After a beautiful offering of the music of Mendelssohn last week, the adult choir is off this week. We give thanks for all the hard work and extra time that the choir and instrumentalists put in to offer such a beautiful worship service. This week we will hear organ music by J. S. Bach, and 18th-century, English composer, William Walond. Dana Patek and Megan Sharp will sing duets during the 11:00 worship service, the first, Oculos non vidit (Eye Hath Not Seen) by Orlando di Lasso, and the second, the familiar, Panis angelicus (Bread of Angels) by César Franck.
On Sunday, March 26 the adult choir will sing at both the 8:30 and 11:00 worship services. Special Music Sunday is an opportunity for the adult choir to offer a longer, sometimes more complex, piece of music in a worship service. This longer musical work appears in the worship service after the reading of scripture, allowing the congregation time to reflect upon the Biblical texts and to hear how the text of the choir piece might relate to the themes in worship that day. On March 26 the choir will sing two pieces by Felix Mendelssohn Wer nur den leiben Gott läßt walten (If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee) and Verleih uns Frieden (Grant Us Peace). The service will be further enhanced by a string quartet playing the opening and closing voluntaries with music by Fanny Mendelssohn and her brother Felix Mendelssohn.
This week we have the opportunity to hear special instrumentalists Andrea Pauw on piano and Lynanne Wilson on cello. They will provide the opening voluntary Speigel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt. Pärt is an Estonian composer born in 1935 who writes in a minimalist style, and is influenced by Gregorian chant. The closing voluntary is Melody by Croatian composter Rudolf Matz. The women of the adult choir are singing Loving Shepherd by Bob Chilcott, as well as singing a piece by Hal Hopson called Christ Be My Song with the choristers. Christ Be My Song gives words of comfort about Christ’s presence in our lives all through the day in good times and difficult times.
This week the adult choir will sing a round based on the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus when God is with the Israelites in pillars of cloud and fire. The words and music of Under the Sun are written by Michael O’Connor. The adult choir will also sing Be Still and Know by Ronald Nelson. This piece draws on many familiar scripture passages that all call us to listen for God, and know that God will be with us in difficult times. Jonathan will play organ music by J. S. Bach and Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi. To mark the season of Lent, the congregation will remain seated during the closing voluntary for a time of reflection at the end of each worship service.
The adult choir will sing Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart by David Ashley White with text by Christopher Idle as we consider the Transfiguration of Jesus this week in worship. They will also sing a setting of the well-known African-American spiritual Lord, I Want to Be a Christian arranged by Moses Hogan. Moses Hogan (1957-2003) was a well known American pianist, conductor and arranger. He is best remembered for his arrangements of African-American spirituals that have been sung by choirs around the world. Roger Authers is our guest organist this week. He will play music by German composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Erasmus Kindermann.