As a professional classical trumpet player and a frequent performer in church, I have often been asked to improvise hymn descants "on the spot." Although my improvised descants generally seemed adequate, I knew I could create better descants if I carefully composed them. Sometimes I encountered published descants that seemed like they would work well, but which contained "wrong notes" that didn't fit with the particular version/harmonization of the hymn that we were using. The harmonizations of hymn tunes can vary to a surprising extent, depending on the church denomination or which hymnal is being used.
As a retirement project, I began to assemble and organize the various descants that I had written during my 42 years of teaching in higher education, and I also composed additional descants for many other frequently-performed hymns. Although many of these descants can work perfectly well with many main-line churches' hymnals, as a Lutheran, it was only natural that I wrote these descants for the specific harmonizations found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Although conceived for well-developed trumpeters, these descants can be adapted for less-developed players or for other instruments.