Kathy Brigman Haupt:
Author and Composer: Welcome Home


This jewel of a contemporary christian song was written and composed by Ms. Kathy Brigman Haupt in the early 1980's. (She slightly revised a few of the original words and melody when she recorded it several years later with David on the way to David's mother's memorial. The version of words and melody used on this recording is from her later slight revision.)

Since the song is not yet published, her original simple solo folk version has been heard by only a few on the occassions she performed it for family memorials. Happily with her permission, a more developed arrangement is included on the companion recording.

Very special thanks to Ms. Brigman Haupt for granting permission to David and TortoiseClimbing™ to create the new more expansive vocal and instrumental arrangement, and to include this song on this album.


Why This Song Is Included

Althought this is a contemporary christian song, i.e., not a traditional hymn, David's mother wanted it included as one of their favorite songs on the album. She had strong emotional feelings about this song which presumably flowed from it being a hauntingly beautiful song, plus it was written for her sister's funneral by their dear friend and her sister's grand-daughter.

How taken David's mother was with the personalness of this song is illustrated by the fact that when Donna (another of David's mother's grand-nieces) sent his mother a framed copy from Alaska of the original words, she hung them in a very visible, personal place on her bedroom wall. They remained there until she died. David now has that framed copy.


Ms. Brigman Haupt made the trip from South Carolina to sing this song at David's mother's memorial service in Annapolis. It was on that trip that she recorded a simple duet version with David. That, together with the hand transcribed score David obtained later, served as a reference in development of the version on the recording.

TortoiseClimbing™ might work with that older recording to produce an alternative, simpler version for later release.

How the Song Came to Be

Some years ago before she was married, Ms. Brigman Haupt was recruited from her church in the Ballentine-White Rock-Chapin area, north of Columbia, South Carolina, by David's father to become Youth Minister at their Southern Baptist church in Annapolis. She accepted and served in that capacity for a year. (She met her future husband there.)

While serving as the Youth Minister in Annapolis, Ms. Brigman Haupt lived with David's parents. During that year her paternal grandmother, Ms. Fern Brigman, as part of her lifelong role of helping others, went to help out another granddaughter, Donna and cousin to Ms. Brigman Haupt, in Alaska while that granddaughter had an operation.

Ms. Fern Brigman died very suddenly and unexpectedly while on that trip in Alaska. Because Kathy was very close to her grandmother, she wrote the words and music for this song as a tribute for her grandmother's memorial, David's aunt.

It was Ms. Brigman Haupt's cousin Donna in Alaska who had a few framed copies of the song's original words artistically prepared, one of which she sent to David's mother.


Ms. Brigman Haupt's Feelings for Writing This Song

She recalled her feelings at the moment of being notified her grandmother had died unexpectedly, as being – 

When I was told grandmother had died while in Alaska helping my cousin Donna, it was sudden and shocking. As I sat in my office at church the morning after her death, I was filled with sorrow. Looking out the window at a beautiful, crisp sky, I began to think about how things must now look from Grandmother's point of view. I was so sad, but grandmother was in the presence of God. I began to scribble my thoughts on paper and put them to a tune.


I thought of her joys of flying above and beyond our human body's limitations; no more aches and pains; hearing the voice of God call your name, not in a fearful way, but as a beloved child He has been waiting for to come home. I thought of all my grandmother had done for the Lord in her life, and her sincere love for God. God had showed me his love through her life, and I could imagine His joy at her well lived life. And so, the song became a tribute.


After Writing the Song

After a year as the Youth Minister in Annapolis, Ms. Brigman Haupt returned to Columbia, South Carolina, where she returned to being:

Changes for This Arrangement

Ms. Brigman Haupt's version of the song was written for her to perform solo with acoustic guitar. Thus the original version was for:

The expanded arrangement on this recording made the following adaptations:

  1. A new acoustic guitar accompaniment was written;
  2. Harmony parts for Acoustic guitar and string bass were written and added;
  3. The verses remain a solo representing the person who is sad to have lost a loved one -
  4. Multi-harmony women's choruses are used for the refrains, symbolically representing heavenly hosts joining in welcoming the loved one to heaven.

The artists who worked on creating the new arrangement greatly enjoyed the opportunity of creating the arrangement and recording this jewel of a song.

 


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