for musicians

Last week’s message elicited some responses that are worth addressing.

Not being able to make music is a painful thing.

We can begin to address this if you are willing to pick up a bell. As you know we have begun Wednesday evening worship and by July we will be worshipping outside on Sunday morning. While we won’t be singing for a while, I will be looking for musicians to play no more than 2 handbells – or 1 if you prefer – in handbell ensembles from small to large. Please reply to this email if you are interested so that I can get an idea of what type of ensembles we can do. I develop a list of pieces and dates to be performed.

You may commit to as many or as few as you wish. I am talking about perhaps 2 or 3 pieces throughout July and August. For the fall, I will develop more repertoire lists and dates, based on how worship is developing by that time. The idea for the larger ensembles will be that each person will play with 1 or 2 bells and no tables. We will have one rehearsal prior to each performance and a Sunday warmup.

I am actively seeking instrumental soloists and ensembles – please contact me if you would like to contribute to Sunday worship in this way.

Now to the pain of not making music – did you know that it is really physically true?  Scientists swabbed the mouths of singers after singing the Messiah – their white blood cell counts were off the charts – those are the cells that help us fight off disease.  True – there is nothing like singing in a group of people, but without this – we must keep on singing wherever we can – in the shower, in the car, in the garden, with the radio or computer.

Since we can’t all sing together – I offer some chances to sing your heart out with recorded others.

Hallelujah Chorus from Sydney This will not only get your white cell count up – but also your pulse!  I quite like some of the dynamic things he does with this most-beloved piece.

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with Easter lyrics
Choirs both vocal and bell, for years have been asking me if we could do this piece and I always said no – but I’ve softened on it over the years. Sometimes popular demand teaches us musicians a thing or two if we will open our minds.

The Prayer – Celine Dion and Josh Groban I’ve allowed this into church again because it is so meaningful to so many – isn’t church the  place where many different kinds of prayers are offered? In this clip Ms Dion tells the story of how she was scheduled to sing this with Andrea Bocelli at the Grammys, Bocelli was unable to make the performance. David Foster said – I have this 17 year old kid who can sing it – he will be great. Take a look

You raise me up Josh Groban at The Proms
Sure – it’s more feel good music – but that’s what this is about – SING ALONG!

Bridge over troubled waters 
Simon and Garfunkel live in Central Park – more feel good music for those of us of a certain generation.  Still love this song.

I very much miss singing those wonderful hymns in church.
Here I am Lord
With love to the person who made this comment

Driving around in the car is a great place to let it all out singing!  I put my favorite arias on and sing right along.- men or women.

Total Praise The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
I love this group and this Richard Smallwood piece has closed my choir seasons for years.  We can all learn it – it’s in basic gospel triads – find a harmony note and just sing along.  Let’s make a date to do it as soon as we get back to singing in church – Everyone who can sing can sing this song!!

A prayer for our musicians based on Psalm 49
Psalm 49:4
Heavenly Father, I thank You for the gift of music. I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from my instrument. I thank You because playing music  has allowed me to gain clarity in life and has helped me to enforce truths that You have opened my eyes to. Music is just one way that I enjoy worshiping You. I thank You for this gift  that You have given me, I do not take it lightly, Amen.

God bless you until we meet again.