Friday, September 3, 2010

Greetings from the Home Office or A Day in the Life

Welcome to the Friday edition of Gotta Sing Gotta Pray!  My name is Ron Rendek, Senior Music Editor at World Library Publications, and I’ve been on staff here for 15+ years. I join you today as Jerry’s guest blogger while our friend is on a well-deserved vacation. We send our thoughts and prayers for a safe, relaxing, and rejuvenating getaway. (Jerry, don’t forget to bring me back something!)

I’m sure you’ve read or even heard Jerry’s comments concerning the sprit and teamwork in all departments at WLP - music, art, production, marketing, customer service, sales. It’s true. I’m fortunate to work alongside my talented and knowledgeable colleagues as we collaborate daily on the many and varied projects and make the best of each day. And yes, humor does play a role.

My work at WLP is multidimensional - editing or arranging new music one day, meeting with composers, writers, or artists to talk about upcoming projects on another. Another day or week might be spent managing, producing, or assisting with artist-driven CDs and choral octavo demo recordings. Every day is challenging yet creatively satisfying.

We value and nurture our relationships with composers, authors, and musical artists – some of the foremost names in the liturgical world. These contributors and friends, many on a first name basis, are a very special part of the WLP family and the work we do.

WLP's Music Room

Today at the office, the editors are working on newly accepted or commissioned compositions in preparation for WLP’s November 2010 Choral Mailing featuring music for Lent and Easter. We’ll spend much of the day reading and playing through each work while discussing possible tweaking (if needed) to enhance usability, overall performance, and marketing. We’ll have conversations with the composers and arrangers regarding any number of issues - voicing, harmony, instrumentation, text, and in many cases we request additional musical elements to ensure that their work will be presented in its best light. I’m currently working on a manuscript by Jim Clemens. His setting of “The Lord Is My Shepherd” is a sweet anthem reminiscent of an American folk hymn. Written for unison choir or soloist, we asked Jim to create a flute line to complement the lyrical theme. Yesterday he sent in a new part with a few extra touches added as he revisited the piece.

Also on the docket are octavos from the recent CD by Paul Tate, “Unto Us” WLP 007374.
Several manuscripts have come back from our engraving department and we are beginning to peruse the 1st proofs. Paul’s choral Advent/Christmas collection is a mix of newly written anthems and contemporary songs with some settings hinting at motifs from well known cherished carols. I’m looking forward to programming his lively work “The Angels Danced on Christmas Morn.” The complete printed collection will be available this fall.

At home, my family is getting ready to say goodbye to Roman Kimmich, a German orchestra student from outside Stuttgart who is visiting the Chicago area (and next week Kansas City) with a German community music school that has been participating in music and cultural exchanges with the music students of the Downers Grove High Schools since 1985. My oldest son, Rudy, was in Germany, France, and Spain this summer as part of this exchange program. He loved it! (And, I think he wants to move to Germany.) All the families that hosted our musical guests were impressed with these charming high schoolers. They were kind, humble, artistic, energetic, fun loving, and very interested in participating in our day-to-day activities. Roman spoke fluent English and there was never a communication problem. German students are required to take 9 years of English and it showed. I’m convinced - the future is in good hands.

Gotta Sing. Gotta Pray.

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