Preparing music for National Day of Prayer

Are any of you playing music for National Day of Prayer this Thursday, May 2nd? I’m not personally, but my sister just texted me that I should do a post on it. Apparently, she is scrambling to find music to play! So, if for no one else, at least this might help my sister…of course, she could have just called… 🙂

If I were putting together a list of songs to use for a prelude (which is what my sister is doing), I would use patriotic songs for sure (I’ve included the most common keys that these are usually written in):

1. America the Beautiful (key of B flat)

2. My Country ‘Tis of Thee (key of F)

3. Star Spangled Banner (key of A or A flat)

4. God Bless America (key of F)

5. Faith of our Fathers (key of E flat)

Can you think of any others that I’m forgetting? I’m not looking in the hymnbook right now…

Then I would add some other retrospective songs, such as:

1. Sweet Hour of Prayer (key of C)

2. Draw Me Nearer (key of G)

3. Near to the Heart of God (key of D flat)

Any others?

Then, I would mix and match the songs according to their keys/relative keys for easy flow and modulations, like this:

1. America the Beautiful (B flat, modulate to C)

2. Sweet Hour of Prayer (C, modulate to D flat and repeat)

3. Near to the Heart of God (continue in D flat, then modulate to D and repeat, then modulate to E flat)

4. Faith of Our Fathers (E flat, modulate to F and repeat)

5. My Country ‘Tis of Thee (F – maybe switch meter on 2nd verse to 4/4)

6. God Bless America (F, modulate to G)

7. Draw Me Nearer (G, modulate to A flat and repeat)

8. Star Spangled Banner (A flat)

Many times, these types of services will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem. In this case, you would be ready to play the national anthem since you would already be in the key of A flat!

If you are looking for a special patriotic solo, here is a terrific arrangement of “America the Beautiful.”

If you are accompanying a soloist, keep the accompaniment simple. Don’t divert attention away from the soloist.

What else can you think of to prepare music for the National Day of Prayer? Please share your ideas, as I’m sure other pianists are busy preparing similar music.

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