Dan Forrest, Jr.

Mr. Jerry Maxwell did much to instill in me a love for good music. I learned to appreciate the offerings of John Rutter, John Ness Beck, Beckenhorst Press, and Handel’s Messiah. As a result, I tend to favor conservative sacred music sung with a British accent. 🙂 (I even tried to convince the Explorers team to sing with a British accent … but they couldn’t be convinced.)

During a recent online conversation, I came across the choral compositions of Dan Forrest, Jr. After listening to several samples, I was reminded of my musical upbringing. But who is this guy? According to his website,

He holds a B.Mus. and an M.Mus. in Piano Performance from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. He is a faculty member in the Music Theory and Piano departments at BJU, and is currently on leave of absence, pursuing a D.M.A. in composition at the University of Kansas. Dan’s educational experience includes private composition study with Joan Pinkston, Dwight Gustafson, James Barnes, and Alice Parker.

That description sets him apart as a well-trained, conservative composer. But you’ll want to listen to some of his work to make your own judgment. Of the samples available on his site and at his publishers, I found the following to be my favorites:

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Never a Brighter Star

To Be Like Thee

A Basque Lullaby

Abide In Me

On the negative side, I’m not sure what to think about his one word songs. Amen was beautiful, but how many times can you say one word before you get tired of it? Some of the others were a bit odd. For instance, I thought Selah was a line break in Hebrew poetry or a time to think about what the preceding section said. So, it was a bit strange to see an entire song dedicated to it. Then again, The Hallelujah Chorus does that without evoking much complaint. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Dan Forrest, Jr.

  1. dale

    all five of the arrangements were absolutely beautiful…thank you for sharing with us, Andyand thank you for your speaking so wonderfully re Jerry M who many still, to this day, feel the blessings of knowing him…

  2. dale

    sorry that did not turn out as well as I would have expected…it should read “…Andy, and thank you…”, “speaking so wonderfully re Jerry Maxwell who…”

    not sure what happened (I’ll blame it on the new computer))

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