The Easter season was anticipated for many reasons. We waited for the excitement of opening Jesus’ tomb to find that He was arisen from the dead, for the glorious music of the resurrection, and the joyous activities that bring families together, chocolate to the stomach, and peace to the heart. Then what happens after Easter? Sometimes we choose to reflect on the excitement of the season that is already past us. Other times it is thrilling to think of a long summer, laying out on the beach or playing tennis, unburdened by work, school, planning, organ playing, singing, finishing degree requirements, recital preparation, harpsichord tuning, or any other thing that occupies the life of a normal person.
In the music ministry of First Reformed Church, however, we are never complacent! We view every change of season as a new opportunity, a chance to inject our worship style with new life. For example, on May 9th, the Bell Choir played a piece to accompany the choir, Come Thou Lord, Creator Spirit. I was particularly inspired by the hard work and dedication shown by the members of the Bell Choir who participated, under the direction of Erie Beemsterboer. Do not be fooled! It is hard to imagine that those three smiling faces behind the bell table were working tirelessly to maneuver this difficult piece of music.
The adult choir continues to work hard and grow in ministry. Learning new music is no easy feat, especially for the singers in this choir, which performs a huge variety of styles, from Taizé to Buxtehude, from praise songs to High Victorian hymnody, in many languages. If you ask a singer in our church how he or she learns a new piece of music, he or she may say, “using solfège, of course!” If you don’t know what that is, you should come to choir rehearsal on Wednesday nights at 7:30 to find out.
Pentecost was a joyful occasion for music. Hartmut accompanied the congregation beautifully on his guitar in our Taiz –style opening hymn. Pam, Ashley, and Erie danced beautifully to evoke the Holy Spirit in the entire congregation, and the choir sang an anthem with the help of the congregation. See, even if you don’;t join the choir you have to participate in our music!
While rejoicing in the present moment, we always have an eye open for the future. Children’s Day is on Jun 27th, and with blessings in the form of sunshine and rain withheld, we will worship outside with our portable piano. The children will sing at that service once more before the summer, after which we will get organized again for the fall and, eventually, Advent.
We will restart singing hymns in the morning before Sunday worship services after Children’s Day. You can find more information regarding the change of worship time on the calendar.