Universal Language Project Podcast:
Revealing the Composer’s Process

Ep. 03 - Stephen Michael Newby - "Prayer Song"

Dr. Stephen Michael Newby is a composer, conductor, gospel/jazz vocalist, and pianist. A native of Detroit, MI, Newby’s music might be described as a brilliant mergence of the best tools of the 20th century with his background in gospel music.He received his Bachelor of Arts in vocal music education and flute performance from Madonna University, a Master of Music in jazz composition and arranging from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in composition from The University of Michigan, where he served as Assistant Professor of Composition and Computer Arts.  He is currently Associate Professor of Music at Seattle Pacific University.

Are we singing our prayers? Can music assist with engaging the mind and the heart toward a mature prayer life? As I studied theologian Theophan and the Recluse's work entitled "the art of prayer," I wanted to write a piece that would respond to the notion of prayer as song. Hence, this work is a type of prayer. It moves from a 6/8 groove in the strings to a melodic pensive response in the trumpet and voice. Music engages the bodily senses and when we take those same sensibilities and turn them to prayer we connect deeply with the Wise Creator. This piece is dedicated to my friends Brian Chin and Phil Kristianson—enjoy the prayer journey—play the music and pray the prayers.  ~ Stephen Newby

Universal Language Project Orchestra
Cherié Hughes, Soprano
Brian Chin, Trumpet

Recorded at First Free Methodist Church in Seattle, WA. May, 2012
Recorded by Ron Haight
Podcast Produced by Cody Kilpatrick and Brian Chin
ULP Podcast Music: Caleb Parker. Produced by Cody Kilpatrick.