Music went well yesterday at church. I had a very small group of singers for the service: 1 sop, 3 altos, 2 tenors. The anthem I had chosen, a setting of the famous text, “At The Name of Jesus,” to the French carol tune, Noel Nouvelet, worked well. In the pregame, I took the choir through sequence hymn, “I come, the great Redeemer cries,” set to the lovely tune, This Endris Night, harmonized by Vaughan Williams. Afterwards I said now at least 6 people will know the tune the prelude is based on.
The prelude, a setting by George Oldroyd, went very well. I was very proud of the way I was able to execute the registration changes and create a smooth slow crescendo with this lovely, little modest English pastorale setting of “This Endris Night.”
The communion hymns were a praise chorus, “Jesus, name above all names,” and a neat little rendition of the African American Spiritual, “Take me to the water.” These were fun. I also asked my one soprano to sing descants on the opening hymn, “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise,” the sequence hymn mentioned above and the closing hymn, “O Love, how deep, how broad, how high,” sung to the tune DEUS TUORUM MILITUM. This was also kind of fun. The postlude also went well.
My boss was out of town. Attendance was down.
People seemed a bit disconnected from the prayer, but we did our damnedest and I thought it was pretty good. A couple of visiting musicians from Muskegon were cool to me afterwards, but that’s not that unusual. We often have musicians visiting and they sometimes don’t know what to make of the fuzzy old man in the back getting the music going. Fuck the duck.
While I’m being all religious and shit, I might as well share the silly Music Notes (Of which I am also pretty proud) I put in the bulletin yesterday:
Music Notes The story of the Baptism of Christ is a quintessential Epiphany story. Epiphany is defined accurately by Wikipedia as “… the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. …(from the ancient Greek , epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”)” In the readings assigned to Lectionary Year A, there is an emphasis on Christ, himself, as servant and the one who comes to fulfill the prophecy. Thus today’s hymns center on Jesus and Baptism. From today’s opening hymn, “Songs of Thankfulness and praise,” to the closing, “O love, how deep, how broad, how high,” we give voice to words of manifestation of God in human form and the deep love of God that is revealed in Christ’s appearance in history. Our first communion hymn is one of the best known of praise choruses, “Jesus, name above all names.” Its centering on the name of Jesus reminds us of how God calls Jesus by name from the cloud in today’s gospel and how important this event was. It is taken from Voices Found. “Take me to the Water,” an African-American Spiritual taken from Lift Every Voice and Sing II, reminds us of Jesus’s insistence on being baptized by John. “There was a time in south,” Gwendolin Sims Warren writes, “in the early days of slavery under the British law, when English planters thought baptism… made it necessary to free a slave—and so they forbade the ritual.” The radical nature of a slave singing this song in that situation emphasizes the liberation Christ brings to all in baptism. Today’s prelude is based on the sequence hymn, “I come,” the great Redeemer cries and the postlude is based on the melody from today’s Choral anthem, “At the Name of Jesus.” submitted by Steve Jenkins, Music Director
You can see I put a lot of effort into this stuff. But what the heck, I like doing it.
Came home and made Mexican Macaroni and Cheese for Eileen and me to eat. Studied what Charles Rosen has to say about the Haydn Piano trios I have recently taken an interest in (a lot!).
Another good day for Jupe.