Monday, October 22, 2007

Musical Moments

This post may be too sappy for some of you. Don't say I didn't warn you. It is adjective filled.

1. The first musical moment happened in the car driving back to Amarillo from Abilene this past weekend. If you have read this blog for very long, you know how much music means in my life. You have seen the posts about musicians, songs, concerts - I love it all. So here I go again. While driving back from Abilene on Saturday I was thinking about what my favorite song is. I don't prefer that question really because I want to get technical as I answer it. I want to be able to have a favorite in every genre, for different life stages, you get the picture. It is almost impossible to pick just one. However, it struck me that I think if the "pick a favorite song police" ever arrive and try to arrest me for not having one, I can avoid the disaster. I have one. Period. This may shock some of you because I am not usually seen as a "hymn" kinda girl, but read these words and hum the music in your head, it is incredible.

I grew up singing this song at the Methodist school that I attended. We also sang it at the small Church of Christ in South Africa that I attended. We sang it in assemblies at high school and not much more after that. It was not an Abilene song. Occasionally, Craig Noland one of the worship leaders where we worked in Coppell led it. I can hear his incredible voice caressing the words and music. Rarely do we sing it in Amarillo. And quite honestly I think when MercyMe released their version of it 3 or so years ago I fell in love with it again. Their interpretation is my all time favorite. Enjoy these words.

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song

2. The second one happened last night. After Michaela's middle school discipleship time I picked her up and we went to Polk Street United Methodist Church for an Organ Concert. Michaela wanted to go because her school choir teacher was singing, her Amarillo Youth Choir pianist was one of the featured Organists and the Conductor was Mr. Rolando Salazar who directed the Prepatory choir she was in. So off we went. I know a middle schooler dragging her Mom to an event like this??? Little did we know what an incredible event it would be. 2 fabulous soloists (one soprano, one mezza soprano)were featured, both having performed from Prague to New York. They now live here in Amarillo and teach at WT. Several amazing Organists played. The WT Chorale sang with the Polk Street Choir. The Philharmonic Orchestra was there - just unreal. The final piece was "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and it was beyond words. I felt tears just running down my face and as I looked at the lady I had made friends with next to me, tears were her response also. The music was so overwhelmingly moving that you almost felt your own heartbeat. The choirs were outstanding. However without a doubt the most amazing element was watching Mr. Salazar conduct. You could see the emotion, the music, the perfection consuming his body and his face. Every part of him was fully present in every note and his body almost danced the music as he conducted. Tears began rolling down his cheeks and it was clear that as a young, professional, freakishly talented man who turned down a position teaching at Julliard to remain in the Panhandle - this was about life and love and faith. The power of music amazes me.


Amy said...

Arlene, I totally get this post.

And congrats to your team!!

susan said...

We sing that song "The Love of God" in BSF. I had never heard it before that. Not only do those words take my breath away,(especially the part about draining the ocean dry) but I am speechless at the absolute God-given talent to pen those words, amazing! I am so thankful to Steven for including the "old" hymns in service as one of them invariably moves me to tears every Sunday. I am thankful that Central is one of the churches that still places value on these treasures and has not discarded them for an entirely "contemporary" repotoire. They never fail to take me back to my childhood, the sights and smells. (yes, "smells" 9th & Columbia CofC in Plainview,TX, where my grandparents worshipped for 50 yrs, had a definite smell, kind of "song-booky"....if that makes any sense?) And when we sing those old hymns I can still hear my Gramps' booming bass voice and my Grandmothers' thin, reedy soprano. I can't wait to hear them again in heaven, I'm getting teary just thinking about it. So...I can really relate to this post. Thanks.

Gena said...

I also totally get this post!
We are big time into music in my family and have always been growing up. Our real mom taught us how to play instruments and it caught on from there. My sister played in the Amarillo Symphony until she went into the community. It IS just amazing to hear the choirs and orchestra all play together such beautiful melodies!