Adoration by Ken Whisler – Classical guitar renditions of traditional hymns

Today's spotlight album is Adoration by Ken Whisler. The performances of these traditional Sacred, Gospel and Worship songs are particularly striking in Classical guitar artistry. They help center your mind and soul. Ken, a brilliant musician and part-time luthier, recorded these beautiful pieces at St. James Catholic Church in midtown Kansas City. – Richard Schletty, TCS editor

Ken's website:
Ken's album is available here:
Adoration album at CDBaby
Adoration album at iTunes

Album Notes by Ken Whisler (from CDBaby)
I have had this idea in my head for almost three decades. Only in the last two years have the ideas materialized on paper, to my fingers, and then to my guitar. No doubt many classical guitar enthusiasts will associate this project with what has already been done by Rick Foster and Christopher Parkening, and that is all well and fine with me. I think that the reason why it took me so long to record my own album of sacred music is that every time I sat down to do this in the past, I was simply parroting the admirable work that Chris and Rick had already done. I felt it necessary to give it my own voice. That voice was silent for a long time, and circumstances unclogged my inner ears, and the ideas flowed, and flowed, and continue to flow. 

On these arrangements, the listener will find many freely composed introductions, interludes, and postludes. I used many different tunings, and played idiomatically to those tunings. Track 6 started out as an arrangement of "O Sons and Daughters", but after doing my thing with it I realized that I had a full blown, freely composed prelude, part of which acts as a postlude, and the song's structure can rightfully be called a passacaille. Hence, this track can rightfully be labeled a full blown composition. 

Most important of all, I took the road less traveled in this digital age and I recorded these arrangements inside one of my favorite churches, St. James Catholic Church, a century old midtown Kansas City parish. Recording in this manner raised all kinds of obstacles that we had to work around, and some incidental noises that we had to live with, but the sonic results yielded an ambiance that no digitally added reverb can match. Even more important than that, I had the constant reminder of why I did this album in the first place. This music is a prayer in adoration of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the Glory and the Honor Forever and Ever, amen.

And here are some excerpts from an introductory note that Ken sent to me (after he saw my YouTube channel):
"Hello Richard. My name is Ken Whisler, I am a long time classical (and electric) guitarist, sometimes a part time luthier, and a fairly recent Catholic convert. I attend the 7:30AM mass at our local Redemptorist cathedral. That mass was suddenly in need of a cantor. Even though my background is primarily instrumental and not as a vocalist, I do have a passion for chants and hymns and sacred music in general, so I met with the music minister and the head pastor, told them what I could do, and volunteered my services. I've been doing it for 4 months now. I am nothing but blessed since doing this."


O Sacred Head

I put this arrangement together last Lent and am very much looking forward to playing it this Lenten season:

O Sacred Head Surrounded

Ken, very nice rendition of O Sacred Head Surrounded. I wish I could play like that. Maybe in heaven...

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Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Written music for songs on Adoration CD


​The songs on your Adoration CD are beautiful.  I play classical guitar solos as meditation pieces during our Catholic Masses here in Decatur,  Illinois.  I'm always looking for new arrangements to play especially ones that speak to me as yours did.  Do you have the sheet music for your arrangements available for sale?

Your parish is fortunate to have you in their music ministry.  

​Thanks for your help and may 2018 bring you many blessings.

​Thanks,  Mike
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