I can’t believe it’s nearly October, and already I have got the rough order for Christmas with the Choir all sorted, and have with the help of the choir done the timings and looked out the music from the vaults! Sometimes, as a Church Musician, you feel a bit like the supermarket chains – in that as one season finishes (i.e. Summer) you straight away turn to the next season (i.e. Winter) to get the preparation all in order. We’ll still be singing Christmas Carols and I will already have one eye on Easter – and the cycle continues!
Before I really talk about Christmas, lets have a quick recap of the new session so far. It’s great to see Jerry and Jean N back with us the choir regularly. We’re always on the look out for “new recruits” so two familiar faces are a welcome sight. It’s been a busy few weeks!!! We were the choir with no home on 18th September but enjoyed an “At home with the Little’s” instead of our usual surrounding due to the church being used as a polling station. We were very grateful to Jean and Neil for the use of their back room and piano and for the goodies at tea-time!
We’ve sang our way through various facets of Love and I have tried to play my way through various themes of Love at the organ. The theme will of course continue on a smaller scale as everything we sing in some way talks about an area of love, but the recurring theme will have stopped by the time you read this. We hope you have enjoyed it though?
Anthems have included old and new, and some borrowed over from Summer Choir. These shorter songs such as “Jesus us the Name we honour” and “Father we love you” are nice items and are easy to learn which means more time can be spent on the more difficult of anthems, so it’s a bit of a balancing act! One of the anthems that we have enjoyed learning is for Remembrance Sunday. The now well-known and much loved “Where ever you are” by Paul Mealor and brought to our ears by Gareth Malone and his Military Wives on the BBC. We hope you enjoy it, and with it being a modern item it really does suit a 21st Century Remembrance service.
We’ve been singing an introit each week and we hope that these short songs help ease us into worship, to help steady the mind and focus us on the act of worship that is about to begin. We stay in the choir stalls for these introits and we hope that we can be heard OK over the organ. Please let us know if the balance is not quite right.
The choir will once again take most of the service on 14th December, being the 3rd Sunday in Advent. Christmas with the Choir is always something I look forward to, and we hope that all you Inspire readers look forward to it too!
I want to make an Invitation to any member of Williamwood who might like to come along to our practices from mid-October (announcements will have been made in the weekly news sheet) and augment our singing for the 14th December. Our choir is very able to do this on our own, but it’s nice too to invite others to join us, especially at this joyous time in the lead up to Christmas. After all we only get to sing Carols once a year!!!
The readers for the service will come from our congregation, so it’s a real “in house” effort showing just how good “TEAM WILLIAMWOOD” works. If you have a burning desire to read at the service please let Alan know ASAP as the list will be completed by early December.
CAROL SINGING – I hope to take a group of folks Carol Singing in December to Aiden’s Brae. If you would like to take part in this, and perhaps song Carol Singing around the streets of the Parish as well, get in touch with me so I can take a note of names and keep you updated.
The Choir will have a well earned rest after the main service in December, but will start back with our Anthems early in January. Our first practice of the new year will be 8th January in the Session House. As usual an invitation to new members is always made, and warm welcome is assured!
Looking to 2015
As I said choir will start back on 8th January. All are welcome! We will be looking at our introits and anthems for a new year, but with Easter firmly in our minds! I mentioned in the last Inspire about the possibility of an all age & all ability event for Easter called “Resurrection Rock”. I first head of this 3 years ago from Iain Reid but we never had the opportunity to put it into action. It’s a wonderful combination of music and reader lead stories from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. You can read about it and hear some of the music here – http://www.redheadmusic.co.uk/musical.php?musical=RR
As a welcome spin off from the Open Doors day in September we look forward to the Williamwood High Young Musician of the Year taking place in our church in 2015. I’m sure that we are all so glad to have the High School once again using our buildings and interacting with us.
The events team are busy with that event and also an Organ Recital by myself in January and a Concert with Christopher Barr’s new choir Legato Voices later on in the Spring, so the music is indeed in good heart at Williamwood. Williamwood Music’s strap-line is “I will sing with the understanding” which is from 1 Corinthians 14 at verse 15. That whole verse reminds us that we should pray with the Holy Spirit that it within us, but pray so with intelligence and understanding; and also that we should sing in the same way – with the Holy Spirit that is within us, with intelligence and with understanding of what we are singing.
It is indeed my hope that we convey the real meaning of what we sing and that it does come from our hearts, where the Holy Spirit does dwell within us all. That we sing with conviction, with our emotions and most of all that we sing it with JOY.