- Discography and Publications


Douglas Yeo's bass trombone solo recording, accompanied by

Patricia Yeo, Stephen E. Gerber, Wes Ross and Beatrice Bush Bixler, piano
with readings by Bill Pearce

Read CORNERSTONE Program Notes | Order CORNERSTONE | Read reviews of CORNERSTONE

Now and then a person has a rare opportunity to do something very special in life, and that is certainly the case with my recording, CORNERSTONE.

Since I first played a solo in church in 1965, I have been expressing the Truth of God's love and grace with the trombone. When I met my wife, Pat, in 1972, I began playing in church even more as she is a very fine pianist. When I transferred to Wheaton College (near Chicago) in 1974, I met the legendary jazz/gospel trombonist Bill Pearce and my church playing took on a whole new dimension when I was introduced to many of his arrangements.

My wife and I have been playing in churches, schools and Christian camps for over 25 years now, so it seemed like it isn't too soon to get around to making an album of the music we love to play so much. CORNERSTONE is the result. While the album liner notes (8 pages) tell quite a bit about the album and those who collaborate with me on it, this page of expanded program notes will tell more of the story behind the making of the album, as well as give more detailed information on the artists involved and will also tell you how to get the music to the pieces I recorded.

One word about the music right off; I am aware that for many of those who listen to the album, the first question will be, "Where can I get the music?!" There is, unfortunately, precious little music of good quality suitable for playing in church. Many of the arrangements I have used are ones I've had for over 25 years and have been long out of print. Others are new arrangements made especially for CORNERSTONE and others are published and currently available. At the end of the notes you will find the best possible information available on how to obtain the music for those items available directly from composers, arrangers and publishers.

CORNERSTONE began as a dream of mine to make an album of hymns and gospel songs with my wife, Pat, playing the piano. We have given many programs of this music over the years, in churches, camps, schools and resorts. It's true, though, that even the most important things sometimes get overlooked and in 2000, as we look forward to celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, I thought that THIS was the time to make the album, partly to document this part of our shared life together, and partly to share with others this wonderful music which communicates so much about our life as Christians.

As Pat and I talked about the concept, we began to think how much fun it would be to involve some other people in the project - other friends and musicians who have collaborated with us in special ways over the years. As we got out a pencil and paper and began sketching out the pieces we'd like to record, the names of various pianists just seemed to pop out as "naturals" to play one piece or another. Happily, once I began asking people if they would be interested in participating in the album, they all said YES! Now, all we needed to do was coordinate the whole thing! That, of course, was easier said than done. In addition to Pat, we wanted to utilize the keyboard skills of Stephen Gerber, who at that time was music director at Westgate Church in Weston, Massachusetts; Wes Ross, Minister of Music at the church we attend in the summer when we are at the Boston Symphony's summer home, Tanglewood, Hope Advent Christian Church in Lenox, Massachusetts; and Beatrice Bush Bixler, a true legend in the last century of Christian music who over the last more than 50 years has written over 350 gospel songs. Trying to get them all together in Boston at the same time was not an easy task, especially considering I needed to find a week to be off from my job with the Boston Symphony, engage my favorite recording engineer, Brad Michel, and secure a studio with a fine piano.

God is in control! And somehow we were all able to make it work to be at the Sonic Temple in Roslindale, Massachusetts on November 2 and 3, 1999. But there was one more piece of the puzzle left to put in place.

I have already mentioned Bill Pearce, the well known jazz/gospel trombonist who has recorded over 30 albums as a trombonist, and who has a "one in a million" voice which is known to those who, over the last 50 years, have tuned in on the radio to hear his syndicated program "Nightsounds." Bill has been such an inspiration to me that not only did I want to dedicate CORNERSTONE to him, but I very much wanted to include him on the album as well. Bill is no longer playing the trombone, but his voice is clear and strong, and I had the idea to include him as a reader of selected passages of Scripture on the recording. I really didn't know how Bill would respond, and you can imagine my delight when he said he would be happy to be a part of CORNERSTONE. The final piece of the project was now in place - 4 pianists, an engineer (Brad Michel, a fabulous engineer and editor with whom I had already worked on Ronald Barron's duet recording In The Family, the New England Brass Band debut recording Christmas Joy! and two tracks recorded on my first solo recording, Proclamation [Conversation and Amazing Grace], a studio, a narrator and, of course, my bass trombone and me. CORNERSTONE was released on March 27, 2000.

Please note that my licensing agreement with the various copyright holders of the music included on CORNERSTONE does not allow me to put the lyrics of the songs on my website (except for those songs which are in the public domain). Please see the booklet which accompanies CORNERSTONE for song lyrics.


Lari Goss, arranged by Hugh S. Livingstone, Jr.

Stephen E. Gerber, piano

I thought for a long time about the title for the recording. Various ideas would come and go, and I finally decided to make Lari Goss' Cornerstone the focal point of the album. This I did for several reasons. First, I truly love this piece. My wife and I both sing in the Westgate Church choir and each fall, Cornerstone is the first anthem we sing when the choir starts up again after the summer. The message of the song, which is "Jesus is the Cornerstone" is a strong one, and the music also incorporates the old hymn, Rock of Ages. In addition to the power of the music and the lyrics, the metaphor of Christ as the cornerstone is one I have always found to be very powerful. The lead article in my website, The Puzzle Of Our Lives tells my musical and spiritual journey. In that article, I conclude with the following words:

The answer to the puzzle of life? The Bible tells us:

"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I
am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly
cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who
believes in it will not be disturbed."

(Isaiah 28:16, NASB) [1]

Jesus is that cornerstone, and I have built my life upon Him.

The choice of Cornerstone for the title of the album also allowed my mind to run wild with possible ideas for a cover design. I finally settled on wanting an original piece of artwork showing a cornerstone of a very old building which had a cross etched in it. The question then began: who could draw such a thing?

The answer was easier to find than I thought. Some time ago, I had helped out a young trombonist by the name of Wayne Wilcox with some questions he had about playing the trombone. This is something I do many times a day as I get quite a bit of email from my website. I'm happy to do it and I never ask for anything in return. So, you can imagine my surprise when one day a large package arrived at my doorstep from Wayne. Inside was a beautiful framed and matted drawing which, in an accompanying letter, Wayne explained was a design he had once made for a CD. The drawing was full of Christian Christmas imagery and it looked spectacular. I hung it up in my studio and kept in mind that someday if I needed the services of a fine artist, I knew where to look.

Wayne was the first artist I called about designing the cover for Cornerstone and he was happy to become part of the project. There was still another bonus for me - not only was Wayne willing to draw the cover, but he was willing to do the entire design and layout for the booklet, tray card and the CD. I couldn't ask for anything more!

As you can see from Wayne's cover image, he beautifully incorporated the elements I wanted - the building is shown as an old one, and it leans on the cornerstone which, by virtue of the cross etched in it, is identified as Christ. There is an archway as well, with an open door, another metaphor for Christ as "the open door." The drawing has a warm, inviting look and a simplicity which I hope will give those who look at it a moment to contemplate its meaning.

Steve Gerber was a natural choice to accompany me on Cornerstone since he knew the piece so well from conducting it with our church choir. I played directly off the choir score. This arrangement of Cornerstone is for SATB choir, so I obviously had some choices to make as to octave and harmonization. In the end, I opted for something new for me - doing eight bars of overdubbing so I played a duet with myself for the second verse and the final chord.

Cornerstone is © 1976, Heartwarming Music (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. The version I used on the recording is published by The Lorenz Corporation, 501 E. Third Street, PO Box 802, Dayton, OH 45401-0802 and is Catalog number E100 (SATB) in the Lorenz "Exaltation Series."


music by George Beverly Shea, arranged by Don Marsh

Patricia Yeo, piano

I've been playing the trombone in public since I was nine years old, and playing in church as a soloist since I was 10. Any artist can tell you that one of the great struggles facing those in the performing arts is that the adulation of the public can have a negative effect and cause a performer to develop a huge ego. I am keenly aware when, after a Boston Symphony concert, 2000 audience members leap to their feet and applaud with approval that while my contribution was an important part of the success of the program, I am only one piece of the puzzle. I must always remember that it is the Creator - God, and not the creation - music, or the re-creator - me, who is worthy of praise.

George Beverly Shea faced a time in his life when he was discouraged that his career as a budding musician was not going in a direction which he liked. Sensing this, his mother gave him a poem by Rhea Miller in which the first line reads, "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold." Bev Shea set it to music, and it became his signature tune after God blessed him with a wonderful life in music spreading the Gospel through countless Billy Graham Crusades, concerts and recordings. The second verse begins, "I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause," and this beautiful arrangement is always played near the beginning of programs my wife, Pat, and I do in churches. It's a reminder to keep ourselves focused on God rather than the praise of the audience or congregation.

I'd Rather Have Jesus is © 1922, renewed 1950 Word Music, Inc. (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission. The arrangement I used is from a book of arrangements called "Perfect Praise: 12 favorites for solo instrument with tracks or piano." The collection is edited and arranged by David S. Winkler however I'd Rather Have Jesus is arranged by Don Marsh with the suggested solo part arranged by David S. Winkler (I significantly modified the solo part from that which was printed. We also made several cuts and repeats in the arrangement because we did not want to use the "big" ending of the original arrangement). The book is published by Word Music which may be contacted through Acuff-Rose Music, 65 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. The catalog number is 3015003313; I do not know if it is still in print.


John B. Dykes / traditional Irish melody, arranged by Wes Ross

Wes Ross, piano

Since I first met Wes Ross 15 years ago I've been aware that he is one very talented person. Not only is he the Minister of Music at Hope Church in Lenox, MA, but he teaches at the Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies and is a fine piano player. When planning this album, I very much wanted to include an arrangement of one of my favorite hymns, Be Thou My Vision. I don't think I had ever heard Wes play this hymn on the piano, but I like his style so much that I asked if he would make an arrangement of it for the album. He agreed, and several weeks before the recording sessions, he came to our home for a morning and brought a solo part for me. To my surprise and delight, he decided to use as a rather long introduction another favorite hymn of mine, Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee which I had sung on a band tour with the Wheaton College Concert Band many years earlier. Wes' introduction is for solo piano, followed with my picking up the melody of Be Thou My Vision. I made a few modifications in Wes' original arrangement and the final product was very much a collaboration. Wes played his arrangement from memory at the sessions, and each take seemed to have something special in it. I especially liked the way he added a little "Irish turn" in the solo piano part near the end of the piece which concludes with a reminder of the opening song, Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee.

Here are the complete lyrics to these two wonderful hymns.

Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee

music by John B. Dykes (1866), lyrics attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, c. 1150

Jesus, the very thought of Thee, with sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see, and in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame, nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name, O Savior of mankind!

O Hope of every contrite heart, O Joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art! How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this, no tongue nor pen can show,
The love of Jesus, what it is, none but His loved ones know.

Be Thou My Vision

traditional Irish hymn (8th century) and melody

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art -
Thou my best thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise, Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won, May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

This arrangement is © 1999, 2001, Wes Ross, W.A. Ross Music. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Wes Ross' arrangement has been published and is available directly from him. For a copy, send $6.00 (which includes shipping in the USA; send an additional $2.00 for orders outside the USA) to: W.A. Ross Music, 144 Old Stockbridge Road, Lenox, MA 01240 USA.


Anonymous 12th century hymn, based on plainsong, arranged by Stephen E. Gerber

Stephen E. Gerber, piano

Reading by Bill Pearce

Steve Gerber is one of the most talented musicians I've ever met. He is a composer, arranger, conductor and is well versed in the music of the church as well as classical, jazz and pop. He's one of the most pluralistic musicians I know. We have collaborated a number of times and I've always enjoyed playing with Steve whether as a soloist or in our church orchestra playing a special arrangement he's made for the service.

The ancient hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel is one of the oldest hymns the church has. Contrary to popular opinion, the hymn was never sung as Gregorian chant, rather six different chants which had to do with the Advent of Christ were put cut apart and put together to make the hymn we know today. Even so, it has a haunting, chant-like character to it.

When I decided I wanted to add this song to the album (rather late in the planning process) I asked Steve if he would make the arrangement. I had an idea of what I wanted: an unaccompanied bass trombone solo to open it followed by a slow presentation of the second verse and chorus. I wanted to capture a very dark time in the history of Israel, that between the book of Malachi (the last book of the Hebrew Scriptures) and the coming of Jesus as told in the book of Matthew (in the New Testament). That was a time where there were no prophets in Israel, and it was a time of great religious and political turmoil in Israel. I asked Steve if he could capture that dark, hopeful time, when God's people were earnestly seeking the coming of the Messiah. Steve crafted a wonderful arrangement which after beginning softly, grows in intensity and arches back down again to end quietly as God's people learned that they had to be patient for yet a little while longer before the coming of the Messiah.

After Steve made the arrangement, I had the idea to have Bill Pearce set the stage for the arrangement by reading some scripture BEFORE the music started. When I played the final edited version for some friends before the album was released, I was pleased to see that Bill's reading had just the effect I had hoped for.

Here are the words Bill Pearce speaks before the solo begins:

Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people,
But the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee
. (Isaiah 60:2)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.
They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined
. (Isaiah 9:2)

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Here are the complete lyrics to the hymn.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Anonymous 12th century hymn, based on plainsong

O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save and give them victory o'er the grave.

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here;
And drive away the shades of night, and pierce the clouds and bring us light!

O come, Thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.

O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease; fill all the world with heaven's peace.

This arrangement is © 1999, Stephen E. Gerber. All rights reserved. Used by permission. It has been published and is available directly from Stephen E. Gerber.


William J. Gaither, arranged by James Curnow

Patricia Yeo, piano

James Curnow is well known as a composer and arranger of music for solo, brass band, concert band, orchestra - you name it. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jim in 1992 when he conducted me when I was soloist with the Christian College Honors Band at the Christian Instrumentalists and Director's Association (CIDA) national conference when it was held in Springfield, Missouri. In 1996, I recorded his beautiful arrangement of Amazing Grace on my first solo CD, PROCLAMATION with my wife, Pat, at the piano.

Pat and I have played Bill Gaither's He Touched Me for many years, and its message of God's touch on our life when we know Jesus is one that resonates with many who hear it. Jim's arrangement is beautifully lush, filled with soaring lines for the trombone and wonderful harmonies.

He Touched Me is © William J. Gaither/Gaither Music Company (ASCAP). All rights controlled by Gaither Copyright Management. Used by permission. The arrangement is from a book of arrangements by Jim Curnow called "Instrumental Solos for Worship" which has been out of print for many years. However, the arrangement is still available directly from Curnow Music Press, 100 John Sutherland Drive, Suite 7, Nicholasville, KY 40356 Phone: (800)728-7669, Fax: (859)881-5171. For further information, or to order this arrangement, visit the Curnow Music Press Website; address email inquiries to Curnow Music Press office manager Kari Ann Hanke.


Beatrice Bush Bixler

Beatrice Bush Bixler, piano

My father-in-law was born in what was at the time French Indo-China (now Vietnam), the son of missionary parents. During WWII he and his family spent time in a Japanese internment camp until they were traded for Japanese prisoners and were able to come back to the United States. While back home in the USA, he attended Nyack College in New York where he got to know the music of a woman who at the time was one of the biggest names in Christian music: Beatrice Bush Bixler. While her name is not so well known today, I learned from my father-in-law that Bea Bixler was a household word in the 1940's and 50's when it came to Christian music and that she had many books published of her music - 350 gospel songs in all which surely qualifies her as one of the most prolific poets and composers of all time.

Having known of Bea's music for many years, it was wonderful to finally meet her several years ago when she was playing at a Christian camp near the Boston Symphony summer home, Tanglewood. Since that time, we have gotten together with Bea regularly and have enjoyed hearing her play her own music and tell us the stories of how the music came to be written.

At age 81, Bea still maintains an active schedule of playing in churches, camps and Christian conferences, and her distinctive "evangelical" style of piano playing is a delightful throwback to a style of yester-year. Since I have loved her music for so long, I was happy that we were able to arrange for her to come to Boston for a recording session to record two of her most famous songs.

I Am Not Worthy came to be written one evening when a man came to a church service Bea's husband conducted one evening (he was a Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor). During a time of testimony, a man previously unknown to anyone in the congregation stood up and said, "I am not worthy the least of His favor, but I'm sure glad Jesus left heaven for me!" Those words struck Bea so powerfully that later that evening, she sat down at the piano and composed the lyrics and music for I Am Not Worthy. I'm pleased to bring Bea's music to the attention of a generation who may not know her as well as she was known in the past.

I Am Not Worthy is © 1949 Singspiration Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. At the recording session, Bea improvised her own arrangement of her song, but my wife and I have often played the arrangement of it found in "Bill Pearce Presents Fascinating Trombone Stylings" which was published by Singspiration in 1966 and has long been out of print.


Benjamin Harlan

Stephen E. Gerber, piano

Psalm 55:22 contains a wonderful truth:

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

The comforting Truth of this passage is beautifully expressed in Benjaman Harlan's choir anthem, Cast Thy Burden Upon The Lord which I have sung with the Westgate Church choir, conducted by Steve Gerber. The arrangement of the song we sang was for SAB chorus (it is also available for SATB) and I engaged in a few bars of overdubbing to bring out some of the nice interaction of the vocal parts.

Cast Thy Burden Upon The Lord is © 1989, 1990, Harold Flammer Music, a division of Shawnee Press, Inc. Sole Selling Agent, Shawnee Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. The arrangement I used is published by Shawnee Press, 49 Waring Drive, PO Box 690, Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327. The catalog number for the SAB version I used is D-5408.


Martin Nystrom (As The Deer) / Lenny LeBlanc (There Is None Like You), arranged by Wes Ross

Wes Ross, piano

I went to graduate school at New York University where I made a great friend in clarinetist Jeanne McGrady who later was to marry Marty Nystrom who is one of the brightest names on the contemporary Christian music scene. Through Jeanne, Pat and I met Marty and we have enjoyed a friendship despite the fact that we live in Boston and they live in Seattle, Washington. Marty's classic song, As The Deer, has entered the mainstream repertory of many churches in part because of its strong text drawn from Psalm 42:1

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.

and its flowing melody and beautiful harmony. I asked Wes Ross if he would arrange As The Deer for the recording and once again he outdid himself by making a medley which also included a song which we often sing at Hope Church, Lenny LeBlanc's There Is None Like You. The smooth, contemplative character of As The Deer contrasts with the joyful character of There Is None Like You and Wes wrote a part for me which covered much of the range of the trombone. Both songs communicate the Truth that God is unique - there is indeed none like him and when we seek Him, He can be found.

As The Deer is © 1984 Maranatha Praise, Inc. Administered by The Copyright Company, Nashville, TN. All rights reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by permission. There Is None Like You is © 1991, Integrity's Hosanna! Music/ASCAP. International copyright secured. Used by permission. Wes Ross' arrangement has not yet been published but we hope it will be available soon.


Charles Gabriel, arranged by Fred Bock

Patricia Yeo, piano

Sometimes you hear a song that just makes you smile. When I first heard Ethel Waters sing His Eye Is On The Sparrow I smiled. A lot. Her infectious energy and positive outlook on life made the song her "signature" piece. Since I first heard it, His Eye Is On The Sparrow has been a favorite, and Fred Bock's arrangement combines a relaxed solo part (to which I add a few "blue" notes) with a supportive accompaniment that moves with some bounce in the chorus. When I play, it, I always think how Ethel Waters changed the final line of the song, which in the original is

His eye was on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

His eye was on the sparrow, and I know He watches WE.

He sure does.

His Eye Is On The Sparrow is © 1964, Fred Bock Music Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission. The arrangement I used is published in a book called "Sacred Songs for Instruments" arranged by Fred Bock and published by Fred Bock Music Company, PO Box 57067, Tarzana, CA 91357. The catalog number is BG0581 and the book is available in versions with the solo part in bass clef, C treble clef, and B flat and E flat treble clef.


Traditional spiritual / J. S. Bach, arranged by Stephen E. Gerber

Stephen E. Gerber, piano

Reading by Bill Pearce

Several years ago, I attended a Good Friday service at Westgate Church and Steve Gerber accompanied his wife and another singer in a duet of the powerful spiritual Were You There? I was very moved by the performance and after the service I asked Steve who wrote the arrangement. He replied that it was his own, and that he had improvised it. I immediately told him, "WRITE THAT DOWN!" because I saw the possibilities for it as a trombone solo.

When the planning of CORNERSTONE came about, I told Steve I wanted to use his arrangement of Were You There? However, I had another idea as well. I have long been an admirer of the music of J.S. Bach, and I especially admire his Saint Matthew Passion. I consider this work to be the pinnacle of western classical music and I am not alone, Seiji Ozawa and many other conductors I have talked to agree.

The Passion chorale which we, who sing it in English, know as O Sacred Head, Now Wounded, appears five times in the Saint Matthew Passion, in various keys and harmonizations. I asked Steve if he could insert the final setting of that great chorale (my favorite harmonization) into his arrangement of Were You There? and I selected some passages of Scripture for Bill Pearce to read over it. The result, I feel, is quite stunning. Steve's arrangement is haunting and contemplative, and Bill's reading is extremely powerful. The text I chose for him to read is selected from many parts of Scripture - I used Handel's Messiah as a starting point. The arrangement ends with my softly striking a crotale, the only moment of brightness in an otherwise very introspective arrangement, which I used to forshadow the resurrection of Christ.

The Scripture text Bill Pearce reads is as follows:

Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3)

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)

But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Come unto Jesus, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you and learn of Him, and you shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)

The text of the spiritual Were You There? is simple and powerful, calling the listener to consider the enormous sacrifice Christ made when he took upon himself the sin of the entire world.

Were You There?

traditional spiritual

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble!
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble!
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble!
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

This arrangement is © 1999 Stephen Edward Gerber (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. It has been published and is available directly from Stephen E. Gerber.


John Grape, arranged by Bill Pearce and Larry Mayfield

Patricia Yeo, piano

If I were to total up all the times Pat and I have every played in church, I think it would be fair to say that this arrangement of Jesus Paid It All has been played more frequently than any other piece. In fact, it has become our "signature tune." Most programs we do begin with this piece, in part because the text is so important, and also because the arrangement has a wonderful simplicity which does not detract from the essence of the message. You will notice that I do not usually play fast and complicated solo parts. This is intentional - when playing music which I wish to communicate God's Truth to the heart of the listener, I do not want to do anything which would draw attention to me rather than to the Truth of the message. Indeed, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe."

This track on CORNERSTONE also happens to be special for another reason - it is the very first thing we recorded at the first session and truly is "take 1." It just "worked" and that is very special, indeed.

Jesus Paid It All is © 1969 Singspiration Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. This arrangement was taken from a compilation book called "Bill Pearce Presents Easy Trombone Stylings, Volume 2" which was published by Singspiration in 1969 and has unfortunately long been out of print.


Beatrice Bush Bixler

Beatrice Bush Bixler, piano

The key events in the life of Jesus were certainly his birth, death and resurrection. But there is another event yet to come - his second coming, with which he will ultimately establish a "new heaven and a new earth" for those who know Him. Bea Bixler's song, It May Be Today speaks of that time when Christ will come again and how we must be ready for that moment at all times. The Bible tells us that we "do not know the day nor the hour" when Christ will return, and Bea's song reminds us that we not only need to live lives which will honor God, but that we have a responsibility to share His love with others so that they may know Him before Christ's second coming.

It was wonderful to see and hear Bea sit at the piano and accompany me in this song which she inscribed to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Bush. Her song always reminds me that, "It may be today!"

It May Be Today is © 1950, Singspiration Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. At the recording session, Bea improvised her own arrangement of her song, but my wife and I have often played the arrangement of it found in "Bill Pearce Presents Fascinating Trombone Stylings, Volume 2" which was published by Singspiration in 1970 and has long been out of print.


Greg Nelson and Phill McHugh, arranged by Tom Fettke

Stephen E. Gerber, piano

Christian popular artist Steve Green put this song on the map and it has had a remarkable staying power because of the potency of the text. When we look around at the world, we see so many hurting and broken people, people who seem to be going through life aimlessly, or others who are engaged in a self-destructive spiral. Christians are not immune from the troubles of the world, but they know that one who lives a life in Christ has found a new purpose for living, and that God gives perfect direction to His children. People Need The Lord speaks about the desperate situation many people find themselves in, and how Christ is truly the answer for the troubles of the world. There is a line in the song which speaks of Christ as "the open door" and Wayne Wilcox's cover drawing illustrates that as well.

When Steve Gerber and I made the first take of this at the recording session, we were both overcome with emotion, we could not speak or play, we were both powerfully aware of the presence of the Spirit of God in the room. It was an unforgettable, electric moment, and a testimony of the power of God's inexpressible gift, music, and how it can move us in powerful ways.

People Need The Lord is 1983 River Oaks Music Co./Shepherd's Fold Music. Administered by EMIĘChristian Music Publishing (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. The arrangement I used is from a book of arrangements called "Perfect Praise: 12 favorites for solo instrument with tracks or piano." The collection is edited and arranged by David S. Winkler however People Need The Lord is arranged by Tom Fettke with the suggested solo part arranged by David S. Winkler. The book is published by Word Music which may be contacted through Acuff-Rose Music, 65 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. The catalog number is 3015003313; I do not know if it is still in print.


Frederick M. Lehman, arranged by Bill Pearce

Wes Ross, piano

After the Bible, I can think of no more important book of Christian theology than a good hymnal. The hymns and gospel songs of the past, some of which are included on this album, have a theological and poetic Truth and beauty which can be truly inspiring.

The Love of God is one such piece. I have rarely seen a song which has such powerful imagery. The final verse speaks of an ocean full of ink, and the skies made of parchment, and every stalk on earth being a quill - and even with ALL of that at our disposal, the love of God could never be written. Wonderful metaphors which call to mind the fact that we can NEVER grasp how much God loves us. Despite whatever our sin be, if we know Him and confess to Him, He picks us up and forgives us with His immeasurable love.

The Love of God is © 1967, renewed 1995, Lillenas Publishing Company. Administered by The Copyright Company, Nashville, TN. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission. The arrangement of it I used is from "Bill Pearce Presents Concert Trombone Stylings" which was published by Singspiration in 1967 and has long been out of print.


Stephen Edward Gerber

Stephen E. Gerber, piano

Steve Gerber is one talented guy. It's one thing to know someone as a conductor, or pianist or arranger. But composing is a mystery to me, and Steve Gerber has the gift. Whether it be classical or popular music, he has a unique way of putting across something important to the listener.

In collaboration with his wife, Nancy Hoffman Gerber, Steve has a theatrical and musical production company called "Acts From The Heart" which produces original dramatic and musical presentations. One of the most successful of these productions is the musical "Suddenly On Christmas Eve" for which Steve wrote the book, lyrics and music, and which has been performed many times at Christmas time in churches in the Boston area, including Westgate Church.

Based on a true story involving Nancy Gerber's family, a dramatic high point of the show comes when a husband and wife find themselves in a desperate situation and realize that there is nowhere to turn but to the Lord. Come Unto Him is their response to this realization, and a re-dedication on their part to commit their ways to the Lord, knowing that He will bring them through.

When the song is performed in the musical there is never a dry eye in the house. It is that powerful. An essential part of the song is the reading of Scripture from Isaiah 40 which on CORNERSTONE is beautifully read by Bill Pearce:

Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

What wonderful words of encouragement when we are discouraged! And what a beautiful song. In the original vocal version, the husband and wife join together as a duet at the end which I have done with overdubbing. The "big" ending reflects the affirmation with which we can face the uncertainty of the future when we realize that God is completely in control.

Come Unto Him is © 1993 Stephen Edward Gerber (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. It has been published and is available directly from Stephen E. Gerber.


William J. Kirkpatrick, arranged by Harold DeCou

Patricia Yeo, piano

Choosing a song with which to end CORNERSTONE was easy - Pat and I simply played the piece with which we always end our musical programs in churches. At the end of all the messages of the songs on this album - reminders about God's love for us, His being the cornerstone and rock on which we can build our lives, the birth, death, resurrection and second coming of Jesus, how we can bring anything to the Lord, how much the world needs the redeeming, saving power of Christ - what we are left with is an expression of the simple fact that it is indeed sweet to trust in Him. He is faithful to His promises, he never fails, His Word is true, and we are changed because of Him. That is the message of 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus, and what more fitting conclusion of this album could there be?

'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus is © 1979 Singspiration Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. The arrangement I recorded is taken from a book called, "Trumpets Alive! The Best of Chuck Ohman" which was published in 1985 by Singspiration, catalog 5732.

[1] Scripture quotation (Isaiah 28:16) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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