2018 opened on a high note, with a song fest celebrating the launch of my new collection of hymns and faith songs. Harpursville United Methodist Church in Harpursville, New York, hosted the event on January 20.
Featured singers Theresa Olin, Tony Villecco, Greg and Joanna Jenkins, Kristy Garlitz, Tom Blake, Sherry Ticknor, and Lida Bassler presented thirteen solos and duets drawn from Now Sings My Soul: New Songs for the Lord. The multi-church choir sang five hymns, and the audience joined in for seven more, all having new words set to such familiar tunes as “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and “To God Be the Glory.”
The music was wonderful, and so was the fellowship, with singers from ten churches representing at least five different denominations. What a great opportunity to find common ground in making music for the Lord!
An especially exciting moment for me (besides discovering that the new travel mug I’d filled with pineapple juice was not watertight) was Diva Daughter’s performance of “Only Then.” This is one of the dozen or so songs in the book for which I wrote the music as well as the words, with Theresa’s help in developing the accompaniment. I hope you’ll enjoy her expressive rendition as much as I do.
That video plus 20 more clips from our elderly camcorder are posted in a special Now Sings My Soul Song Fest playlist on my YouTube channel. The clips in the Song Fest playlist include introductory remarks and chatter, to give you a taste of the actual event.
I plan to edit some of the recordings for music-only listening, with lyrics displayed. Those versions will go on the regular Now Sings My Soul playlist on YouTube. Theresa & Tony’s incredible a cappella duet, “Love the Lord” (recorded at rehearsal), is already posted there.
I’m very grateful to the singers, the audience, and everyone who posted flyers, made desserts for the reception following the program, or contributed to the event in other ways. DJ Dave Smith generously loaned a mic stand for the choir. Special thanks to accompanist Lida Bassler, a living, breathing grace note if ever there was one! And of course I give thanks and praise to my Holy GhostWriter for a creative partnership that can’t be beat.
Song Fest photos by Michelle Noyes, used by permission