Church Music


This was not traditional worship music. 

Stylistically, it was all over the map. Sometimes that was literal – Pacific island music, Caribbean reggae, European renaissance, Motown, Middle Eastern, rustic American folk, New Orleans jazz, bluegrass, and many other styles I was asked to compose in. Researching these cultures and their musical idioms led to dramatic increases in the breadth and depth of my music scoring vocabulary. What composer would not welcome that?  

At other times, I was asked to compose in a contemporary orchestral film scoring style. Think James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Newton-Howard. Studying the music of these masterful film composers became a joyful exercise for me, though it could also be intimidating. Nevertheless, through experimentation and abundant trial and error, I began to acquire competency in orchestral writing. These blossoming orchestral writing and arranging chops also found their way into my video game music. 

Perhaps instead of describing church music as a parallel career path, I should label it an interlaced career path. Certainly any story of my music scoring career would be incomplete without it...

- - - - -



Before I could slip away, one of the producers came over and introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Quinn Orr,” he said with a broad smile, “Do you have a few minutes to come and visit in my office?” 

Quinn struck me instantly as a man with no pretenses. He wore brown loafers that looked lived in and comfortable. His white shirt was partially untucked, drooping over a belt holding baggy trousers snug against a slight paunch. His thick black hair was parted on the right side, with a few feisty spikes poking up here and there. If Quinn was wearing a tie that day, it was loose at the neck, with wide diagonal stripes, likely brown and white with gold at the edges. It may have had a small stain on it. 

We walked back to his office, and spent no more than ten minutes talking about music and media. He gave me his business card, and said I was welcome to check in with him from time to time. 

Allow me editorialize. This man gave me the courtesy of his personal attention after my unexceptional presentation. No one else did that. But Quinn Orr walked over to me, looked me in the eye, smiled at me, shook my hand, and invited me to spend ten minutes with him, talking about my work and his work...

- - - - -

"An empowering career guidebook wrapped around a personal retrospective. A professional how-to manual woven into a memoir."