Bob Clatterbuck spent his life writing music, so it is only fitting that a performance of his music be his memorial.
A concert of Clatterbuck's music will be presented on Sunday at Mill Creek Christian Church. Clatterbuck passed away on May 15 of this year at the age of 82.
"He was very prolific," conductor Phil Witmer said. Witmer, organizer and conductor of the concert choir, said some 75 of Clatterbuck's compositions and arrangements have been published.
"And there are probably twice that many manuscripts that weren't published," Witmer said.
Witmer said Sunday's concert will be divided into two parts: The first will include a variety of pieces with differing themes, such as "What Good is a Song," and "The Gift of Music," and the second half is what Witmer calls a "Christmas benediction," featuring such selections as Clatterbuck's musical settings of "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Something Told the Wild Geese," along with originals such as "I'd Like to Hold That Little Baby," "Amazing Love" and "The Carol of the Wind."
Clatterbuck's output is largely sacred Christian music, reflecting his lifelong service in Christian worship music, starting with his music composition studies at Moody Bible College. Several publishing houses — including Hal Leonard, Hope Publishing and Pavane Publishing — carry his compositions and arrangements for psalms, traditional hymns and original works. His music has been performed by church and school choirs and community choruses all over the United States and abroad.
Clatterbuck wrote some of his music for a specific group, such as North High School, Bakersfield Master Chorale and Bakersfield College. But most of his music was written for a practical purpose: for use during church worship. Clatterbuck served as worship pastor for several Bakersfield churches; Witmer first worked with Clatterbuck at Fruitvale Community Church, now known as Riverlakes Community Church, in 1978.
"He would write arrangements and present them to about eight to 10 of us," Witmer said. "He used as a guinea pigs."
"(The music) was always good," Witmer said. "He knew how to voice things, how to write good accompaniments. All really good."
"(Clatterbuck) liked pop and jazz and swing styles and put a lot of that into his writing," Witmer said. "He was a tremendous pianist and did some marvelous arrangements."
"He just loved (writing music); he loved people," Witmer said. "He truly wanted to please in terms of the music he wrote."