Bob’s Blog Feb/March 2016 — Musings about everything Musical at Sharon-Hope U.C.
Second Blog folks! Hope everyone had an opportunity to read the first edition explaining why I am now a Blogger.
Monthly Musical Wrap-up with Thanks
I recycled two previously sung Easter cantatas as part of the Choir’s giving something up for Lent (LOL — no new music – part of the 2016 ‘No Music Budget’ year). Easter came early this year giving the Choir less time to prepare this year’s Easter Cantata ‘Jesus Changed Everything’ (arranged by Mark Brymer). Thanks for giving your best Celebration Choir, Narrators: Grace Vieira-Peacock, Glen Langford, Musicians: Donna Corbett, Adam Allen and Guest Vocalists: Sarah Patterson, Manuele & Jenn Mizzi. Even though winter returned with a vengeance between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, Sarah Parkin was able to arrive from England to share her gift of music along with our Choir – a real treat better than eating chocolate Easter Eggs!
With spring approaching there is the anticipation of new beginnings including those ‘tying the knot’. For many years the church was the place where vows were spoken while dressed in a white gown and rented tux. Today weddings take place on a Caribbean beach or in a grassy meadow barefoot, others prefer the golf course clubhouse or spend thousands on a glittering ballroom. Despite the changes, music is still an essential part of most ‘getting hitched’ ceremonies.
Brides and grooms from yesteryear most often requested Wagner’s ‘Bridal Chorus’ better known as ‘Here Comes the Bride’, or Bach’s ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’, and Clarke’s ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ for the processional. ‘O Promise Me’, ‘Ave Marie, ‘O Perfect Love’ and ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ the older version, were sung by the soloist to entertain the guests while the couple retreated elsewhere offsite to sign the register. When the minister pronounced them husband and wife and they usually exited to the strains of Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’.
By the 70’s and 80’s wedding music began to change. Folk and popular music was influencing couples choices. No longer was the organ the instrument of choice – it made way for the guitar and piano. I can’t tell you how often I was asked to play ‘Wedding Song -There is Love’ by Paul Stookey (yes, that Paul from Peter, Paul and Mary fame). It was even played at my own wedding! The Carpenters ‘We’ve Only Just Begun ‘ and ‘Close To You’ were the other leading contenders. Cat Steven’s ‘ Morning Has Broken’ based on a Gaelic hymn was also quite popular. I also had some unusual requests ‘The Love Theme’ from the Godfather movie, ‘Send in the Clowns’ from a Sondheim musical, plus country singer Lynn Anderson’s ‘I Never Promised You A Rose Garden’ and Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ – I said “no” to playing those songs! Hmmm, wonder if those marriages lasted?
‘The Prayer’ a duet by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli was the hot number in the 90’s and early 2000’s. ‘Heaven’ and ‘ Everything I Do’ by Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie’s ‘Endless Love’ and ‘Hello’, to Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from the Lion King were the most requested wedding music. The trend to have popular music that meant something to the couple continues to grow. Today strains of Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ and ‘Our Song’ played from a cell phone; MP3 Player or disc jockey is taking over from church musicians.
Sitting at the piano I have the best seat in the house to watch couples say their vows. Question for all you married folk — Do you remember the wedding music you chose and why? Please share! Might play a few tunes in June…
‘Keep the Date on April 8th for the next House Concert. ‘Heillig Manouevre’ will be performing – a jazz foursome (piano, saxophone, bass & drums) often featured on Jazz FM (91.1) In fact – you might hear Sharon-Hope U.C. mentioned in one of their upcoming radio ads for the concert!
There will also be a show and sale of visual art courtesy of East Gwillimbury Group of Artists. We have appreciated EGGA’s involvement with the House Concert Series from the start. We are very glad that we have been able to provide a venue for our local visual artists. Many of you will remember that our own Doreen Howard created and encouraged the EGGA. April 8th prior to the intermission we will honour Doreen with a short tribute. Hope you can be there!
Tickets are $20 in advance – please speak to a member of the Outreach Team, Choir, or myself padl78
Hi Everybody! Welcome to Bob’s Blog – a monthly synopsis of everything musical happening at the church in 2016. Also a walk down memory lane sharing the past 150 years of music making at Sharon Hope U. C. I need your help however with this yearlong musical blog project. Any pictures, videos, tapes, and printed material you might have hidden away in your attic or forgotten in a cupboard, please dust it off and share it. I’m sure we’ll laugh at the Senior Choirs 1960’s hairstyles (women & men!!!) but, we’ve ‘come a long way baby’. Let’s share the memories, enjoy the present, plus a few glimpses of future musical offerings to celebrate our enduring faith.
Let’s kick it all off remembering December 2015. The Christmas Celebration Choir sang their hearts out offering up ‘Wings of Joy’ (Lowell Alexander, Robert. Stirling). Humble thanks to everyone for ending off 2015 with a great musical performance.
Our Senior Choir is the best!!!! Each Thursday evening, despite rain, snow and high winds this committed bunch of vocalists gathers to practice. Come Sunday they share with everyone, leading the congregational singing and providing an anthem or two. Recently the Senior Choir voted to retire the dusty old green choir robes – part of moving forward.
So who is the Celebration Choir you ask? The Senior Choir + anyone who wants to join us for a few brief weeks. Our vocal ranks in previous years have swelled to more than 30 voices during Christmas and Easter – we cover the whole stage!!! If you have a yen to sing and a few weeks to spare, then come out and join us. Easter Cantata practices got underway last week (Feb.11th). Our 2016 cantata ‘Jesus Changed Everything’ (Mark Brymer) will be performed Palm Sunday (March 20th) featuring our own Sarah Patterson and returning vocal guests Manuele & Jenn Mizzi. Donna Corbett will again play the ivories and Adam Allen joins us on bass guitar.
Thanks to Susanne Lauton for providing a musical prelude Valentine Sunday. Anyone else who has a musical talent to offer is welcome to do the same. Catch up with me following the worship service and let’s set a date.
January everyone was in budget mode. To do our part there will be no music purchased in 2016. Instead, I have volunteered to sharpen my pencil and compose. January 10th with help from the Senior Choir ‘Light shine, O Let Your Light Shine’ (Robert Leonard) was premiered during the worship service. More to come….
The Spring House Concerts Series (community awareness project in partnership with Sharon Hope U.C.) returns April 8th featuring ‘Heillig Manoeuvre’ http://www.heilligman.com Advance tickets ($20) are available…
Anything to share??? Contact PADL78@yahoo.com or cell: 905–505-1552