By Jason Cassel, founder of LatterDayArrangements.com
The first time I ever performed something I composed was as a twelve year old Deacon in Sacrament Meeting. It was a duet about prophets called “They Heard His Word.” The harmonies were rudimentary at best and the melody was sub-par. But it was mine; and that meant a lot.
My parents sang the words and I accompanied them on the piano. That Christmas they gave be my first music notation software and I was set free.
I have always loved composing and arranging music, especially the hymns of the Church. But I discovered rather quickly that the greatest joy was not in writing, but in sharing my music. From time to time I would feel prompted to put my testimony to music. I would quickly run to the piano and play the parts. But all too often, the piece became nothing more than a desktop shortcut, performed only if it was lucky.
While attending college at BYU, I was called as Ward Choir Director five separate times. In search of music that was not only affordable but also manageable for each choir, I became familiar with many LDS sheet music sites and other resources. At the same time, I also had choir to arrange for if I ever felt inspired.
As my time at BYU came to a close, I realized that many of my arrangements that I had grown to love were now destined to a life where they would seldom be performed again; unless of course, I did something to change that.
I went to sheet music publishers, and while there were a few signs of promise the process was long and in the end, the spirit of sharing my music seemed swallowed by a need to meet a bottom line. I could start my own free site, I thought. But then how would my site ever be found among the midst of other LDS composers doing the same?
Finally, it hit me. I couldn’t be the only one in this boat. There had to be others who wanted to share their music. I realized that if we could all somehow come together in one place then we might be able to accomplish just that.
I created LatterDayArrangements.com in September of 2014. A site that accepts submissions from LDS composers and arrangers and shares them with the world. The site has grown to include the works of eleven composers and is still growing, making this an exciting opportunity to be a part of.
The site accepts submissions of LDS Hymn arrangements in the public domain, as well as original works.
Composers keep all rights to their pieces (so they can be free to share their music outside of the site as well)
All pieces are sold for $3. The piece includes a PDF download from which the purchaser can make as many copies as they need for their performance.
Composers receive a half of all that is earned in downloads of their piece.
The site is well designed and looks very professional. Each piece includes both audio and PDF viewing (so there are no surprises to people hoping to perform the music).
This site is a great place for people to share their music outside their ward/stake boundaries. It’s about getting their music out into the world so that it can bless people’s lives. And has I mentioned, that is where the greatest joy comes.