Sunrise Meditations

by Frances Drost

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    Solo piano music with sounds of nature woven into classic hymns and hints of classical melodies. Perfect for your meditation moments.

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Monday, March 16, 2020, I woke up feeling anxious.

All my gigs were being canceled.

Our state senator strongly urged everyone to “stay home” due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

Oblivious to the situation, the birds sang happily outside my bedroom window. I lay there soaking in their songs. Peace began to wash over me.

I thought to myself, “what if I’d offer to play my grand piano for the world, online? I’ll select some of the old hymns that mention birds, such as His Eye is on the Sparrow. We can “sing” each other through the global storm.”

I started daily sessions of “Hit Pause” from my studio. Thanks, Facebook LIVE! My online community responded with joy and support.

Soon we were into Holy Week so we transitioned to Easter hymns. “Hey—why not do an online Easter sunrise concert and tell the Easter story “on the ivories”, I thought.”

So with the iPhone propped in my open window, a robin singing along with my piano music and the sun rising, we celebrated Easter on our devices at 6:00 am! A listener posted a comment that day…”you should do an Easter album!” An inspiration that caught my attention. And so it came to be…. Sunrise Meditations.

Nature sounds came in from the Hit Pause community around the world (and our homes), rallying around the idea of hymns, piano and nature joining together.

Necessity (a pandemic) is the mother of (invention) inspiration. Sunrise Meditations is proof.


released June 14, 2020

1. The Old Rugged Cross - George Bennard

Birds / rain: Frances Drost (Newville, PA)

2. Jesus Paid it All - John T. Grape (tune)

Birds: Steve & Cheryl Kennedy (Newville, PA), Audrey Sims (Kigali, Rwanda, Africa)
Frogs / water: Wanda Boone (Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA)
Peepers / birds: Rachel Shetterly (Millersburg, PA)

3. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - Isaac Watts

Birds / wind chimes: Iris Blackketter (Marion, KS)
Flute: Doug Cook, Engineer: Jonathan Cook (Carlisle, PA)

4. Were You There? - African-American spiritual

Birds / geese: Steve & Cheryl Kennedy (Newville, PA)
Bulbul bird: Nancy Jo Shenk (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa)
Birds: Quin Hock (New Kingston, PA)

Footsteps: Frances Drost (Newville, PA)

Water: Becky Edwards (Indiana, PA), Brian Gayman (Chambersburg, PA), Brad Rowley (Shiga Prefecture, Japan)

5. O Sacred Head, Now Wounded - Bernard of Clairvaux

Birds: Anita Doak (Baltimore, MD), Rae Mathna (Newville, PA) ,
Cardinal / Mocking Bird / Rooster: Frances Drost (Newville, PA)
Japanese Nightingale & Woodpecker: Brad Rowley (Mount Rokko, Kobe, Japan)
Thunder: Epidemic Sound
Water: Aspen Heisey (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)

6. What Wondrous Love is This - Anonymous (solo piano)

7. Pachelbel’s Canon in D with There is a Fountain - Johann Pachelbel / William Cowper

Birds: Linda Gayman (Chambersburg, PA), Steve & Cheryl Kennedy (Newville, PA),
Nancy Shank (Maytown, PA), Brenda Sims (Perkasie, PA)
Wind chimes: Aspen Heisey (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)

8. Christ Arose! with Prelude (No.1 from The Well-Tempered Clavier) - Robert Lowry /Johann Sebastian Bach

Birds: Anita Doak (Baltimore, MD), Frances Drost (Newville, PA), Steve & Cheryl Kennedy (Newville, PA)
Doves / Birds: Aspen Heisey (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Doves / Wind chimes / Thunder: Iris Blackketter (Marion, KS)
Thunder Clap: Epidemic Sound
Tik Tok: Tracy Mertes (Williamsport, PA)

9. This is my Father’s World / Simple Gifts / His Eye is on the Sparrow / And Can it Be? / Sheep May Safely Graze - Terra Beata (tune) / Joseph Brackett (American Shaker Melody) / Civilla D. Martin / Thomas Campbell (tune) / Johann Sebastian Bach (tune)

Baby & Grandmother laughing: Nova Rose Matos & Aspen Heisey (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Baby talk: Eliana (Granddaughter of Tracy Mertes)
Birds: Nancy Shank (Maytown, PA), Audrey Sims (Kigali, Rwanda, Africa)
Birds / Cats / Bullfrog: Frances Drost (Newville, PA)
Birds / Turkeys / Turtle Doves: Steve & Cheryl Kennedy (Newville, PA)
Birds: Dawn Blessing (Landisburg, PA)
Shore water lapping: Brad Rowley (Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture, Japan)
Waterfall: Brad Rowley (Akame, Mie Prefecture, Japan)
Water: Brian Gayman (Chambersburg, PA), Darryl & Lindsay Myers (Thomsontown, PA)

Thanks to:

The Great Creator of nature sounds.

The Hit Pause community for gathering the sounds.

Aspen, Brian, Cheryl and Iris for providing extra ears as I was laying down piano ideas and “mixing birds”.

Tom Drost who suggested going “live” from my studio while we had to “stay home”. It was just the advice I needed to revitalize Hit Pause.

Executive Producer: Frances Drost
Producer: Eric Copeland, Creative Soul Records
Nature sound coordination: Brian Gayman, Proclaim Media
Nature sounds: God ;-)
Front cover: Diane Nadolny
Inside cover illustration: Rick Boersma
Flute (Doug Cook) recorded by Jonathan Cook
All piano arrangements: Frances Drost
Synthogy Ivory

Thanks to Michael P. Smith CFP® Wealth Advisor 717-502-1100, with Thrivent for underwriting this project.


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Frances Drost Pennsylvania

Frances Drost is a singer/songwriter who gives voice to our innermost thoughts and feelings through lyrics and melodies. She lives life and then writes about it so others can join in the journey.

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