HOUSTON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The simple yet powerful eloquence of
hymns, old and new, is at the heart of Here I Am: 10 Hymns for Orchestra, a
stirring new CD by arranger Bernie Hatch. Released by Houston's Tierra
Studios, the new disc presents orchestral versions of Christian staples
such as "Let Us Break Bread Together" and "Just As I Am" along with
contemporary originals to create an uplifting and beautiful listening
"Around the time I retired, the Lord kept telling me to write it," says
Hatch, a Methodist minister's son with a long career behind him as a
saxophonist, flutist, and composer/arranger. "Some songs I'd known for
years, others I heard in church or found in the Methodist hymnal. One of
them is my own composition. All of them were reharmonized -- I used my
background from writing for the modern idiom to put forth what I was trying
to say with the music for this album."
Enter conductor Robert Linder, who assembled the CD's world-class
players (from the Houston Symphony, the Houston Opera, and Theater Under
the Stars), rehearsed them for several days, and completed the recording
session -- at Zilkha Hall in Houston's new Hobby Center -- in a single day.
Linder's distinguished career, with lengthy stints at organizations such as
the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera (40 years), the Houston Civic Symphony (20
years), and Houston Baptist University, where he is currently Dean of Fine
Arts (26 years), had prepared him for the challenge and pleasures of this
"Bernie and I have known each other for many years, but hadn't seen
each other in a very long time," says Linder. "When he called me to tell me
about this project and see if I wanted to work on it, I agreed immediately
and began to gather musicians. I was excited about the Mancini-type
arrangements of these hymns, and I feel that the album provides a wonderful
spiritual atmosphere -- both as background music and inspirational
Here I Am's program ranges from mid-19th-century songs by William
Bradbury ("Sweet Hour of Prayer," "Just As I Am") to more modern offerings
like "Here I Am, Lord," by the noted composer/liturgist Daniel Schutte.
"Let Us Break Bread Together" was adapted from an African-American
spiritual; "In the Garden" and "God Will Take Care of You" date from the
early 20th century; and the album closer, "W.L.H.G.," is a Hatch original.
Tierra Studios, which released Here I Am, is a state-of-the-art
recording and mastering facility in Houston, near the Galleria. Other
artists recently in Tierra Studios are Ken Gayle, Al Cofrin, and the
producers of The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston.
For more information or to schedule interviews, please e-mail
SOURCE Tierra Studios