Thursday, July 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis musician thrives as composer-for-hire

Sarah Majorins works out a melody on the piano with 9-month-old son Manny on her hip. The busy mom of 2-year-old Rachel and 3-year-old Trinity specializes in composing music for special occasions. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | January 06, 2012 |

Music tells a special story, of love and laughter, heartache and sorrow or blessings and joy.

For Sarah Majorins of Davis, capturing these emotions in a melody is more than just a passion, it’s a business, too. She writes music for special occasions — including church services, weddings, concerts, new songs that go into albums, and more.

Working from her family’s East Davis home, she provides new arrangements of familiar hymns, as well as original material, to customers around the country, using the Internet to move sheet music and sound files back and forth.

She has long been an active musician.

“My dad (David George) is a pastor, at Valley Springs Church in Roseville. So I’ve been involved in church music my entire life,” she says.

Her education followed a musical path as well. Majorins did her undergraduate studies at Westmont College — a small, Christian liberal arts college in the foothills just east of Santa Barbara.

“I was so interested in what I was learning; the professors kept referencing counterpoint, or a Beethoven work, and when I asked about these things, they’d say ‘Oh, you’ll study more about this in grad school,” she relates.

“They referenced graduate school so often, it just felt natural for me to go, because there was so much that I wanted to learn.”

So she came to UC Davis to do a master’s degree, followed by a doctorate, focusing on theory and composition, which she finished in 2007. Her thesis analyzed the Pulitzer Prize-winning composition “On the Transmigration of Souls,” which was written by Bay Area composer John Adams to commemorate the lives of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

Adams wrote the piece on a commission from the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers; it premiered in September 2002.

By the time she finished her doctorate, Majorins was married, with her first baby on the way.

“My husband got a teaching job at a private school in San Francisco, so we moved to the Bay Area,” she says. “We lived in the northern part of Oakland, and he commuted into Pacific Heights.”

And while husband Philip Majorins was teaching school, Sarah started a small business at home.

“I started writing music for other people,” she says. “I have friends who are music directors at churches in various parts of the country. One friend in Boston hired me to be his ‘in house’ composer and arranger. He had a worship service every Sunday with an orchestra. The arranger who had held the job before me left for a job with ‘American Idol.’

“That’s when the business started,” she explains. “And for the last four years, that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The Majorins family returned to Davis last May, when Philip and Sarah were jointly hired as worship arts directors by Christ Church, a congregation that meets at 4 p.m. Sundays at Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road.

She’s also ramped up her part-time composing business.

“A year ago, I started a website (glorianotes.com). It’s essentially an online portfolio. During the last year, I’ve had more business because of that.”

Her business has expanded to include music for weddings, and over the past year she was commissioned to write pieces for four such ceremonies.

“I also recently got a commission to write a song for a couple as a gift, working from a favorite text by Henri Nouwen,” a Dutch-born priest who wrote some 40 books about spirituality.

“For church arrangements, I write for people all over the country,” she says. “I did a project for someone in Virginia recently, also for someone in North Carolina, and someone in Michigan.

“Sometimes these are people who have heard of me through a friend, and they are doing a particular hymn, and they have musicians who play flute and guitar and vibes, and they need an arrangement by Sunday for those three instruments. But I also do a lot  of music for string quartets and quintets.”

Majorins also created, or helped create, several tracks that have appeared on recent albums that are available online. She arranged two tracks for an album titled “Christmas” by Castle Island Hymns.

“That album is a collection by songwriters from the Boston area,” she says. “I also have an original composition (‘Taken and Blessed’) on the album ‘Songs for the Supper.’ And there is a Christmas EP that I sang and played piano on — ‘Come Lord Jesus — Songs of Advent.’ ”

Majorins is also a mother of three lively youngsters — daughter Trinity is 3, daughter Rachel Gloria is 2 and son Philip is 9 months. Which is to say that she multitasks on occasion, keeping track of kids at play while thinking about the details of a piece of music she needs to complete.

“(Composing music) is a great gig,” she says. “I’m at home, I can essentially choose my hours, though I have deadlines. My husband Philip works at home, too. He can help take care of the kids when need be.

“My husband is a music lover; he’s a critic for Popmatters.com (an international online magazine). Marrying him was the best music education I could have gotten after graduate school.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Local therapists bring ‘Daring Greatly’ movement to Davis

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Davis area youths learn wilderness survival skills

By Charlotte Orr | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Crews battle grass fire near Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Sorting out the claims after pipe break: Who pays?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Governor says immigration solution is a priority

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Firefighters keep Yosemite blaze far from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Police nab three for vehicle theft

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
As farmland subsides, aquifer worries mount

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Pogledich named Yolo County counsel

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Tuleyome launches Kickstarter campaign to publish a children’s nature book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Davis teen on California team for national horticulture competition

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Truth and authenticity on radio program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Senior sing-along held monthly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Forum

A rose by any other name

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Civilians are innocent victims

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Thanks for your kindnesses

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Questions, questions, questions

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Ross Douthat: Democrat, Republican patterns are changing

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

River Cats snap three-game losing streak

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis Water Polo U10 girls are golden

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

Aggie Silva mixed school and strikes; wins Reno tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lucky No. 7: Giants snap losing streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Davis Rugby teams wrap up summer season

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
DHS tryout schedule updated; physical packets due

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hammel struggles in A’s loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

Happy 103rd birthday!

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A2

 
Fay Libet: 100 years young

By Spencer Ault | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Future subscriber: Sonya Theresa Arnold

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
.

Arts

Hot City heats up Winters gazebo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Enjoy some Mischief at First Saturday event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

British organist to play in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Native American dancers to perform in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Winters stages ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Landscape exhibition returns to Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Hear live music at Monticello

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
New KDRT show features touring musicians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, July 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6