Showcase: Prelude on “Zacchaeus”
The newest piece coming from Good Report Music, “Prelude on Zacchaeus” by Reid Gilliam, represents several firsts for Melkim Publishing.
This is the first piece in which the publisher had no part in composing or arranging. It is an experiment to see if Melkim can sell other composer’s works, as one of our goals is to help bring more composers to light. You can learn more about Reid Gilliam on the About Melkim page. If this proves to be a success, Melkim will then try to branch out further.
This is the first piece based on a tune that is unfamiliar to Mormons. Rather it is a popular Protestant tune. Like other Good Report Music pieces, it remains compatible with most Christian denominations. Should this experiment be successful, we will release more pieces outside of the Mormon sphere.
This is the first organ-only piece that we’ve released. You may notice that we’ve added a new “Church Organ” category. Look for more organ pieces coming in the future.
This is the first time coming out at the very start releasing the digital download at the same time as releasing the printed version. In the past, Good Report Music has offered a couple of other digital downloads related to free events, but this is the first “paid” event. Should the experiment be successful, Melkim Publishing will release all its pieces for digital download.
While serving on a worship committee, Reid Gilliam looked for music to accompany a sermon on the story of Zacchaeus described in Luke 19: 1-10. Finding few useful resources, he decided to arrange his own prelude based on one of his wife’s favorite childhood songs, the popular and playful traditional tune “Zacchaeus.”
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
And a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree and he said,
Zacchaeus – you come down, for I’m going to your house today!
For I’m going to your house today!
Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
But a happy man was he,
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he.”
The beginning of the “Zacchaeus” prelude shares the spirited and dance-like character of the traditional tune. The middle section provides contrast and then builds to a climax at the end as Jesus tells Zacchaeus that he is “coming to his house today!”
About registration and choice of manuals, the composer intends to leave this piece open to interpretation. The markings I, II and III in this edition are just one suggestion by the editor.
Following is an actual performance by the composer, Reid Gilliam. One thing to notice in this recording is the addition of random bells (a Cymbalstern stop), starting at 26 seconds. This is not written in the composition, but is a wonderful example of how to use different interpretations. You should likewise strive to have fun in your own performance.