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

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May 12, 2021 | #105 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: Linda Margetts

1. Recessional. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Cundick
2. a. Trumpet Voluntary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Dupuis
    b. Prelude on "Rhosymedre" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ralph Vaughan Williams
3. a. Come, Come, Ye Saints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
    b. An Old Melody: Beautiful Zion, Built Above . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .arr. by organist
4. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Johann Sebastian Bach

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.

“Beautiful Zion, Built Above” (Jospeh G. Fones, arr. Margetts)

The words for the hymn “Beautiful Zion, Built Above” were written by the English missionary George Gill, while preaching in the Cook Islands in the Pacific. Gill wrote this poem on the small but stunningly picturesque island of Mangaia, only 20 square miles in area. I like to think that the loveliness of both the natural scenery in Mangaia and the people of the island found its way into Gill’s hymn lyrics—nearly every line starts with the word “beautiful,” as Gill describes the vistas of heaven and “all who enter there.”

In most hymnals, Gill’s words are set to a tune from the 1860s by Thomas J. Cook, an American teacher working in the New York area. But in Latter-day Saint hymnals, Cook’s tune was gradually replaced with a setting written by Joseph G. Fones, an immigrant from England who moved to Utah in 1879.

In his early childhood, Fones had worked the coalmines in Staffordshire, but through a local Sunday School had learned to read and gain an education. He started to teach himself music as a teenager, learning to play several instruments. At the age of 45, Fones started composing music, and a few years later moved to Utah, where he wrote many hymns, anthems, and songs, and organized choirs and bands.

Both the hymnwriter and composer of “Beautiful Zion, Built Above” expressed a vision of almost unimaginable heavenly glory, an objective they both labored diligently their whole lives to obtain. Gill died in 1880 at the age of sixty, a pastor at Westgate Congregational Church in Burnley, Lancashire. Joseph Fones passed away in 1906 when he was 77 years old. His death certificate lists the primary cause as “just wore out.” Both devoted their lives and energies to “He who was slain on Calvary,” as the hymn text phrases it. The final lines of this hymn capture the lifelong commitment to the causes of goodness that Gill and Fones exemplified, and their unfailing hope in a heavenly peace. “Thither I press with eager feet,” the hymn declares. “There shall my rest be long and sweet.”1

  1. https://hymnary.org/text/beautiful_zion_built_above_gill