking disasters at sea.

Among many stories of selfless heroism that emerged from that tragedy, one of the most affecting is the account of the ship’s eight-member band still performing on the Titanic’s deck as turmoil swirled around them, trying through music to offer some sense of calm to the passengers, and perhaps themselves. All the band members went down with the ship that night, and died.

We may never be sure what exactly the band played as the Titanic sank. Several passengers reported it was the hymn “Nearer, My God, To Thee,” though others adamantly denied that claim. One of the ship’s crew said he heard the song “Autumn,” perhaps the “Songe d’Automne”—"Autumn Dream,” a popular song at the time. Even if the musicians did play the hymn “Nearer, My God, To Thee,” there were at least three different tunes associated with that hymn at the time. The tune now most frequently sung to those words is called “Bethany,” and it has been immortalized in film and music as the music the band played on the Titanic. But it’s perhaps the least likely of the three tunes to have been familiar to the band members; it’s an American melody, by Lowell Mason, and the band was comprised of European musicians.

Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter so much what the actual music was. The point of the story isn’t the melody. First, this story is about the selflessness and courage of musicians who continued to offer what they could to help others, even at the peril of their own lives. And second, it’s about music’s power to provide solace, to calm fears, putting aside the intensity of distress in the moment, as catastrophe seemed inevitable and passengers looked death in the face, and replacing that fear with a reassuring reminder of God’s nearness.

Richard will now play his own arrangement of the hymn tune “Bethany,” or “Nearer, My God, To Thee.”