I spent much time with famed LDS musician, Robert Cundick yesterday afternoon. His oratorio “The Redeemer” was performed last week in the Salt Lake Tabernacle with the Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. In prepration for this event, the Choir requested permission to reengrave the entire score and parts. This mammoth work involves a tabloid-size score of over 180 pages plus a full compliment of individual orchestral parts, some of which are up to 32 pages long.
Up until now we have reproduced Cundick’s original pen-and-ink score and parts whenever we have had a request for production materials for this 1 hour and twenty minute presentation. The new engravings represent a decisive improvement over what we have had for thirty years.
Each newly engraved page now will be submitted to a high quality digital scan before printing. This will preserve the integrity of the engraving work for ever.
Our immediate need for the new engravings is to provide sets for BYU and BYU Idaho music departments, and for the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Dr. Cundick brought by several other finished works for publication, including the traditional organ theme music for “Music and the Spoken Word”, a set of organ hymn settings for John Longhurst, a third volume of the ‘Triludes’ series, organ registrations and corrections for my “Easter: A Hymn Medley”, and a setting of President Hinckley’s “What Is This Thing Called Death?” by Gaylen Hatten which Cundick prepared as a choral edition.
“Born in Salt Lake City in 1926, Robert Cundick is a Utahn through and through. Known to a worldwide audience as a recitalist and organist at the Mormon Tabernacle, he is in real life a delightful and humorous friend, a loving husband and father, a resourceful fix-it man, a fisherman, and a modest and reluctant hero.
Married since 1949 to the former Charlotte Clark (“Cholly” to all who know her), Bob is a family man who relies on his wife for all the important things and credits her for easing the rough spots.
In the Fall of 1959, with a growing family to support, Bob accepted a position with the BYU music department, where he, like his mentor Leroy Robertson, turned out to be an outstanding teacher. But the academy was not to be his life’s mission. Throughout the years of schooling, his organ studies with Alexander Schreiner had been paramount, and in 1965 destiny, it seemed, called him to the Tabernacle. Cundick left BYU with the promise to do all in his power to advance the cause of music through his new calling, a promise that he kept with gracious resolve through his twenty-six-year tenure on the organ bench.
Besides giving him valuable experience and maturity, the ‘BYU years’ bore fruit in cherished and lifelong friendships, several of which would impact his artistic life.
In the earlier years of their marriage the Cundicks spent several years in London, while Bob was organist at the Hyde Park Chapel, and they have recently returned from an assignment as concert coordinators for the BYU Jerusalem Center.” Deseret News
I feel privileged to have spent so much time with Robert Cundick today—a giant in LDS music.