170. CFAMC Listening Page – Lawrence Mumford

DECEMBER 23, 2018
Lawrence Mumford
The Malone Chamber Singers
Jon Peterson, conductor

MP3 Score

The pdf is for viewing only. Please contact the composer for further use.


Before she became Mary the mother of Jesus, she was an innocent young woman, happily engaged, living in the hills of ancient Israel. Luke gives us an account of her surprised, honest, and faithful reaction to the most astonishing announcement ever received by a human being. Her words are often called “Mary’s Song,” or the “Magnificat.” An earlier version of this piece was premiered by the Providence Chamber Singers of Pasadena in 2012 and included on the compact disk A Time for Peace. The current version was recently premiered by singers from the Malone University Chorale, Canton, Ohio.


My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. The Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is his name. He has regarded the humble in the land. From now on all nations will call me blessed. He extends his mercy to those who fear him. From one generation to the next, let the humble say ‘rejoice.’ His arm does mighty deeds, but he scatters the proud. He brings the rulers down, but he lifts up the humble. He satisfies the hungry but he sends the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his covenant to help his land.


I came to faith a bit later in life, accepting Christ before my 29th birthday. Despite the influence of church-going parents, I rejected all notions of Christianity when I began attending a series of secular colleges, and boasted of my ‘agnosticism.’ However, I had an odd affinity for music with a sacred intent, and managed to get involved in productions as varied as Jesus Christ Superstar (singing Judas of all things), church performance jobs, and even a contemporary Christian band. When members of the latter discovered that I wasn’t saved, they quit, and warned me that if I wanted a career in music I would need “a strong faith to hold onto.” I pondered this remark, decided they were right, and met with a local pastor to accept the Lord. Since then I have had the honor of working mostly in Christian institutions, getting a Christian girl to stay married to me for 22 years, and writing music that – once again – usually has some form of sacred intent.


Lawrence R. Mumford lives in greater Los Angeles, and is an award-winning composer with music published by 8 different companies. His music has been performed across the country by various metropolitan and university orchestras, wind ensembles, and chamber groups, and in venues varying from professional concert halls to car radios. Two of his compositions recently reached the finalist or semifinalist stage for The American Prize, and his Symphony No. 3 “The Four Winds” is currently in rehearsal with the University of California Irvine Symphony Orchestra. He has also composed for producers at 20th-21st Century Fox in Hollywood and even placed a popular song on a Billboard #1 album. Several of his original orchestral themes played daily on radio in over 50 cities nationwide for fourteen years. He earned a doctorate in music composition at the University of Southern California in 1989, having also studied at Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory, Catholic University, and George Washington University. He has been a CFAMC member since 1998 and has been teaching at Biola University since 2008.