I wrote this arrangement for James Hersch, an amazing and gifted person. Below is my dedicatory note inside the cover of the music.

“James is one of those very special and rare musicians whose performances are about people more than music. He is the single most sincere, humble, and genuinely kind person I’ve encountered. I’ve seen him work his “magic” with all different kinds of people (young, old, rich, poor, healthy, ill, most with one or more challenges) and he cares deeply about each one – it just seeps through his pores! James’ presentation style is very hard to explain, but something everyone can learn from.  His tenor voice is bright and focused – and his tone is one with which everyone can enjoy singing along.  The songs he writes tell wonderful stories. Whether reflective, humorous, or just plain silly, all of his songs leave the listener full of joy and hope. The music IS secondary, however. It is merely a tool to reach people deep down inside. He has this miraculous way of helping people embrace their existence – everything about it: good, bad, and all the stuff in the middle. If you walk in feeling indifferent or frustrated about yourself, you’ll leave feeling uplifted and special. James has taught me so much about the power of my own art form – and how I can make a positive impact on my surroundings by opening myself up to others through music. He inspires me to think creatively on a myriad of levels. This is an education that most renowned music schools and curricula in the world could never provide. I’m so thankful for James. He is a treasure.”

This lyric describes James best, I think. That is why I was inspired to arrange it especially for him to sing with my students.

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Me with James Hersch for whom I arranged “How Can I Keep From Singing.” This photo is from our tour to Austria when he sang the piece with an ensemble comprised of MU students and alumni.
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James Hersch for whom I arranged “How Can I Keep From Singing.” This photo is from our tour to Austria, where we stopped to see Mozart’s birthplace.
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Wonderful ensemble of MU students and alumni who toured Austria with a message of peace. This tour included my arrangements of “We Shall Overcome” and “How Can I Keep From Singing.”