It’s Glorious: Highland songwriter created the ‘symphony’ made famous by David Archuleta

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Stephanie Mabey said she was excited to hang out with David Archuleta at the premiere of “Meet the Mormons” — “so we could high five each other,” she says.

Stephanie Mabey said she was excited to hang out with David Archuleta at the premiere of “Meet the Mormons” — “so we could high five each other,” she says.

When “Meet the Mormons” was released in October 2014, much of the buzz was about David Archuleta singing the story to a close with “Glorious.”

“Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies …”

David’s “piece” was adding his smooth, recognizable tones and celebrity name, but the writer who began the symphony was Highland’s Stephanie Mabey.

“Early on in the process, the movie producers brought a wide spectrum of songwriters together and said they wanted good music that communicates with people,” Stephanie says. “I had this feeling ‘Glorious’ would be part of ‘Meet the Mormons,’ but I was reluctant to share it with them because I hadn’t written the song for one group of people to call their own. It’s from my ‘Wake Up Dreaming’ album, which is not religious.”

Two days later, movie producer Jeff Roberts found “Glorious” on his computer even though Stephanie hadn’t sent him the song, which she originally wrote while her personal world was falling apart in a divorce.

“At first, they wanted to use my version,” she says. “But then they wanted to speed the song up by 20 beats per minute and they asked me to re-record it.”

Stephanie tried but struggled to sing two versions of the same song. When it was time to re-record, she came down with laryngitis. Everything pointed to having another singer bring “the sounds that are in their hearts.”

A team from “Meet the Mormons” flew to Chile to record David Archuleta singing “Glorious” while still on his full-time LDS mission. David called Stephanie while en route to the recording studio.

“He said, ‘Stephanie, this is David Archuleta,’” Stephanie recalls. “Then there was this crazy sound and he screamed because the car window was blowing off.”

Although Stephanie had always envisioned herself writing music for other singers, she didn’t originally pen “Glorious” for that purpose. Or for a male voice.

“But it is really satisfying to hear what feels like a different translation of my song,” she says. “When I see how it has resonated with so many people, I know David was the key part in having a lot of people hear it. I deeply believe we are all connected.”

Stephanie’s connection to a friend at MTV has led to multiple opportunities for worldwide viewers to hear her music — including “Glorious,” which was first heard on the final season of “Jersey Shore.”

Stephanie says it’s actually a relief she can’t predict the timing of her success or her life’s journey.

“Growing up I was terrified by everything, but now I’m excited about the unknown,” she says. “I’m working on a video called ‘It’s Not Over Till You Say So,’ and that’s the way I’m choosing to live. I thought I wanted my life to be this sheltered, safe existence, and yet all along I’ve been creating a big adventure for myself.”

Oh, oh, oh. It’s glorious.

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5 Comments

  1. tk Reply

    I first heard the song on the 2012 EFY soundtrack. Russ Dixon did a marvelous job with it and it’s been in my most prominent playlists ever since. I love hearing David sing it, but a big shout out to Russ, who also has a marvelous voice.

  2. Bruce Young Reply

    I love the film “Meet the Mormons”–and love the song “Glorious.” Whatever Stephanie Mabey intended by the song, from the first time I heard it I have felt in it a beautiful expression of the meaning of life, which for me corresponds with the vision the gospel provides. I wrote a blog post discussing all of this and in the process communicated briefly with Stephanie herself. For me, both the song and the film celebrate the value of every human life, our connection with each other, and the global–and eternal–scope of our lives and our relationships. My post is titled “What makes ‘Glorious’ Mormon (and Mormonism glorious)” and is found at http://faceofother.blogspot.com/2014/11/what-makes-glorious-mormon-and.html

  3. Carolyn Bosu Reply

    Stephanie,
    I just love your song. I kept hearing it in bits & pieces on TV from the football games.
    I have finally looked it up to hear you sing it in full. Beautiful!!!
    I am 76 and still relate to this.
    Thank you.

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