By S. Scott Mapes (Northern District
Thursday June 13, 2019:
Nerves. Whether a newbie in music or a seasoned veteran (a nice phrase for “old geezer”) the low-level anxiety of standing in front of a large congregation to share choral music can be somewhat overwhelming. I felt it this afternoon as my throat gave its best impression of tightening up. Thankfully, our confidence which was generated through practice and through the grace of Jesus got us to a solid start on “A Festival Gathering,” our first piece.
Today we had the amazing opportunity to perform with the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy Choirs, which are several combined groups of 18 singers under the direction of Patty Austin. These young people were very gifted and reminded some of us of how good-looking we were when we were young. The choirs fit together almost as if we had spent several weeks in preparation. What a blessing!
This being my second year in the Annual Conference Choir, the practice sessions and services are much more enjoyable than in the previous year. The real thrill of it all, though, is to look out into the gathering of worshippers and to experience their whole-hearted adoration of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For me, this is the greatest thrill of our annual gathering in Buckhannon.
In keeping with the Chronicles theme, may I say that the sopranos sang with the pure joy of a Queen Lucy; the altos praised the Lord with the depth of a Queen Susan; the tenors lifted the name of the Lord like a King Edmund; and the basses anchored our singing with the stability of a King Peter.