David Williams Thornton     b. October 8, 1911      m. Lorna Peterson    b. February 5, 1911          
cir. 1945
fotos       Unc's Nelson, David and Irvin with .......      Unc. David and Judy      

        He was the fifth child born to J B and Eliza Willia Thornton while the family lived at Greenfield, Illinois. Soon after the family journeyed to Japan and remained there until 1926 when they returned to St. Louis Missouri.
        His missionary father became the pastor of Hope Congregational Church and he, in his latter teens, became the music director of the same congregation.
        Of his numerous musical accomplishments I am best acquainted with his Easter cantata, My Heart Is Glad, and we have accumulated much of that history and some recordings.
        With the effort of Beth Provinse as historian and writer and the gift of recordings and testimonials of some with first hand experience in the first (1940) production we offer the following accounts.
        The initial presentation was presented from manuscript. Bernadine Mellow, as I recall, furnished a copy of the program handout with scriptural text and annotation, I have not seen a copy of the manuscript. To see the program handout, go to: 
1940 Presentation
        In 1944, while Uncle David was in the service, Albert Scholin published the work from the manuscript which was used at the 1940 presentation at Hope Congregational Church. I purchased a copy online that was used in making the music available for this effort. ($12.00 as I recall, from Amazon) 

        1959 - Albert Scholin, director of music at Trinity Presbyterian Church of St Louis, passed away and Uncle David was asked to take the position vacated by his death. His first accomplishment at that station was to orchestrate the cantata and it was presented that Easter at Trinity with full orchestral accompaniment. .... [One description as to the value of ochestration I found states: "
Great orchestration turns a line drawing into a 3D sculpture without detracting from the elegance and clarity of the underlying idea — rather, it makes the idea clearer."] .........  I am not qualified to judge the work of any composer, but can testify to the clarity & power of the spiritual message Uncle David engineered in this work.
         The history and audio of the 1962 performance is available on the website maintained by Dan Thornton at: 1962 Presentation 
        The vinyl record used for this history was made available as a gift from Tom & Vicki King. Tom's mother had retained the record and passed it to her son, which was digitized by professional studio's. Tom King was located through the Marquess family who had the pleasure of hearing Tom King sing the tenor solo rendition of  "Fear Not Ye - For He Is Risen" at their Methodist Church in Hopkinsville, KY. 
        The work quickly became known and was used nationwide. I read an account of it's being used in Florida and we know it was used on several occasions by Purdue Univ. with as many as 350 voices participating.
         In searching the internet for a copy of MHIG, as published by the Scholin Music Co., I found the cantata had been presented in Seattle, Easter 1964 ............
         If I remember correctly, Tom Thornton has the Seattle Opera House performance on vinyl? It is possible  I scanned this image from that cover? 

        At the time I located the Seattle site, this "Opera House" presentation was available on U-Tube for download - in four separate recordings. These I copied and edited into Side A and Side B as well as a single track recording. I will add them to the offering if necessary, but the 1964 presentation is available today as a single on U-Tube at:   Seattle does MHIG - 1964   
I first found the work on the website of Bud Tutmark, the director, but today I checked the Tutmark website and the files are no longer available for free download, but the work is available from them for $$$ (a lot of dollars). Not to worry - If you cannot download it from U-Tube I can make it available to you for free, if you like, but, in my opinion, the presentations recorded in St. Louis are much better.
Images captured of
The Opera House program:     Dedication      Side A list      Side B list 

        If God wills, the next post in regards to the "MHIG story" will be the 1972 production of the cantata presented at "Hope Church on Brown Road".