A few years ago, I had the amazing privilege of working with the hymn texts of Anne Steele — a pioneering female Baptist hymn-writer. Inspired by Cindy Aalders' insights about Anne Steele's life and work, I wrote new musical settings for fifteen of her texts as part of my graduate work. These songs were then recorded as the album Awake the Sacred Song. Since then, I've discovered not only the unsung richness of Anne Steele's lyrics, but other texts that lay silent in the hymnals of centuries past.
When I discover one of these treasures, my desire is to share with present day pilgrims a taste of the spiritual experience of brothers and sisters from within the Church historic. I try to create new settings for old words in a way that honours both the original text and context and the sensibilities of modern worshipping communities. I am a part of a growing group of musicians whose goal is to keep the knowledge and use of English hymnody alive and I wish to honour their work as well.