A song composed with love and light

It was not her first solo in such a large Church setting. But it was the first time that her song “Lord, have mercy on my life” touched so many hundreds of thousands. Who is this young woman with the piano song from the Pentecost transmission?

“Goose bumps from the first to the last note.” – “Just too beautiful.” – “Tears in my eyes.”: the posts are falling all over themselves in enthusiasm and praise—not only in social media. Everybody is talking about the emotional ballad which the choir and orchestra presented about fifteen minutes before the start of the Pentecost service—together with a soprano soloist at the piano.

Overwhelming response

Surprised, overpowered, and just a little overwhelmed is how Julia Maier feels. She not only interpreted the song but also composed and wrote it. Days after the Pentecost transmission she was still receiving dozens of mails and messages. Responding to every single one? Julia gave up on that already in the first few days. “I would love to,” she says, “but there are far too many.”

The response has blown her away. “I have always dreamed of touching people with my music,” she says. “And now this Pentecost celebration. It was such a huge blessing that I can hardly get a grip on myself,” she says, her voice nearly failing her. “I did not do this alone,” she says, and wants people to understand that this song was a team effort.

A life devoted to music

The native Tyrolean has been making music ever since she remembers. “We are a very musical family.” Singing was the most natural thing at home. At the age of four Julia began with piano lessons—classical, of course. A good decade later she took a detour into jazz, a course she continued with and studied at the university of Graz. Four university degrees later—in piano, teaching, composition, and ensemble conducting—her enthusiasm in music is unchecked.

Today the 29-year-old young woman—happily in love—lives in Vienna and makes her living with music. She teaches piano and composes and writes music for various choirs, orchestras, and ensembles, for cultural events, and the radio. She performs with various ensembles—such as the Julia M. Quartet or the New Shore Orchestra, a jazz ensemble. She has also recorded albums with them.

Involved on a small and a big scale

Julia started with contributing her talent in the Church at a young age. First in her own congregation and also far beyond its borders. She is one of the initiators and organisers of the youth music camp in Austria initiated by the Church. Every year since 2010 up to 130 choristers from all parts of Austria have been getting together for a music camp to prepare themselves for concerts and national youth services.

At the European Youth Day she performed in the so-called Night of Lights as a soloist. And at the International Church Convention 2014 she took the audience through the “Chill out”—the final music event. A year later she released the CD “Songs for your heart” with arrangements of well-known hymns and spiritual songs she wrote herself.

Touching a chord in people’s heart

So far Pentecost 2017 has been the absolute highlight for the musician—not only because of the many reactions, but especially because she was able to touch so many hearts with her song “Lord, have mercy on my life”.

“It’s like a greeting from yonder world,” someone commented on Facebook. In fact, the idea for the song came when she was confronted with having to take leave of a loved one. Even though there is a sense of melancholy, the song is carried by gratefulness and hope: gratefulness for God’s love and every beautiful moment spent together; hope in the grace of God and an existence in a new being—made out of love and light.

For more information on Julia Maier go to Web and Facebook.

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Andreas Rother, Kevin Sargant
Pentecost, Music, Congregational life, People/Personalities