Ken Medema on music,travel,life.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When the Choir Sings

Reflections on a most amazing weekend

During the Christmas holiday, I had a chance to see many of the new movies that filled theaters in our town. It was amazing to me that so many of them used choral singing in the sound track. There is something that happens in us when we hear the human voice and particularly when we hear a group of voices singing.

I felt an explosion of that a few months ago on a weekend in Hurst, Texas. It was a choir weekend. The adult choir at the First Methodist Church of Hurst would sing that weekend- both in the worship services and also in the afternoon concert. The weekend began with a delightful dinner on Friday night. Rehearsals were to take place during much of Saturday. What I heard and experienced was absolutely first rate in what happened in the adult choir. From the first notes of the rehearsal, I knew this was an unusual group. The blend, the musicality, the care with details, the passion for the music, all these were exceptional enough that I had a hard time not crying.

In the midst of rehearsing we took time to tell stories and let me sing our stories into music. The stories were taken from the lives of the singers and were so full of love, hope, learning, wonder, growing, and community that we all had tears in our eyes for much of the time. After the rehearsal was over, people said things like, "I have not, in a long time, felt so full of life, so close to the Spirit, so full of faith". The Sunday that followed was a continuation of what started on Saturday. The music, both in the worship services and the concert, was amazing. I can't remember when I heard a choir sing with such strength and gentleness, such passion and purpose. I knew again, after that weekend, that there is power to turn the heart when the choir sings. I know that a recording is never as good as being there, but I want anybody who wishes to hear this choir. Soon you will see an item on our website called Hurst choir highlights. If you wish you can download some of these songs and then tell me what you think. Thank you so much First Methodist Church, thank you Greg Schapley, thank you choir for a weekend of reviving and renewing for me and a renewed appreciation of the power in the choir.

1 comment:

  1. My comment is a bit late on this post - but as I read this a couple of weeks back, I also thought of the film "Young At Heart". Probably at the opposite end of the musical quality spectrum from the Hurst choir, but I was very moved by the way the choir had become an environment for improving the health of these seniors as well as bridging generational and relational gaps.