Mark Mitchell Music

Latter-day Saint Church Music

Who are Latter-day Saints?

My life has been blessed by being a church musician. The very first performance of an original composition was with my Branch choir when I was a teenager. I have played organ, conducted choirs, arranged services and entertainments. I have enjoyed the best seats at Stake Conferences, Regional meetings, visiting Apostles and temple dedications. I have arranged and composed for choirs, soloists, instrumentalists and organists. Some of these pieces are relatively simple; some will require a month or more of practice for a ward choir to master: but I think there has been too much movement to choir music that can be learned in 15 minutes. There will always be a need for some such selections, but we should also challenge our choirs to invest the effort in more challenging and rewarding repertoire too. All of these arrangements have been performed by ward choirs. Some require a good pianist with advanced skills, but none require advanced singers. I love the hymns of the church. They are lifelong friends and comforters.

Some pieces you may download and use free of charge, but those marked with a red asterisk * are available for purchase: $10 for choral and ensemble pieces and $5 for solos. Instructions for ordering are here .
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Vocal Solos            Original Hymns               Instrumentals               Organ Solos 


A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief - Taylor (4-part hymn)
(see also the arrangement for vocal solo below)
This is likely the actual tune that John Taylor sang for Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail in 1844. It was uncovered by Taylor descendant Mark Taylor a few years ago. You can read about it here My first setting is in the plain but lovely 19th century style that is common to our LDS hymnal. The second harmonization is a more musically complex one. A discussion of the history of this hymn can be read on my blog.
(SATB, Piano and Flute)
This decidedly Mormon hymn was written in the 1830's in Missouri, perhaps even in Adam-ondi-Ahman, where Joseph Smith taught that Adam had lived. William Phelps used a tune from a shape note hymn of the time and wrote his own words. The first verse in my arrangement features the original tune from Southern Harmony. I have recently simplified my original arrangement and adapted it for flute and piano. Purchase
*All Creatures of Our God and King (SATB, Organ)
I have done a few arrangements of this great hymn. This one is for easy choir and organ. It kind of stems from an alternate fourth verse that I made up as a teenager playing the organ in sacrament meeting. The congregation was long suffering I think. Purchase
*Beautiful Savior (TTB or SSA, Piano)
Originally written for a men's choir, I have also had this performed by women in a lower key. The piano part requires a confident pianist. Purchase
*Best for Last (children's voices, Piano)
A Mother's Day song for Primary children. I love the idea of Heavenly Father as the consummate artist. While he proclaimed all his creations good, woman, who was created last, was his masterpiece. :)    Purchase
*Book of Mormon Medley (SAB, Piano)
My father-in-law requested this combination of An Angel Came to Joseph Smith and The Golden Plates for his ward choir.  I'm quite pleased with the result.  Purchase

*Come, Follow Me (SSA, Piano)
John Nicholson, author of the text of Come, Follow Me, was a Scottish convert who joined the church in 1861 and emigrated to Utah in 1866. The text, especially the last verse, gains deeper significance when you realize that he was the first Recorder of the Salt Lake Temple, a calling he fulfilled until his death in 1909.  Purchase
Come Unto Him (SATB, Piano)
This hymn is set with a different tune in our hymn book, but I discovered it matched very well with the folk song Waly Waly. Later I adapted it for Baritone/Alto duet. I have also included here a straight 4-part hymn setting. There is also a solo version found below in the Vocal Solo section.
*Come, Ye Children of the Lord (SATB, Organ)
Come, Ye Children of the Lord and Now Let Us Rejoice are arrangements I composed for the choir which I conducted at the dedication of the Montreal, Quebec Temple in 2001. Half of the 16 voice choir was from northern Vermont, half from Ottawa, Ontario. Purchase
*Did You Think To Pray? 
(SATB, Piano)

This is becoming one of my favourite arrangements - simple, yet effective. It was adapted from the Soprano solo found below. Read the story of this hymn in my blog.       Purchase
Easter Hymn (SATB, Organ)
D-flat is a strange key for Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, but when I was writing the arrangement, the low D and A on the old organ's pedals didn't work, so I chose a key where that wouldn't be a problem! This arrangement is very easy for the choir (in fact, they can just use their hymn books), challenging for the organist. It begins with a narrator reading from Luke.
*Primary Presentation 2017:
Firm Foundation Medley (SS, Piano)
This combination of How Firm A Foundation with The Foolish Man and the Wise Man was suggested by Julie Duty, a Primary singing leader in Arizona, as a way to make the 2017 Primary Presentation special. The hymn matches so well with the folk song musically and conceptually, I couldn't resist.  Purchase
*"Give", Said the Little Stream (SATB, Piano)
Fanny Crosby, the author of these famous verses, was blinded in her infancy, but from (and she said, because of) this trial she was inspired to write poetry. Fanny wrote thousands of published hymns and poems, so many that publishers had her use aliases of which she had around 200! 
This setting of her most famous creation uses word painting to evoke babbling brooks and rain. It requires a good pianist, but the choral parts are suited to an average church choir and the simple, yet profound message of service will resonate with any congregation.  Purchase
*God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son (SATB, Piano)

This arrangement was written for my ward choir in Edmonton in the spring of 2009. We performed with a solo violin playing in the intro and interludes, and doubling the sopranos on the last verse. Purchase
*I Know That My Redeemer Lives
(SATB, Piano) 

Originally written for Alto solo, this is one of my most requested arrangements, now available for choir. 
*Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners
(SATB, piano)
This is a hymn text common in many Protestant denominations, sung to the tune Hyfrydol, which Latter-day Saints sing as the sacrament hymn, "In Humility Our Savior". I have altered the text somewhat and added a new verse. This arrangement is based on the solo version below.  Purchase
*Let No Hands Be Idle Here (SATB, Piano)
This is one of my favourites from the Orson Scott Card collection, which I arranged in 2016 for my ward choir. This arrangement is not included in the book.   Purchase
Lord, We Come Before Thee Now (SAB, Piano)
One of the very few (5 to be exact) LDS hymns in a minor key, I love the harmony in this beautiful hymn. This arrangement was done for my small ward choir to perform.
*Love At Home (SAB, Piano)
 This is a sweet arrangement of an LDS favourite. I recently revised this one to simplify the original arrangement. My ward choir found it very effective. Purchase
*More Holines Give Me (SAB, Piano)
Score (SATB)  Score (Instrumental)
Set in a different metre, Rachmaninoff 's beautiful Prelude in D was the inspiration for the piano accompaniment of this moving hymn.  It struck me as I listened to the music that it would easily make a lovely Soprano/Baritone or instrumental duet, so I have added scores for that purpose. There is a solo arrangement in the Solos section below. Read the story of this hymn in my blog.     Purchase
*Now Let Us Rejoice (SATB, Organ)
At the dedication itself we performed somewhat simplified versions, but a month later at a Stake Conference in Ottawa I reassembled the choir to sing the full arrangements, and these recordings were made during the conference. The solo in Now Let Us Rejoice is sung by Greg Johnson. Purchase
*Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning (SATB, Piano)
Also know as "Joseph Smith's First Prayer", this LDS favourite was arranged early in 1986 for my ward choir. I'm particularly fond of the dramatic third verse and the shift to the tune of "Jesus, Lover of My Soul", which fits the fourth verse perfectly. The idea is that the dramatic moment of the Prophet's First Vision has changed everything forever. (A revised adaptation of this arrangement for Soprano solo can be found below.)  Purchase

*O Little Town of Bethlehem (SATB, Piano)
This famous Christmas carol was arranged for my ward choir - simple, yet effective.    Purchase
*Praise To the Man (SATB, Piano)
Score (Simplified)
I wrote this after hearing Mack Wilberg's arrangement, so I must give him credit for the inspiration. This has always been one of my favourite hymns. I've had a few people tell me they've never liked this hymn until they heard this arrangement.  Purchase
*Precious Savior (SATB, Piano)
I've woven two other tunes into this arrangement of Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer: the tune of Come Thou Font of Every Blessing which suits the second verse so well, and the well-known Dona Nobis Pacem, which is basically the latin translation of the closing phrase "Grant us everlasting peace".  Purchase
Sweet Prospect (SAA, Piano)
While not a Mormon hymn per se, this Millennial tune from the Sacred Harp was arranged for the Relief Society sisters to sing in Sacrament Meeting. It is simple yet lovely and effective.
*The First Noël (TBB, piano)
This Christmas arrangement was made for all the men in my congregation to sing: most would sing melody, some would sing the bass part from the hymn book, and a few tenors would sing the composed counter melody. If you need something for mostly untrained singers to perform, this is a good choice (or a trained choir, of course).  Purchase
*There Is A Green Hill Far Away (SATB, Piano)
This is a very simple but effective arrangement that can be mastered by the smallest or least proficient of choirs. I have often used it as an initial piece when starting with a new ward choir. They can easily concentrate on vocal production and breathing.  Purchase
*There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today (SSAA/SATB, Piano)
This beloved hymn was written by Eliza Hewitt when, after six months in a body cast and having it finally removed, she was able to take a walk in the park on a sunny day. Written for a Stake Conference Women's choir, this arrangement features 4-part women which I have adapted for SATB.  Purchase
*Weary Not (SATB, Piano)
Once included in several LDS hymn collections, this gospel song from the turn of the century has been sung by the choir in recent General Conferences. Thanks to Amy Zimmerman for commissioning this arrangement for her ward choir.  Purchase
*When I Am Baptized (SAB, Piano)
Score SAB  (Also available for SSA, SS and                         easy piano)
This lovely masterpiece by Nita Dale Milner (also known by it's first line, I Like to Look for Rainbows) is one of my top five favourite Primary songs of all time. Although a song for children, the importance of repentance and feeling that you want your "life to be as clean as earth right after rain" becomes more poignant as we age -- I have a hard time not getting emotional when I perform this song. This simple arrangement is great for beginner or small choirs, both mixed (SAB) and women's (SSA). I also have a two-part arrangement and one for easy piano.  Purchase
A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief (Tenor, piano)
For some reason, all seven verses of this remarkable hymn stuck in my head and I remember singing them to myself as I rode my bike around on my mission. I wrote this arrangement for my father (a fine tenor) shortly after beginning university. Later I orchestrated the arrangement, enlarging some of the interludes. A computer version of this setting is presented here, with a horn playing the solo vocal part.  A discussion of the history of this hymn can be read on my blog.
Alma's Blessing (Soprano and Piano or Orchestra)

Originally written for piano and voice,  I created  this orchestra version of my setting of a passage from the Book of Mormon for this recording of Diana Walker and the Mormon Youth Symphony.
Blessed Are the Pure In Heart (Soprano and Piano)

Originally a piano solo, I  adapted this music for soprano solo, basing the text on the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt.5:3-9).
Come Unto Him (Soprano, piano)

This is an adaptation of a choral arrangement I did many years ago, with parts recomposed. The tune is the familiar folk song, O Waly Waly, or The Water Is Wide.
*Did You Think To Pray?
(Soprano, piano)

Also known by it's first line, Ere You Left Your Room This Morning, the message of this hymn is simple yet profound - as most gospel principles are. 
Read the story of this hymn in my blog.      Purchase
I Know That My Redeemer Lives
(Solo, AA, SB, SAA and piano)
This was written for my friend, Brenda Lonergan, to sing at an Easter service. It was one of my father's favourite hymns. Mine too.    Purchase
I have received a lot of interest in this arrangement and have subsequently provided several transpositions, as well as a duets and a women's trio and a choral version. It's easy enough for me to provide you with whatever key you would like. Just send me an email.
*I Know That My Redeemer Lives
(Easy Voice, Flute and piano)
This version was requested from a website visitor who needed an arrangement in which the piano could play from the hymnbook. I offer it in the hope that there may be others in need of an easy arrangement.
*Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners
(Alto, piano)
This is a hymn text common in many Protestant denominations, sung to the tune Hyfrydol, which Latter-day Saints sing as the sacrament hymn, "In Humility Our Savior". I have altered the text somewhat and added a new verse. This arrangement was written for my wife's lovely Alto voice, but I can easily provide alternate keys for higher voices. The SATB version is here.  Purchase
*Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning (Soprano, Piano)
This arrangement of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" was adapted from the choir arrangement above, with completely re-written accompaniment and free treatment of the melody in the first two verses. This adaptation was done 29 years after the original arrangement and so illustrates both the evolution of my style and the affection I still have for that early arrangement.   Purchase
*More Holiness Give Me (Soprano, Baritone and Piano)
Adapted from the arrangement for choir (above), this arrangement would also be lovely for solo voice. Let me know if there is a different key you would like. Read the story of this hymn in my blog.     Purchase
*Secret Prayer (Soprano, Piano)
This arrangement puts the melody in the piano for much of the time, while the voice sings a counter-melody. I like the simple, folksy, yet profound messages of these 19th century sacred songs.   Purchase

Original Hymns

Come Nearer Unto Me
The Pirates of Penzance has been a favourite of mine since I sang the part of Samuel in grade 8. I had always thought "Ah, Leave Me Not To Pine" would make a great hymn, and years later I wrote words for my ward choir to sing.
Sacred Ground

I wanted to write a hymn that summarized some milestones of early church history. The result is ballad-like, each verse telling a story, and that means a longer-than-usual hymn, but I find it satisfying nonetheless. I felt the text was strong, but it took me three tries over four years to compose music I was satisfied with. It is meant to be reminiscent of a 19th century American folk hymn.
Savior, Redeemer of My Soul
Orson F. Whitney was an apostle in the early 20th century who had a vivid vision of Jesus in Gethsemane that changed his life. This hymn, written years later, reflects that remarkable experience and I had that in mind as I wrote this new setting.
What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?
Listening to the Tabernacle Choir sing at President Hinckley's funeral in 2008, I thought I'd like to try writing a setting of my own.  This is the second version I came up with, words by Gordon B. Hinkley.
When First the Glorious Plan Was Heard
My mission companion Bob Woolley will remember me discussing hymns with him and deciding there ought to be a hymn on the premortal life. I wrote this text shortly after my mission and tried several times to set it (one attempt became the Christmas carol below). This version is from the midst of my setting so many Orson Scott Card hymns.
When First 'Twas Heard That Christ Was Born
This Christmas Carol was written when I was a graduate student, staying home with a sick baby. It won a Carol competition at Brock University. The recording is of my Chorale in 2000.


*Hark the Herald Angels (Piano solo)
I wrote this solo on the famous Christmas carol by Mendelssohn for an intermediate student of mine. Mendelssohn's hymn was originally written in praise of Gutenberg!  Purchase
*Hymn Fantasy No.1 for Piano  
We Are Sowing
This dramatic piano solo is an homage to Schumann and Brahms, quoting Schumann's Romance 28/2. The tune's name is Westwood, composed by Henry Tucker. I find the text to this hymn especially profound: "Filled with fruit of life eternal, from the seed we sowed in tears."  Purchase
*Hymn Fantasy No.2 for Piano  
Thy Spirit, Lord, Has Stirred Our Souls
I wrote this piano solo as a gift for my daughter Jacqui. It is based on Alexander Schreiner's great hymn tune Bavaria, an LDS hymn that I believe has few peers in technique or artistry.  Purchase
*Hymn Fantasy No.3 for Piano  
Abide with Me; 'Tis Eventide (2017)
A worldwide treasure, this hymn has been a favourite of mine since I was a child. Pianists will find echoes of Rachmaninoff in the style of this piece.  Purchase
*More Holines Give Me 
(Violin, Cello and Piano)
Adapted from the arrangement for choir (above), this arrangement would work for any soprano/baritone combination (oboe and bassoon, for example).  Your purchase would include full score and separate instrumental parts.  Let me know if there is a different key or transposition you would like.  Purchase
*Nearer, My God, To Thee 
(Two Violins and Piano)
This is a minor setting of Lowell Mason's famous hymn, evocative, expressive and yet worshipful. The violins are treated as equals in this piece, appropriate for intermediate players.  Purchase
*The Lord Is My Shepherd 
(Piano and Organ)
This duet arrangement of this beloved hymn is of moderate difficulty. The second half recalls the gorgeous piano texture at the end of second movement of Ravel's Piano Concerto in G.  Purchase

Organ Solos

*Prelude on "As Now We Take the Sacrament"
In October 2013 I decided to try to compose preludes for 24 sacrament hymns. This one is a Baroque setting in the style of Bach's "Sleepers Awake".
*Prelude on "Behold the Great Redeemer Die"
George Careless was one of those British immigrants who helped establish the Tabernacle Choir and raised the bar for music composition and performance in pioneer Utah. I find this prelude very moving - it would be wonderful with a string orchestra and solo wind.
*Prelude on "Come, Follow Me"
This is a later version of one of my first organ preludes. The goal was to write a prelude similar to Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, with a counter melody as tuneful as the hymn itself. In the original version (twice as long and in E-flat), the hymn tune was played in the pedals on 8' stops: somewhat trickier than the present version.
*Prelude on "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good"
I wrote this prelude for the funeral service of Varge Gilchrist, my childhood priesthood leader, my Patriarch, my home teaching charge in his old age and friend. He was on a first-name basis with President Monson from his time presiding over the Eastern Canada mission in the 60's, and was beloved by all who knew him. He died at 96 but golfed until his last year. Great man.
*Prelude on "God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray"
A more romantic style - this tune was written as a part of a romantic piano solo, "Last Hope" , that was very popular in it's day among the young ladies.
*Prelude on "How Firm A Foundation"
This hymn always makes me think of Amanda Smith, survivor of the 1838 Haun's Mill massacre. In deepest distress, she hid in a cornfield to pray for relief and heard a heavenly voice repeat the last verse of How Firm A Foundation.
Concert Variations on "How Firm A Foundation"
As I worked on the chorale prelude for this hymn, several great musical ideas started to come that were not suited to a worship service, but still expressed some of my feelings about this hymn and its message. These variations are intended for a virtuoso concert.
*Prelude on "In Humility Our Savior"
In Baroque Largo style, this prelude is simple but effective. The lovely tune Hyfrydol (Welsh for 'pleasant' or 'tuneful') is common in other denominations, but often sung in a more lively style than Mormons are familiar with.
*Prelude on "In Memory of the Crucified"
This prelude, my first, was written as an assignment for an undergrad harmony course, showing that even an exercise can be a work of art. Alexander Schreiner, Tabernacle Organist and composer of the this chorale, Gailey, is one of my all-time heroes among church musicians. My Hymn of Light was written as an homage to Schreiner's impeccable style.
*Prelude on "Jesus of Nazareth"
This is a sombre, yet hopeful meditation on LDS musician Hugh Dougall's great sacrament hymn from the mid 1900's.
*Prelude on "The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare"
This chorale prelude on the lovely tune "St. Petersburg" by Bortniansky, is mainly in trio texture. It must not be allowed to drag, but should flow calmly, evoking the 'peaceful rivers' of Addison's poetic adaptation of the 23rd Psalm.
*Prelude on "O God, the Eternal Father"
This chorale was adapted from Felix Mendelssohn's "Abschied vom Wald" (Farewell to the Forest), no.3 of a set of six songs for choir (Op.59). In my prelude, the running double line in the right hand is tricky to play legato, but can be achieved with some care. The prelude should be played in Romantic style, with some flexibility of tempo.
*Prelude on "Silent Night"
This is a prelude I wrote this year (2017) to play at my ward's Christmas Eve sacrament meeting. Email me if you would like to buy the full score ($4).
*Prelude on "Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love"
This is my preferred melody for this hymn. I enjoy the harmonic and melodic flights of fancy in this prelude.
*Prelude on "Upon the Cross of Calvary"
A bit more esoteric than most of my preludes, I enjoy the Romantic richness of this setting.
*Prelude on "We Ever Pray for Thee"
This chorale prelude was written for the visit of President Hinckley to Ottawa in 1998 where I was privileged to play the organ. This was the last piece of prelude music played as President Hinckley entered the hall. The original hymn was written by Evan Stephens for a children's trio to sing on a similar occasion, a ninetieth birthday celebration for Wilford Woodruff in 1897, almost exactly a hundred years before.
*Prelude on "We'll Sing All Hail to Jesus' Name"
For some reason, this lovely hymn is especially evocative to me of Sacrament meetings of my childhood. This prelude is one of the easier ones to play.
*Prelude on "While of These Emblems"
The name Alexander Schreiner on it's own is enough said for me. Another masterpiece of chorale writing from the pre-eminent (thus far) LDS master.
*Prelude on "With Humble Heart"
Another baroque-style prelude.