When Joan and I first arrived in Tiffin in the summer of 2000, Bob and Donna Overholt became two of our newest friends. They welcomed us to Heidelberg, took us out to dinner, and later invited us to stay at their home while we waited for the moving truck to arrive. Over the years, we worked together on so many projects; Joan and I valued their help and support greatly. When Bob passed away suddenly, it only seemed natural to write a choral piece in his honor, as he had been a choral singer all his life.
Donna and I considered a number of texts that might honor Bob’s life; we found a couple of appropriate ones, but kept coming back to a traditional gospel song, This Little Light of Mine. This traditional tune/text seemed to capture Bob’s great spirit, humor and generosity perfectly.
There was one challenge: This Little Light of Mine featured a wonderful well-known tune but had but a small handful of stanzas. Enter my friend, Lynne Huenemann, who created additional stanzas for the arrangement. The combination of new and traditional texts allowed me to use an eclectic mix of classical and popular styles.
This Little Light of Mine was premiered at Trinity United Church of Christ, in Tiffin, in May 2019, a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity, a community organization that Bob had supported for many years. Chancel Choir members and other community singers worked hard to present this challenging new anthem; I was so very proud of them!