While our choir director is out of town, I have had the privilege of leading our choir in a few anthems. One of our parishioners got a partial video of today’s song — his wife beautifully accompanied us on piano.
In the absence of our organist and choir director, I am helping to lead music lately. Sometimes fellow parishioner Michael and I play guitars. Sometimes I use the dulcimer. Another parishioner, Adam, recorded a few of Sunday’s hymns on his iPhone.
During communion, Jesus, our mighty Lord (478, Hymnal 1982)
Post-communion hymn, Fairest Lord Jesus (383)
Recessional hymn, Lord, you give the great commission (528)
Couldn’t make the performance? Or just want to see it again? Here it is in the form of a YouTube playlist.
The Storm / One Wintry Night (Jerry Read Smith)
Drive the Cold Winter Away (trad) / Carolan’s Welcome (O’Carolan)
Winter East and Kensington (Marcy Prochaska)
Come Before Winter (Jim Taylor)
Now all the woods are sleeping (Bach)
Hyfrydol, aka Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Prichard)
Dulcimer and horn*
Two preludes (Bach) (just dulcimer)
Tres Libre (Barboteu) (just horn)
Chtíc, Aby Spal (Michna)
Hard to Get (Rich Mullins)
Sanctus and Agnus Dei (Marcy Prochaska)
Easter Thursday (trad) (with horn)
Third Street Market (Marcy Prochaska)
What Child Is This? (trad) / Menuet (Quantz)
**Xénia Czifrík; Mary Pat Glaub, Michael Wraight, John Sherck
The other day I got to perform Malcolm Dalglish’s arrangement of Quil O’Quay with the Eisenhower Choir (October 2013). Take a listen:
I had such a good time at my concert last weekend.
This year we held it at our church, which we have been attending for just over a year, and in which we will be confirmed early in November.
It’s a beautiful old building with white walls and dark wood pews and arched ceiling, stained glass windows mostly in deep blue and red, a beautiful beautiful old wooden altar against the front wall, and a fairly wide raised place (the choir) between the rows of pews (the nave) and the altar area (the sanctuary). On one side of the choir is the upright piano, the beautiful pipe organ, and the pulpit. On the other side are rows of pews for the choir singers. At the front of the choir, all the way across the church, is a wooden rood screen — narrow columns supporting a beam on which stands a crucifix.
I set the dulcimer at an angle at the center front of the choir, so that most folks in the audience would be able to see the strings and hammers as I played. At the bottom of the steps I set the two chairs and guitars. My recorder balanced between the top rail of the dulcimer and the music stand that attaches to that rail.
Music included many originals; other pieces dedicated to friends, colleagues, places, and events, beginning with my first introduction to the dulcimer; three original songs with guitar; and one song in Spanish. For a few months now I have been helping Armando lead worship in our Latino mass. I am slowly learning Spanish with the help of the online program Mango through the library at Mark’s school. I can understand all of the liturgy, most of the songs and the Scripture readings, and some words and phrases in the sermons. My pronunciation is pretty good, but there’s not much I can say with any confidence. Anyway, I chose one of the many beautiful songs we do in that service and asked Armando to play and sing with me in the concert. He is from Honduras, and his voice is amazingly deep and intense, and I love how we sound together in the soaring first line of the chorus.
My in-laws came up for the performance, several good friends attended, the choir director from Crown Point who hired me for a Malcolm Dalglish piece (that concert this week!), and also some folks who saw flyers. There were twenty-five or so, which is a good crowd for one of these concerts; last year I think I might have had five! And nearly everyone stayed for a long time at the reception and seemed to have a good time. Several folks had very nice things to say about the whole show and / or about particular pieces.
Speaking of the reception, what a blessing it was for Barb to take charge of things, with the help of Roscinda and Anne. We had wine, cookies, fruit salad, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, and my sad soupy attempt at a stirred custard with coconut and strawberries.
This Saturday, October 5, I look forward to celebrating thirteen years of hammered dulcimer playing. The concert will take place at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Plymouth, at 7pm, with refreshments following. Music will include original, traditional, and classical tunes as well as a few songs with guitar.
Will and Polly Duval and John Sherck, singing “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Photo by Paul Pare’.
My friend and harp-playing colleague Beth Pare’s husband Paul graciously agreed to film the concert yesterday. Please excuse the fuzz and buzz — the video was taken by a point-and-shoot digital camera from all the way across the room.
Scandinavian Walking Tunes
Polska efter Höök-Olle
And here’s a video of the Masanga Marimba Ensemble covering the original by Mhuri Yekwa Muchena.
Slip Jig from Style, by Denis Carey