David Hepburn is a retired minister-of-music, choir director, band director, missionary, teacher, and school president, and a fine tenor and trumpeter. His many compositions are a testament to the works of Jesus he has seen in the lives of others and in his own life.
The New Song Singers grew out of a church youth singing group David started about seven or eight years before David wrote "Philippians - A Love Letter." By 1975 the group has grown to over 20 singers and a full rhythm section and consisted of both high school and 20-somethings from many Christian denominations. Growing out of David's desire to base more of his lyrics directly on scripture, his idea was to make a significant part of each New Song Singers concert a full musical based on one of the epistles. "Philipians - A Love Letter" was the first of two such musicals David wrote.
The musical was recorded and pressed into vinyl in 1976 and was performed many times from 1976 to 1978, when David's second musical, "First John" was completed and replaced "Philippians - A Love Letter" in the concert repertoire of the New Song Singers.
In 1980, David Hepburn was called to a different ministry in a different place and the New Song Singers disbanded, leaving a legacy of many people who memorized many songs and performed over forty concerts each year, some of them having remained active for almost the entire life span of the group. As much as a third or even half of David's compositional output was intended for use by the New Song Singers.
The overall plan of the musical is:
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Optional prologue song: Rejoice in the Lord
Narrator read: Philippians 1:1-6, 8-9, 19-21
Song: A New Life
Read: Philippians 2:1-8
Song: The Mind of Christ
Read: Philippians 2:9-11
Song: The Name of Jesus
Read: Philippians 2:12-16
Song: Shine Out Like Beacons
Read: Philippians 3:3b-14
Song: The Things of Christ
Read: Philippians 3:15-21, 4:4
Song: Rejoice in the Lord
Read: Philippians 4: 6-13
Read: Philippians 1:27-30, 4:21-22
Song: A New Life (reprise)
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The zip archive contains all of the sheet music pdfs, performance plan and performance notes, and a complete set of Mp3 audio files so you can make CDs or playlists for your musicians to use in practice.
A stand-alone download of just the audio files is also available.
PHILIPPIANS - A LOVE LETTER by David Hepburn for SATB choir with piano comes in a zip archive of 24847K, with individual song licenses in each song pdf and a master license for the entire work in the notes pdf. Performance time should run between 20 and 35 minutes depending on tempos, reading speeds, and transitions.