It began with an ongoing discussion between a student and a teacher. Brain Griffen, school chaplain, and Calder Sprinkle ’21 had been collaborating on plans for an update to the traditional opening hymn in Trinity’s Baccalaureate service. They were considering “God Whose Giving Knows No Ending / Servant Song,” a 1961 hymn by Robert L. Edwards.
“We both felt that the service should really empower the seniors as they headed out into the world, and wanted to change out a hymn to focus a little more on that,” said Sprinkle. “Through the subsequent process of combining two sets of lyrics, an idea for an arrangement of the hymn appeared in my head and I jotted down a couple measures of music.”
“[Calder] was searching for inspiration when the quarantine hit and distance learning began,” said Griffen. “He revisited the hymn and the lyrics overwhelmed him by offering much meaning to a difficult time.”
“We are pilgrims on a journey, we are travellers on the road,” goes the hymn’s second verse. “We are here to help each other, walk the mile and bear the load.”
With Sprinkle’s reputation as a talented musician preceding him, Griffen asked Sprinkle if he would record a video of himself singing this piece for the last Morning Meeting before the Easter Break. “He delivered in a major way,” said Griffen. “What I thought would be him singing at his laptop turned into an incredibly high quality production
with him playing multiple instruments and enlisting the help of his brother and Trinity alum, McKinley [’18], who sang background vocals and provided percussion.”
Sprinkle was both energized and exhausted by the process. “For me, the creative journey of writing music is incredibly fulfilling because there’s a mystery in every song,” he said. “Recording music, however, is a headache, especially when you’ve written it yourself; I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound in my head and I was going to be a perfectionist until I got it there. With a total of 12 different parts, the full recording process took 13 hours of work in two days; when I wasn’t in class or doing school work, I was in front of a microphone.”
“I’m very thankful for the support of Mr. Griffen and the collaboration with my older brother McKinley, who I was fortunate enough to be able to trick into playing percussion and singing,” said Sprinkle. “Music in essence is about collaboration; whether that’s between two musicians or between a musician and an audience, it doesn’t matter. If we truly believe that we have been given the gift to make art, our call as artists is to share it for the sake of the world.”WATCH THE COMPETE VIDEO ON TRINITY'S VIMEO CHANNEL >>