Music: May 2014

Wish Upon a Star

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

RICH-JERRY-9Trinity’s Music Ministry will present its annual concert on Saturday, June 7, at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Soloists Evan Ayars, Philip Keirstead, Doris Page, Catherine Wethington, Nadine Wethington, Kalila Zenk and Michelle Zenk will be joined by the Chancel Choir and Trinity Ringers, all under the direction of Music Director Jerry Rich. The theme is “Wish Upon a Star”, and selections include Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning (Sacred Harp), Lost in the Stars (Kurt Weill), A Lovely Night (Rodgers & Hammerstein), Moonglow (Hudson & Mills), Neverland (Peter Pan), Oh, to Be a Movie Star (Bock & Harnick), Romance from L’Étoile (Emmanuel Chabrier), Sing Out, Earth and Skies (Marty Haugen), Songs of a Disney Princess (selections from Aladdin, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Mulan, Pocahontas), Stars (Les Misérables), Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa), Star Trek Medley (Alexander Courage and Jerry Goldsmith) and When You Wish upon a Star (Pinocchio). Admission is free.

We All Have Dreams

by Ellen LaCroix, Director of Children’s Choir

ellen       The Tale of the Three Trees is an old folk-tale that has been passed down through generations. It tells the story of Jesus’ life from the perspective of three trees with big dreams. The first tree dreamed of becoming a beautiful treasure chest. He wanted to be polished to perfection so that he could hold a beautiful and grand treasure. The second tree wanted to be the mast of a sailing ship at the front of a mighty fleet. He wanted to be a part of such a strong ship that kings and mighty rulers would feel safe on board even during the roughest nights on the sea. The third tree did not want to be cut down at all. The dream of this tree was to grow to be the tallest tree in the forest so that anyone who looked at it would have to look up to God. These trees grew up to be tall and strong until one day when two lumberjacks climbed up to them in the forest. Sadly, they were cut down and built into something different than what they had dreamed of being for so long of becoming.

Now, I can’t tell you what they became because that would ruin the end of the Children’s Choir musical on May 18 during the 10:30 a.m. service. But what I can tell you is that the dreams of the trees came true. God heard the dreams of these trees and met the true desire of their hearts in a way that the trees could not even imagine. What are the dreams in your life you have forgotten about because it seems impossible now for them to come true? I encourage you to return to these dreams and allow God to open your heart and your eyes to see the different ways that God is making these dreams come true, even if it isn’t in the way you imagined.





Singing a New Song

RICH-JERRY-9By Jerry Rich, Director of Music

We sing in church for many reasons, but here are four good ones: 1) the Bible repeatedly tells us to do so (e.g., Colossians 3:16); 2) it’s a vivid way to remember important expressions of our faith journeys (Amazing Grace is more easily remembered when sung than when spoken); 3) it stirs our emotions in ways that simple speech cannot; and 4) it’s a foretaste of the eternal praise we shall offer to God in Heaven. Since each generation needs to create or discover its own hymns even as it treasures and preserves the hymns of the past, the United Methodist Church has chosen to bring out a new hymnal called Worship & Song.

Worship & Song’s 190 hymns complement without duplicating our United Methodist Hymnal (1989) and our Faith We Sing (2001). It includes familiar hymns set to new melodies, new texts set to well-known melodies like Danny Boy, Frère Jacques, House of the Rising Sun and Shenandoah, exciting gospel favorites like Down to the River to Pray, popular contemporary Christian praise songs, and meditative songs from the international Christian communities of Iona and Taizé.

Worship & Song reflects the multiple styles in use in today’s United Methodist churches, reaching out to our youth while enabling those who like to sing classic hymns to try new songs of praise. It includes important contemporary composers like Paul Baloche, Keith & Kristin Getty, David Haas, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Twila Paris, Matt Redman, Penny Rodriguez, Chris Tomlin and Stuart Townend. Recently our Children’s Choir enthusiastically shared Love the Lord (W&S #3116) with the congregation, signing the key words from Christ’s commandment (Mark 12:30) as they sang; the new hymn helped them express their faith.

Worship & Song includes 11 of the top 25 Christian songs listed on the February 2014 poll of United Methodist churches in the USA by CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International): How Great Is Our God (#2), Mighty to Save (#4), Blessed Be Your Name (#6), Amazing Grace [My Chains Are Gone] (#8), In Christ Alone My Hope Is Found (#10), Everlasting God (#11), Here I Am to Worship (#12), Your Grace Is Enough (#14), Open the Eyes of My Heart (#18), Forever (#21), and Holy Is the Lord (#22). That’s a pretty impressive 44%, considering that the hymnal was published in 2011!

Worship & Song assists churchgoers who want to try new texts by setting them to tunes from favorites such as: All Creatures of Our God and King; Be Thou My Vision; Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; For All the Saints; God, That Madest Earth and Heaven; Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee; Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence; Morning Has Broken; O Sacred Head, Now Wounded; Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven; Praise to the Lord, the Almighty; The Gift of Love; and What Child Is This.

In conclusion: if you’d like to experience these new expressions of our faith that will speak powerfully to our youth and touch our hearts as well, please sponsor a copy of Worship & Song. And if you need another reason to do so, here’s a great one: you can dedicate it in honor or in memory of someone who helped you in your own faith journey.



Spring Handbell Workshop

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

RICH-JERRY-9Trinity’s ringers will participate in a handbell workshop on Saturday, April 5 from 4-6 p.m. in the Music Room (Rm. 115). We are fortunate to have Nick Hanson as our clinician. Nick has been serving as the director of handbell ensembles at the Potomac School in McLean, VA, since 2006, and as the handbell director at Bush Hill Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA, since 2008.  At Potomac, Nick’s duties include teaching instrumental music curriculum to 5th – 12th grade students who participate in any of the school’s four handbell ensembles, and teaching private handbell lessons.  His directing duties at Bush Hill currently involve a teen/adult ensemble and a 4th – 6th grade ensemble, which began as a part of their weekly Wednesday Club program.  Nick is a published handbell composer, and has served as faculty and clinician at handbell events nationally (Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia), and internationally (Hong Kong and Taiwan). He holds a BA degree in music from Concordia University, Irvine, CA, with a concentration in handbells.


Music Ministry

RICH-JERRY-9Celebrating Black History Month in Music

February is also known as “Black History Month”, and Trinity’s musicians will present music to recognize the contributions of American composers of color to the world of sacred music. The organ preludes and postludes for February will include music by Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989; Professor of Music at Virginia State University); Mark Fax (1911-1974; Professor of Music at Howard University); George Theophilus Walker (b. 1922; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer); and Nkeiru Okoye (b. 1975, composer of the opera Harriet Tubman).

The Trinity Ringers will share Carl Wiltse’s setting of the spiritual My Lord! What a Morning, which proclaims that Jesus will return “to wake the nations underground” (i.e., the dead) as the ultimate victory over the grave (Acts 1:1-11). “My Lord! what a morning when the stars begin to fall. You’ll hear the trumpet sound to wake the nations underground. Look into my God’s right hand when the stars begin to fall.” The Memorial Ringers will play Diane McAninch’s arrangement of the spiritual There Is a Balm in Gilead. Although its lyrics describe the New Testament’s concept of salvation through Jesus Christ, its title comes from the Hebrew Bible, where the prophet Jeremiah seeks a spiritual medicine that would heal Israel: “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of my [God’s] people?” (Jeremiah 8:22). The refrain can be found in one of John Newton’s 1779 Olney hymns: “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there’s power enough in heaven to cure a sin-sick soul.”

The Chancel Choir will sing Jack Schrader’s arrangement of Thomas A. Dorsey’s gospel hymn Precious Lord, which he composed in 1932 under the saddest of circumstances; he was on a business trip when he heard that his wife and infant son had died, and he later said that composing this song helped him to come to terms with his grief. Now included in most hymnals, it is also known to have been the favorite hymn of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ellen Children’s Choir

       Love is an interesting thing, isn’t it? If I asked who you loved I bet you could rattle off a list of individuals. I love my parents, spouse, children, siblings, friends, co-workers, family members; the list goes on and on. But if I asked you how to love, the response may not be as easy. This year the Children’s Choir is searching for an answer to that question by exploring Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.” By examining this verse we will learn how to love God with our whole self, how to interact with the people around us, and what it means to love ourselves.

As a choir, the way we express our love to God is through the worshipful act of singing.  We begin each Wednesday night with the same song: “I love you LORD and I lift my voice to worship you. Oh, my soul rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what you hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.” These words help to center our hearts on God as we begin each rehearsal. They also reminds us that our purpose is not performance. Our purpose is to use our voice to worship the LORD. By doing this, music becomes one way that we express our love for God.



Ring and Sing with Us!

RICH-JERRY-9by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

“The New Year is here, and I am looking for a resolution.” If you are having this thought, why not join one of Trinity’s choirs? Choir is more than rehearsing, ringing and singing. It is a vital part of Trinity whose members feel called to minister to others through music.

Join one of our choirs and you will:

1. Be a part of the church’s worship life

2. Fellowship with others who feel God’s call to serve through music

3. Experience how music can be an extension of God’s word

Qualifications for joining a choir include:

1. Loving Jesus with all your heart

2. Wanting to express through music what God has done for you

3. Being willing to serve at Trinity

You don’t have to be a great singer or ringer (although we are blessed with those!). If God has called you to serve in a choir, others will help you begin your journey in this new way to serve. Remember that “God does not call the qualified; rather, he qualifies the called”. If God is calling you to serve at Trinity through its music program, please make a resolution now to try one of its choirs!


November Children’s Choir

ellenBy Ellen LaCroix, Children’s Choir Director

Children’s Choir is off to a great start this year! We meet Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. in Langley Hall. The first thirty minutes are a time of food and fellowship where families have a chance to relax and chat about the week, and Children grow in friendship. The second half of our time together is spent in choir rehearsal where we learn music basics through song, dance, and games. Most importantly, we learn what it means to worship God through music. If you are interested in joining Children’s choir, e-mail for more information or stop by one Wednesday. Rehearsals for our Christmas program began on October 30, but it’s not too late to be part of it. We would love to have new voices join us!


November Music Ministry

RICH-JERRY-9by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

In recognition of All Saints Day, the Chancel Choir will sing three selections from Gabriel Fauré’s serene and consoling Requiem at the 10:30 service on Sunday, November 3:

Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Glory be to you, O Lord, Hosanna in the highest.

Agnus Dei: Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them everlasting rest. Let perpetual light shine upon them together with your saints, for you are good.

In Paradisum: May angels lead you into paradise and martyrs bring you into the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels welcome you, and, like Lazarus, may you have eternal rest.

In acknowledgment of God’s countless gifts to us, Trinity’s bell choirs will play two songs of thanksgiving at the 10:30 service on Sunday, November 17:

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us: Nancy Tipton’s version of William Bradbury’s 1859 melody reveals our gratitude to Christ, the Good Shepherd who cares for his flock.

My Jesus, I Love Thee: Charles Maggs’ hushed setting of Adoniram Gordon’s 1876 hymn tune expresses our thanks to Jesus for purchasing our pardon on Calvary.