8. I come to you in prayer (Mark Ayling/Emma Davis)
This song has a familiar, yet important, message of recognising and improving our ongoing relationship with our Heavenly Father through prayer. The understanding of such a relationship brings great comfort, peace and direction to out lives. This song represents the first published contribution from Mark Ayling who is a soldier at Eastbourne Citadel Corps. The lyricist and the composer are both members of the International Staff Songsters. Rests play a crucial role in the melodic line of the song. An example of this is found at bar 11.
9. Christ through music speaks (Ann Montgomery/Donald Montgomery)
This joyous song of celebration and thanksgiving reminds us of the responsibility and honour we have to convey the Christian message as musical ambassadors. It was originally written for Songster Leader David McMartin to celebrate 50 years of mission and ministry at Cumbernauld Corps, West Scotland, where the writers served as Corps Officers from 2005-2008. The music conveys the message with a straightforward setting that is attractive, both to sing and listen to. It is important to maintain good air support and energy throughout all the phrases. We are grateful to Majors Ann and Donald Montgomery, currently the Corps Officers at Sale Corps, for this enjoyable and bright contribution.
10. Bethlehem Child (Adrian Griffiths/John Ellwood)
This edition provides songs for the Advent season, ensuring that new material is available in good time for rehearsals. The song under review brings a personal and intimate view of the Christ Child and has a simplistic charm that should prove popular amongst many groups. Please be aware that the 'Ah' accompaniment in bars 33 to 40 should be as soft as possible. The desired effect is to give a vocal colouring to the accompaniment, not to be in competition with the melodic line. The author is now established within the Sing to the Lord journal, but the composer, John Ellwood from Portsmouth Citadel, is another new writer whom we welcome.
11. God forgives and forgets (L.F./Lee Fisher)
Songster Leader Lee Fisher, of Droitwich Corps, has provided a song that primarily speaks of God's grace. It may be beneficial for a series of devotions centred around this work during rehearsals, such is the nature of the theme presented within this piece. God's goodness is never-ending; he does so much more for us than we can ever do for ourselves. It is certainly true that the deeper our relationship is with God, the greater our experience and understanding of his grace within our spiritual life. This song will surely resonate with all who have searched for and experience God's grace, along with those that need to hear this powerful, life-changing message. The music is attractive and has a melodic appeal that will ensure its popularity.
12. Wonder of wonders (Stephen Pearson/Andrew Blyth)
Here is another simple Advent song that should poses few problems for most groups. Ensure that the quaver beat has a gentle pulse in all the vocal parts. The tempo is marked as a quaver beat but there must be a sense of 'two-in-a-bar" to ensure the correct approach to the song.
13. Devoted to me (C.P./Chelsea Pascoe)
Songster Leader Chelsea Pascoe, from Belfast Sydenham Corps, has written a song of assurance and comfort to those that place their hope in God. The music should have a sense of freedom within the melodic line, similar to a 'Gospel' style. The tempo must be maintained throughout and must not be rushed. It is important to note there are times when the melody is on the beat (bar 31) and not the half beat. At bars 48 and 52 ensure that the semiquavers on the last beat of the bar are not rushed by the Sopranos. This song marks Chelsea's first publication in this journal and we hope to see more of her work in the future.
14. Christ, humble infant (B.S-A/Barbara Steadman-Allen)
We conclude this edition with a beautiful song that conveys a compelling insight into the infant Christ's majesty and God's design for the nativity. We are indebted to the Reverend Barbara Steadman-Allen for providing thought-provoking verses which, aligned with a flowing melodic line, convey this message so well.