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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Flash Mob

I did something this weekend I’ve never done before.  A friend of mine, who also happens to be my favorite conductor, invited friends, colleagues and musicians to participate in a singing flash mob.  I had to do it.

For those of you not familiar with the phenomena that are flash mobs, the idea is that at a pre-determined time, hundreds of people in a crowded place (such as a shopping mall) will suddenly break into choreographed dance or song as a random act of art.  They are great fun to watch, and even more fun to do.

At 1:54 p.m. this past Saturday, right near the escalator in a department store bustling with holiday shoppers, over one hundred people, including yours truly, broke into an unannounced, exuberant version of the Hallelujah Chorus.  Cell phones and cameras came out of pockets and purses to capture the moment as we loudly sang,

“King of Kings!  Lord of Lords!  And He shall reign forever and evermore!”

Everyone within earshot was shocked out of their anxiety, their negativity, and their busyness.  For just a few moments, we were all caught up in the magic, the joy, and the electricity.  And at the cut-off of the final chord, a spontaneous ovation and cheering rose from shoppers and singers alike.

Can you imagine it?  Can you feel it?  I still have goosebumps.

Ours was not the original flash mob.  No, that one happened over two thousand years ago in a night sky over a field of sheep.  No bustling shoppers.  Just a few shepherds, trying to stay awake while their sheep slept.

Then…

Then…

THIS!

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”  (Luke 2:13-14, KJV)

A goldenbright light splits open the sky, and hundreds, maybe thousands of angels sing praises to God.  The air is charged.  Nothing ever happened like that before, and nothing ever will until the next time He touches earth.

Can you imagine it?  Can you feel it?

Stay awake!

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is coming!

 Hallelujah!

 

 

P.S. Today on the Food page: How to make your own pancake syrup.

P.P.S. HUGE favor to ask, if you are a Facebooker.  I entered my children’s story If A Fish Had A Wish in the MeeGenius author challenge.  (Winner is determined by vote.)  Will you click here and give it a “like?”  It takes less than 10 seconds.  If you really like it, would you re-post?  Thank youuuuuuu!  – wwh

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You know the amazing idea that hit you while you were stuck in traffic?  Do you remember the one that splashed you in the face during your shower?  How about the one that woke you in the middle of the night and kept you from sleep? 

Pay attention to those.  They are pearls from heaven.

Whenever I have created something good – whether it is a piece of music, a blog, a recipe, a children’s book, whatever – I am keenly aware that the idea did not come from ME.  I am merely a conduit for God. 

In the case of music, a melody will wind its way into my thoughts, and I simply take dictation.  It’s as if I’m back in Music Theory class with Dr. Rosenkranz as he plunks out a bit of song on the piano for the class to write out on staff paper.  When a melody pops into my head, I know it is God, the Composer, dropping a pearl from heaven.

Sometimes, I sit at the piano, hands folded, and I’ll ask, “What key?”  A key and meter flash in my mind.  I place my hands on the ivory, and music that had not existed on earth until that moment is born.  I am certain the music already existed in heaven, but it won’t be heard on earth until I catch the pearl.

But here’s the kicker.  So many times, I catch a pearl… and then let it drop to the ground, unrealized.  I determine that no one wants to hear the melody, or read the books “I” write.  I decide that the idea came from me, and therefore, isn’t very good.  I listen to negative self-talk about success being meant for others, not for me.  I give audience to the enemy’s whispers of doom, gloom and doubt.  In so doing, I become the wicked servant in the parable who buried his master’s treasure rather than expanding it for his glory.  (Matthew 25)

Dropping pearls is dangerous.  If you drop them too many times, or fail to catch them at all, you may not be trusted with them anymore.

So… have you had any great ideas lately?

Treat them with care.

They are pearls from heaven.

 catching pearls from heaven

P.S.  Did you notice the new blog title?  It hints that there are changes (i.e. additions, not subtractions) ahead for this blog.  I caught a pearl!  🙂

-wwh

 

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It is literally music to my ears.  To others, it sounds more like cacophony than symphony.  But to me, there are few sounds as beautiful as an orchestra warming up.  And knowing that I will get to add my voice to the music produced by sixty-some professional musicians?  Priceless.

Every time I get to perform with orchestra is a treat.  I think about how each person on the stage has, since childhood, practiced countless hours, taken years of lessons, and performed hundreds of times.  Each plays one instrument.  Each instrument is different from the next.  But somehow, all the individuals, joining their unique talents, make music.

This weekend, I was one of sixteen soloists performing with a local orchestra.  Given the odd requirements of the piece (i.e. sixteen soloists), the conductor had to come up with some creative staging.  He arranged the singers in a horseshoe between the orchestra and the podium.  This caused sight line problems for many of the players.  The conductor anticipated this – and the resulting disgruntled murmurs.

“OK, everyone, I know this arrangement makes it difficult for some of you to see.  Stick with me.  I think we can make this work,” he said.

He told the musicians that he would stay in one place on the podium.  This would allow them to adjust their chairs slightly to get a good view.  He told them that in critical places in the music, he would raise his arms and conduct up high so they all could see his direction.  When one oboist actually got up to change chairs, he politely invited her to return to her chair, but shift its angle.

It did work.  When we could all see the conductor, and more importantly, follow his lead, we made beautiful music.

I imagine that, to God,  the music of our lives sounds something like an orchestra warming up – a violin doing scales over here, a trombone doing arpeggios over there, and a percussionist tuning the timpani in the back.   Sheep gone astray…

But God hears the possibilities. 

He hears the music it pleases Him to make, if we will cooperate.

He says to us, “I will stay right here so you can adjust yourselves to see me.  I will never move.  I never change.  At critical moments, I will conduct up high.  You just follow my lead.”

And then, there is music.

 

The Conductor

Photo courtesy of Robert A. Moody, Conductor

 

“I the Lord do not change…Return to me, and I will return to you.”  (Malachi 3:6-7 NIV)

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