Sing unto the Lord
Welcome to my blog! I hope it gives you a glimpse into what your TWU Director of Choral Activities is doing over the summer.
My summer has already had so many highlights! A first vivid memory was taking our youngest son to Victoria, whale watching. My wonderful wife Kim (who also teaches singing at TWU) and our two oldest children were on a band trip, so CJ and I went to Victoria. We watched sea lions basking in the bun, barking (singing?) loudly. We love singing.
A few weeks later Kim and I brought the entire Pacific Mennonite Children's Choir to Victoria. We love these children. It is a unique privilege to work with children's voices!
Then in early May I had the unique privilege of guest conducting Canada's top professional Choir, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, in a program called "Songs of Faith and Home." The musical artists in VCC; incredible musicians and delightful people, were very attentive and responsive. The concert was recorded live by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and will be broadcast sometime on CBC national radio - so you might even hear it in the near future. TWO of our TWU alumni have sung in this choir in recent years!
Three weeks ago we enjoyed family time at Schushwap Lake, hiking in the Canadian forest. It's such a privilege to live in a free country, where God's creation is so spectacular.
Then two weeks ago I was on the jury of the Kiwanis Choir Festival. All participating choirs were from Canada,. This was another wonderful opportunity for me to meet hundreds of people who love to sing, and work with many choirs for about 30 minutes each. I love singing, and it was great to hear groups of all ages. Some of them were directed by TWU alumni!
Day before yesterday I arrived in Kiev, Ukraine. My family and members of the TWU Choir were with me here, just five months ago! I'm here to guest conduct a Haydn "Creation." "Creation" (right out of Genesis 1 and Milton's "Paradise Lost") will be sung in Ukrainian! One of my favorite phrases is "we sing eternally," referring to God's children praising Him eternally for His works and worth. Until recently, communism banned performances of this masterpiece. I guess God creating the heavens and the earth wasn't consistent with communist doctrine! It's a unique thrill to come to this former communist country to guest conduct great sacred masterpieces with top professional musical artists. The performance is going to be on June 16 - which happens to be my birthday.
Yesterday I spent the day in a forest just outside of Kiev, helping a friend, Roger McMurrin, build a house. The birds sang with voices that were new to me; such unique sounds. I love singing!
In July, I'll be in Austria on the jury of the International Choir Games - the choir olympics. It's the largest choir competition in the world - and is a chance to hear music from every continent, in many, many languages and styles. I'm always amazed that the human voice is capable of such varied and beautiful expression.
So what do sea lions, professional singers, amateur singers of all ages, musical artists in a former soviet country and birds in a Canadian forest and in a distant land have in common?
Perhaps you love singing too. TWU family of choirs have a spectacular project on the horizon. On Sunday, November 30th, we will sing at Vancouver's renowned Chan Centre, with full orchestra, in a celebration of Christ's great love. The concert is sponsored by the Chan family. This Christmas celebration will include the best Christmas music that I can find. So if you bark like a sea, sing like a pro, or sing freely like a bird- as long as you can sing well in tune - you are welcome to be part of a TWU Choir.