Beyond Bryn Mawr - Mission and Music and its Place in the World
I prepared this article for publication in "The Voice" and wanted to share my experiences from last summer with you. Thank you for your continued support!
Over the past few years I have had the wonderful opportunity to join
Church of the Redeemer Choir in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on several occasions as a singer in the alto section. It has always brought me much joy by way of the overwhelming sense of community among choral singers, sharing our talents with the greater community and extending the mission of music to connect us in a spiritual way so we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves.
When I learned of the Music and Mission Tour to Croatia, Slovenia and Venice, I was intrigued and felt so fortunate to be a part of it. As preparations were underway it was obvious that this group was energized and focused! From fundraising efforts, to diligent preparations for rehearsals, I knew I was part of a unique community in of itself and I was beaming with pride to be a part of it. The genuine care for one another and the way in which our Choir Director fostered the ties that bind us together in purpose and mission was inspiring.
On tour, it was apparent that many communities do not have the opportunities to be exposed to spiritual music on this scale. Families I spoke with were in awe of the size of our choir, the diversity of age range and the high level of musicianship. Mothers with their children wanted to know how they might be able to do something similar within their Church community. This idea and glimmer of hope in their eyes was impactful and may become the catalyst for future opportunities for their youth. In Split, Croatia at the Diocletian Palace, tourists could hear the serene sounds of the choir and soon packed the pews to give thanks, feel restored, connect with loved ones and be transported to a spiritual place through the music we shared. In Venice, the congregation reminded us how fortunate we are as so many of their choirs can no longer be sustained.
It takes a community to keep the power of music alive. I feel that Church of the Redeemer and the Music Committee have taken this responsibility with utmost respect and appreciation to nurture and grow the talents and gifts that are among its parish and choir members. The choir’s "Mikey Awards" at the final dinner in Venice revealed that respect and love runs deep as memorable moments and successes among members were shared. Among all the excitement and hard work, there was time to give thanks and truly celebrate this unique shared experience. It was in that moment that I realized our significance in the world around us and the part music plays in all of it.
For video clips of our performances, click here.
For the tour blog, click here.