Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Claye and I traveled a ways yesterday evening to listen to a concert by the Lawton Pro Musica--a chamber choir. Since Elijah and Marie are members of this 14-member ensemble, we wanted to hear the performance, particularly since Marie had informed me that Elijah had a solo. Not being too sure of what to expect, and even suspecting that it might be all Latin and German numbers, or, worse yet, modern classical music with its screeches and jagged edges, I almost packed my Kindle. Fortunately, the concert was far from that. In fact, it was quite enjoyable.

The singers were almost all music educators, either in or retired from the school system or music ministers in area churches. The singing was exceptional. Also, and this really matters to me, the songs were meaningful!

From the Gregorian chant, "Creator of the Starry Skies", through hymn medleys and Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, to I Got a Home in-a That Rock, they encouraged my soul.

The setting--St. Andrew's Episcopal Church--and the lighting--subdued as it struck the ancient wooden beams and stained glass--only added to the mood of peacefulness.

The audience even got to participate in a couple of numbers, one of which was a total surprise to me. I knew that Gustav Holst had written "The Planets", which includes a composition for each of those heavenly bodies. (My grandchildren like to imagine they are space-traveling while that music is playing; they hop to the right planet when they hear the music for it) What I didn't know was that Holst had composed hymn lyrics to go with the main theme for Jupiter. Somehow I had never imagined that. The song is called O God, Beyond All Praising.

Our evening was well worth the trip...and Elijah's solo was excellent.

Here are the Lyrics to Gustav Holst' Hymn

 O God, beyond all praising we worship You today
And sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder at ev'ry gift You send,
At blessings without number and mercies without end;
We lift our hearts before You and wait upon Your Word,
We honor and adore You, our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
That we who know Your favor may serve You as our King;
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
We'll triumph through sorrows and rise to praise You still:
To marvel at Your beauty and glory in Your ways
and make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.

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