We are called to follow Jesus: to drop our old ways and be lead by the truth as we will hear in this week's gospel reading from Matthew. We are called to be, like our Christian forebears, our own unique brand of saint.
Saint's' Days (1999) is a collection of twelve miniatures highlighting a saint feast day, one per month, by Daniel Pinkham. Excerpts from the work will be shared throughout the morning services showcasing Pinkham's distinctive discordant harmonic language but one that displays great beauty. The titles of each miniature set up a scene centered around the saint in question; the music offering imaginative plays on the subject material.
At the Prelude, three excerpts:
I. Saint Paul, who, on his way to Damascus, experienced a vision of Christ, and was converted. 23 Jan.
II. Saint Brigid of Ireland, who fed the poor with butter and turned her bath-water into beer. 1 Feb.
XI. Saint Caecilia, who, while the organ was playing, prayed that the Lord keep her heart pure that she not be confused. 22 Nov.
At the Postlude, a tumultuous musical depiction of Saint Stephen (26 December) following Christ to the ultimate end by sacrificing his life for the gospel. The glorious vision beheld at his passing is epitomized in just the final two measures of this twelfth and final movement of Saints' Days: a culmination of an agitated and dissonant journey from darkness to the light provided by resolution.
The Plymouth Ringers remind us of the season as they offer an arrangement of the Epiphany hymn "Brightest and Best" by Terry Osman.
The Chancel Choir offers "God Has Called Us" (Robert Hobby) prior to the Annual Meeting at the 11:00 a.m. service. Conceived of in an Anglican stately musical style, the text by noted hymn writer Susan Palo Cherwien asks us to heed the call of God and "answer with our lives." Amy Welsh conducts.
At 6:00 p.m., songs by Gungor, U2, and more convey the call of Jesus to follow him and be fishers of people. Cantor Blair Carpenter and bassist Peter Strening join me as we explore spiritual songs found in unlikely places.
Each week, Director of Music Mark Heiskanen writes a Music Minute previewing the upcoming Sunday's musical offerings and occasionally opines on other music-related topics.
We are blessed by an engaging music program at Plymouth!
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life.