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.
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.