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Sunday Music Musings January 15, 2022

January 15, 2022

Dear friends, I would commend to you my blog post of last January 16 when I had  a lot more time, it will tell you extensively about composers Dr. Adolphus Hailstork and our friend Mark Andrew Miller, plus a recommended video telling the story of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Please do take a moment to got to

In addition we will sing an Anglican Chant setting of the psalm, and a beautiful and Omicron-short anthem by St. James Music Press’s late founder, Mark Schweizer Eternal Light.

During communion Henry will play Johannes Brahms’ (1833-1897) setting of Schmücke dich (Deck Thyself My Soul)-from Eleven Chorale Preludes for organ, Op. 122 (1896), one of the composer’s very last works. The choir follows with the hymn (#339), words by Johann Franck (1618-1677) and beautiful translation by the great Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878). I’m on a 668 day streak of German study on the fun Duolingo app, and this year it hit me how “Schmuck” is the word for jewellery in German! We (our souls) should put on our best and be our most joyful as we approach the Lord’s table! The gorgeous tune by Johann Crüger (1598-1662) has a beautiful harmonization made for The English Hymnal 1906.

The crazy rates of Omicron are making everything a challenge, and of course choir is smaller and shorter right now, but I was greatly cheered by our many kids who showed up for rehearsal, and how much all-new music we learned in a very short time, including how to sing out for Mark Miller’s Let Justice Roll! Many hymns that a 9 year old would remember from a year ago are NOT remembered now from 2 years ago, so there is a lot of rebuilding to do, but it’s like everything is new again which is both good and hard! It was a joy to follow my rehearsal with the younger singers with a half a dozen teens for whom everything is still living in deep memory—and it reminded me why we continue to lay these foundations and how much they pay off. We reminisced about singing Lift Every Voice and Sing with a massive choir (someday again!) at Bishop Hughes’ Consecration at NJPAC in 2018. Watch it here at 6:23-35 (conducted by the amazing Gail Blache-Gill) and see how many Grace church singers you can spot! Then rewind to 5:58 and enjoy Claire’s moment of glory in This is the Day.

Have a good weekend. See you in church or on livestream!

Dr. Adolphus Hailstork

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