Call for Collaborators: New Hymns and Primary Songs

Have you ever wanted to team up with a composer to write a hymn or primary song? Now's your chance!

June 18, 2018

Update: 2019-07-01

The submission deadline has come and gone. I couldn't be more pleased with what we've created together. Thank you!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced its plans to revise the current hymn and primary song collections!

Members can provide feedback on the current collections and even submit new works for consideration. I intend to compose as much music as possible before the July 1, 2019 deadline in order to have a wide variety of works to choose from when selecting my submissions. While I have lots of musical training, I wouldn't exactly call myself a lyricist. So, I'd like to extend the invitation to collaborate. Please reach out to me and let me know if you're interested.

Anyone is welcome to use the music I publish as inspiration for your own hymn lyrics. I'm happy to pair your lyrics with my music--just send me your lyrics (make sure they abide by the specified meter) and I'll publish a pdf that you could submit if you are so inclined.

I also welcome the challenge of composing new music for lyrics that don't match up with any of the hymns I've already published. I can't promise that I'll be able to create music for everyone that sends me something, but at this point, I'm available.

Here's the the collaboration process usually looks like:

  1. I review/analyze the lyrics for a recurring meter. If necessary, we adjust the lyrics in places to make sure each verse has the same number of syllables per phrase (or at least very close to the same number of syllables per phrase). I'm willing to be as involved (or not) in this process as you'd like.
  2. I compose a 1st draft of music, usually without the lyrics at this point (adding the lyrics makes it harder to adjust the music).
  3. I send you a pdf and a recording of the 1st draft music for you to review and provide feedback. I really want the music to be an effective vehicle for conveying the message of the text, so I welcome any feedback from you about the music. At this point it's relatively easy to adjust the music or even start again with a completely different musical approach.
  4. Once we agree that the feeling, mood, and melody are effective and a good fit with the lyrics, I pair the lyrics with the music and we polish it via a bit more back and forth feedback and ideas. At this point we should have something that looks and sounds like it could have a place in the church music collections. The end product is actually two PDFs, one with names and one without, which you could submit to the church for consideration in the new music collections. I'm writing a lot of hymns and so I don't plan on deciding what I will submit until the submission deadline is much closer (each member is limited to 5 submissions for each collection).
  5. I publish the finished work on this website so others can enjoy it.

Hymns and Songs:


-Michael Whatcott