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Songbook Review: Anchored
Lynette Sawatsky
Cover image of the songbook Anchored by Lynette Sawatsky
Lynette Sawatsky
2016 / Debra Wanless Music
28 pages / 6 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Anchored is a collection of six hymns arranged for early advanced pianists by Canadian composer/arranger/pianist/teacher Lynette Sawatsky. Sawatsky began her musical training at the age of four and completed her performer’s A.R.C.T. in piano when she was in high school. She has taught both group and private lessons, has been employed as a music specialist in the public school system, and has worked with many young musicians as a guest piano clinician and music festival adjudicator. Her piano compositions have been selected as festival test pieces in Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan and are part of Conservatory Canada’s syllabus. Anxious to bring her music to a wider audience, this is the first of a series of Sawatsky’s books that I look forward to reviewing.

It has been my experience as a piano teacher that a lot of the supplementary materials that are presented for students are not that much fun to play. That’s a broad statement, but I’ve felt that way for quite some time, and have preferred using teaching pieces that come from a wide variety of sources. I don’t feel that way at all about Anchored. Sawatsky has taken six well-known hymns and arranged them in a style that is inviting, very pleasant to listen to, and fun to play. The stylings are varied and contemporary while still “church-like” and I would think they would be most welcome in a church setting for pianists who are starting to move in that direction. The pieces will also be very enjoyable to pianists who do not necessary plan to become church pianists, but enjoy playing hymns.

The titles of the hymns are listed below with the keys they are in and the number of pages. The lyrics are not included since these are solo piano arrangements. Phrasing, metronome settings and expression are included, and the notation is roomy and easy to read. I received the book as a download, so the format for that is 8 1/2”x11”. The printed book is 9"x12" with a stitched binding. This is an excellent collection and I highly recommend it! It is available from www.LynetteSawatsky.com

The song titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are:

Be Thou My Vision - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing - Key of Db (5 flats) - 4 pages
Jesus Loves Even Me - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
This Is My Father’s World - Key of F (1 flat) - 4 pages
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 6 pages
Shall We Gather at the River? - Key of F/ G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
January 1, 2017
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