Relief Society Music Festival showcases many LDS songwriters

Some years, as many as 700 entries are submitted to the annual music submission event sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

So while it may appear there are a good number of "winners" chosen for the choir to sing in the Relief Society Music Festival, there are many more worthy pieces written by Mormons, says Diane Bastian, organizer of the event. Some whose songs are chosen for presentation are familiar to the LDS musical scene like Janice Kapp Perry.

Others are trying to break into the LDS market, and still others are simply finding a channel for their musical energy.

"This is my fourth year as an award winner in the Church Music submissions," Rachel Mohlman of the Kennewick Park Ward in Washington, said. "I began 'He is Risen' in early 2008 as I was planning for a student vocal duet recital in the spring. I needed a duet for two of my students but as I arranged it, it got bigger than that."

She ended up asking six women in her ward to sing it for Easter while she accompanied them.

Mohlman is excited to hear it performed by a larger choir with someone else directing it and accompanying it.

"The church music submission provides a great incentive to writers to have the opportunity to hear our works performed," she said.

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