In the last year St George’s choir has grown from three members to eight. (I include myself). At the choir’s request we now practise weekly instead of fortnightly, and so we can be a little more adventurous, tackling some simple anthems as well as hymns for Sunday. We are following the first ‘Voice for Life’ singer’s workbook, experienced singers and newcomers all learning and revising together.
I’ve never led a choir before, and I find it exhilarating to build it up and try out new music which will enhance the worship on Sundays by making ‘a joyful noise unto the Lord’, we hope! The new hymn books provide an opportunity to discover contemporary songs and new ways of singing the liturgy. But we have to tease out the musical tastes of all comers, so that faith is nurtured by the music, and nothing jars. Singing Taizé chants in Latin is not everyone’s cup of tea!
When inviting me to be organist in the parish Lesley and Alan didn’t enquire into the state of my soul! One of my main aims in life is to play the organ, and organs just happen to be in churches! Faith comes to me through the music, especially when it’s going well, and the music suits the service, and people are kind and encouraging, even when I’ve made mistakes. The Royal School of Church Music calls music ‘a sacramental language which ministers to us’. That’s how I see it.
Another quote from the RSCM magazine: “Singing does more than keep our spirits up: it joins us in the celestial harmony of faithful pilgrimage.’ That is our mission, to engender harmony in the relationships as well as the music of the church. Church music is the soundtrack to people’s lives – baptisms, weddings, and funerals all require this great gift of God to sooth, to calm, and to bring lasting joy.