While I was directing the One True Ward’s marvelous choir, we were particularly delighted to get to know new move-ins Matt and Heather Robertson. We were working on Leroy Robertson’s “The Lord’s Prayer,” a very moving number1, when Matt asked whether we were aware of the story of its composition by his great-grandfather. Here’s a published version of the story: MattHeatherew
In 1939, for a final take-home exam in an Advanced Music Theory class, this professor had given his students a chorale melody to harmonize. When, at the designated hour, they returned to submit the assignment, their teacher stepped to the chalkboard to show his charges various treatments they might have tried, which was his custom. As he picked up the chalk, the words to the Lord’s Prayer suddenly entered his mind along with a complete setting of the chorale melody. So rapidly did the music hit him that he could scarcely write fast enough. But notate he did, nonstop from the opening “Our Father” through the final “Amen.” Just as he finished, the bell signaling the end of class rang. Breathless, the composer put down the chalk while his students, equally breathless, silently filed out of the room, quite overwhelmed by what had happened. Ever practical Robertson immediately grabbed a sheet of manuscript paper and quickly copied the notes from the board before the janitors could arrive to erase everything. At home that evening, Father gravely murmured, “Mary, I think something great happened today.” This would prove to be an understatement, for this setting of the Lord’s Prayer would soon go on to become one of Leroy Robertson’s most famous and beloved works.
“Leroy Robertson and the Oratorio from the Book of Mormon: Reminiscences of a Daughter,” by Marian Robertson-Wilson, published in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 4–13, 84. Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1999
1 Which we eventually performed, by request, tearfully, at Kerry Duke’s funeral. Here’s the hymn, as recorded by the Tabernacle Choir:
The Lord’s Prayer
Back a Page
(Wedding in Apex)
Such a Life
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Next Page
Welcome Stories Sections Such a Life People Places Site Search Do You Know?
Updated Jul 2020 [2000p14.htm] Page 400-14