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Remembering Luke Garrett

Has it really been two years since the church music world lost one of its true artists in Luke Garrett? When I recall answering the phone that Saturday morning in June, 2016, from Luke’s brother, it seems like only a few days ago.

“Robert, this is Doug,” he said. “Luke is gone.”

I didn’t understand. Luke and I were in the finishing stages of  a new CD. We were scheduled to finish his vocal tracks only a few days later.

“What do you mean – gone?” I asked.

And even when he calmly explained that the night before, Luke had a major heart attack and died almost instantly, it was difficult to comprehend.  It still is.

So, why do I bring this up now? Because I don’t want Luke’s voice to fade away. In a world of cookie-cutter recording artists, Luke was unique. His talent was beyond dispute. His technique was impeccable. But mostly, he didn’t sound like anybody else, anywhere, ever. And that is a sign of a real artist. Luke deserves to be remembered.

I also bring Luke up because I was recently reminded of him. Here at the website, we just released a solo/SATB anthem of my setting of the Lord’s Prayer, titled “Our Father.” This particular setting, the arrangement & orchestration, was recorded to be a part of that final recording for Luke – sadly, a recording he never completed.* The anthem is dedicated to Luke, and the very talented Shane McConnell graciously stepped into Luke’s shoes and sang the lead vocal for the recording.

For those of you familiar with this piece, this version is a new arrangement, designed to feature a baritone (or soprano) solo with choir. There is also an SATB only version (no solo) available from Shawnee Press. 

We also recently released another anthem that was likewise crafted for Luke’s record – “God Opens a Door.” And miraculously, my talented mix engineer was able to reconstruct Luke’s scratch vocal** track into a useable lead vocal. So the world got one more final recording from Luke.

So, here and now, two years later, I remember Luke. I hope you will, too.

* Luke had completed four vocals for the record, and they are available as an EP Download here, titled “Leaving us to Say Goodbye.”

** A “scratch vocal” track is the quick, often thrown-away, vocal performance by the artist, sung when the band is recording, so they can hear the melody.

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