"My masters are strange folk
with very little care for music in them."
Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach's quote of frustration with his employers certainly cannot be applied here at Plymouth!
I appreciate the value placed on music and liturgy in our hallowed halls by the "powers that be" and you, the congregation. However, I have seen a more indifferent attitude towards sacred music in my time over the years, unfortunately, even in large institutions. To say this approach does not affect one's spiritual life would be short sighted.
It was not by design, but last Sunday was a perfect example of Plymouth's music resources coming together for one very special day.
In the morning, we had services of comfort, consolation, and hope supported by a poignant offering by the Plymouth Ringers, ending with a joyful chorale prelude by Bach himself. The Chancel Choir led the final hymn-anthem at the second service. It was glorious. The 6:00 p.m. service was transformed into Laura Nelson's service of ordination. The Chancel Choir returned with a beautiful rendition of "The Ground" by Ola Gjeilo supported by musicians and singers from within Plymouth's walls and the surrounding community. Many in the choir will be traveling to New York City this March 2020 to perform in a concert celebrating the composer's choral works with Gjeilo on piano. Bobby Brannock, the 6:00 p.m. service pianist and music coordinator, was also on hand and added his flair throughout the service.
Because of the dedication of volunteers, the willingness to try new approaches, and appreciation for fine music to enrich our worship services and souls, we are in a very healthy place in the music program. I want to thank all who appreciate and give of their time and talents to all the music ensembles. Together with our volunteers and the rich musical talent from the community (we are blessed to have the fine music curriculums of CSU and UNC so close to us!), I endeavor to continue our current trajectory for many years to come. Thank you all for your support.
"Music is an agreeable harmony
for the honor of God
and the permissible delights of the soul."
Johann Sebastian Bach
Director of Music/Organist
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. Read his mostly-weekly Music Minute here.