On this Consecration Sunday, Plymouth's music ministry share the fruit of their labors during both morning services.
The services begin with "Echoes of Joy," a duet for organ and flute by Hans-André Stamm. Flutist Aaron McGrew leads this delightful minimalist-inspired work. The Plymouth Ringers offer the festive "Praise with Timbrel and Dance," informed by the words of Psalm 150, by Frederick Chatfield. Kids Will Sing! return to the chancel steps with songs from our youngest members. The Chancel Choir presents a dramatic setting of the early American hymn "How Firm a Foundation" by Dan Forrest. And finally, the organ revisits this tune in a riveting toccata from Craig Phillips to close our Consecration Sunday services.
We celebrate Plymouth's radical musical diversity, amazing volunteer musicians and friends this Consecration Sunday morning.
At 9:00 a.m., a reprise of last year's "Beatles Sunday" will be offered with a focus on the songwriting contributions of George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney. Vocalist Lucas Jackson, guitarist Alan Skowron, bassist Peter Strening and percussionist Nick McCulloch join us to share a spiritual message from the Fab Four.
At 11:00 a.m., Plymouth's volunteer musicians take over the service music with the Chancel Choir, Plymouth Ringers, cellist Aaron Dunigan-AtLee, flutist Aaron McGrew, and violinist Harmony Tucker comprising our merry band in the chancel. A diverse range of works by Mark Miller, Hans-André Stamm, Tammy Waldrop, and Antonio Vivaldi will be offered on this festive Sunday morning.
We are Plymouth!
Continuing with our alliterative programming approach to the annual Consecration Sunday festivities—Beatles and Burritos this Sunday! Allow me to speak to the first bit.
The Beatles were one of those bands where it just had to be those four to create that magic: the Fab Four. This Sunday, we experience their timeless music and its unique spiritual overtones on this festive Consecration Sunday. Hints of their eclectic musical style and even specific song quotes permeate our congregational songs as well. Easter eggs, if you will!
Hope to see you there as we "all together now" come together to offer pledges of support for a hopeful new year in 2022. Indeed, it has been a long and winding road (had to say it:)
The sweet discordant sounds of jazz greet you this Consecration Sunday morning with certainly a blue note or two. Guaranteed.
Bassist Ori Britton, Plymouth's Staff Singer Blair Carpenter, guitarist Alan Skowron and myself join you "from the past" in a prerecorded service this weekend.
Forest Green is an English folk song collected by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1903. Originally entitled "The Ploughboy's Dream," the tune was renamed Forest Green after the town in Surrey where the melody was collected from a certain Mr. Garman. Often paired in England with the beloved Christmas text "O Little Town of Bethlehem", we will hear it through the ears of stewardship and jazz-inflected harmonies as "As Those of Old Their Firstfruits Brought."
After we each sing to the Spirit to "Take My Gifts" for God's holy mission in our world....we "Take Five," and deservedly so! Saxophonist Paul Desmond wrote this jazz standard in 1959 for inclusion on the Dave Brubeck Quartet's seminal album "Time Out." Brubeck requested a tune from Desmond to showcase drummer Joe Morello's adeptness at playing in the irregular 5/4 time signature. The result was the most successful jazz single in history! Although you couldn't dance to it...
In celebration of Consecration Sunday, the Chancel Choir offers Bob Chilcott's A Little Jazz Mass during the 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. services.
British composer Bob Chilcott composed the mass as a commission for the 2004 Crescent City Children's Choral Festival in New Orleans, debuting at St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans in June of the same year. The work is a Missa brevis (Latin for "short mass") in five sections. Chilcott expresses several facets of jazz throughout this twelve minute work: the Kyrie has a groove, the Gloria truly swings, a serenity permeates the Sanctus, the Benedictus has an easy strut, and the blues is felt in the Agnus Dei. Pianist Bobby Brannock and bassist Cameron Collums will help bring this quirky yet elegant reading of the traditional Mass text to life.
For the Prelude, a selection from William Bolcom's Gospel Preludes, "Sweet Hour of Prayer", will set the musical tone in a hybrid of art music, jazz, and gospel. The perennial hymn of the Reformation, "A Mighty Fortress", is given a contemporary and rhythmic setting by Charles Ore for the Postlude.
At 6:00 p.m., the strains of jazz will still be heard as Bobby and Blair are joined by bassist Cameron Collums and guitarist Alan Skowron for original arrangements and a head by Wayne Shorter.