Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Musical Musings 2

Where am I?  Somewhere in the Caribbean, and far from ivories/ebonies and the world of church music, and unlimited internet.
Therefore, here's a late report about last week's musical offerings:
My background information here.

This Sunday was preceded by a 24 hour retreat for the women's ensemble.  It really paid off.  All 6 of them were really on, and confident with their singing.  Lots of compliments.  And the Brass Ensemble played lots of wonderful pieces all arranged by the trombone player.  

The Music:
#1  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.  Three verses and refrains, accompanied by the brass.  A surprise V7 chord lead up a half step for the final verse.  I often do this because I can.  Instead of going into a completely new key, I take the music and imagine the two key signatures which would work.  Today's was Ab and A.  Holding the Ab in the melody, I step the bass line down (Ab Gb E) and the melody Ab becomes G# or the leading tone to the key of A.  The brass followed right along and came in on the final refrain.  They're GOOD!
#2  Now the Green Blade Riseth.  French Carol, and often heard at Christmas time. Nice and lively tune, even though it's minor.
#3  It is Well with My Soul.  I didn't have much to contribute to be creative with this one, except on the final refrain I held the long melody notes while the brass played the echoing chords by themselves.
Incidental Music
Pre-Service, Prelude, Offertory and Postlude were played by the brass.  They are 2 trumpets, trombone, euphonium and tuba, and they practice every week for at least an hour with a brass coach (my favorite hubs).  All of these pieces were new and arranged by Don Allen.  "The Blessed Son of God" by Vaughn Williams, "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" by great great uncle Jeremiah Ingalls, "Hodie" by Sweelinck and Fugue #13 by Shostokovich.  I particularly liked the Sweelinck who was a Dutch composer and organist at the turn of the 17th century. There were lots of meter changes which were done beautifully.  (Thanks, guys!)
The vocal music was provided by Women of Worship Ensemble.  They were, indeed, WOW'sers and sounded great.  They sang "Be Thou My Vision" in a Jay Althouse arrangement which was lovely and dynamic.  A nice variety of unison and harmony with great crashing chords in the accompaniment from high octaves to low.  It was a bit of a challenge for me.  One of those pieces that I can sight-read and then realize the end bit will take a bit of memorization.  The "girls" didn't like to hold their notes for 12 beats while I took my time, so an accelerando was added.  They also sang "Joy Comes with the Dawn" as a "response".  
Thanks, Team!


  1. I love your Sunday music posts. I feel as if I'm in Church when I read them.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful time - nothing better than singing...except maybe knitting. ;-)


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