Music Notes from Robin – July 2021

July has arrived, and the final half of 2021 has begun. It has been wonderful having the choir this past month. Thank you for your kind words of appreciation – and, as always, for your continued support.

I am looking forward to the music for July. Sunday, July 4, will feature patriotic music. In addition to the choir’s anthem, Shaw will be singing Mark Hayes’ solo arrangement of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Other selections include a new anthem by Heather Sorenson entitled “Entertain the Angels.”

Over the past 25 years, The Charles Wesley Choir has sung many of Joseph Martin’s anthems and cantatas. Mr. Martin is from North Carolina, and he studied with Dillon’s own Jimmy Woodle at Furman University. He is a composer who is recognized around the world for his many choral compositions, both sacred and secular; and he has been a featured solo pianist with symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Mr. Martin is also quite well known for his expertise, and he has written this recent article:

A Word from Joseph M. Martin

“The quest to combine ministry with artistry has been a lifelong calling for me. The act of composing music breathes into my spirit an inner peace that is deeply sacred.

Climbing the stairs to my music studio allows me to enjoy a wall of relics, which remind me of (1) my education, (2) my past concert moments, and (3) the treasured mentors who have encouraged me through the years. I have also become aware of how blessed I am to take this journey of discovery.

I pass by family photos that reassure me that I am loved and not alone. I gaze at a stained-glass window, which reminds me of how the mystery and ministry of light makes even broken things beautiful. As I reach the top landing, my special sanctuary of
instruments, books, and tools welcomes me back. It is a special grace in my life to be given the luxury of leisurely reading scripture, spending time to research our legacy of worship, recording my praise, and composing new songs.

During this past year, however, it has been difficult to climb my stairs; and my creative journey has been winding and rocky. Blank pages drone on in silence, and the ink of inspiration is running low. I have written songs, but voices could not share them.

Choirs are bound and masked!
Instruments sit breathless and silent!
Wounded alleluias!

With wandering fingers, I search the Scriptures – and find this below:

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,and the other prisoners were listening to them.

The above passage reminded me that we are still EASTER PEOPLE. We carry in our hearts hymns of hope and new songs of joy.

There is a great crescendo coming! Soon a sonic shudder will quake the earth back to celebration. Our wounds will be washed, and our scars will sing!

“The foundations of this pandemic prison will shake, and the stones will roll away. Our choirs will find their purpose again. Our songs will soar, and our instruments will once again make a joyful noise. The echoes of our worship will resound in our sanctuaries and spill out into the world as a canticle of faith.

“WHEN THAT MOMENT COMES, MAY THE LORD FIND OUR HEARTS
OVERFLOWING WITH THE MAGNIFICENT MUSIC OF GRACE!”

Above are excerpts from sheetmusicplus.com/composers/joseph-m-martin-sheet-music.

In the near future, we hope to present Joseph Martin’s new composition below:

“Heal our Alleluias.”
Verse 1:
The willows hold our weeping harps just beyond our dreams.
Only grace can bring them down and put them in our reach.
In the stillness of this time each broken song redeem.
Move across our silent strings, and we will learn your theme.

Verse 2
Write in us a hymn of hope.
Craft each chord with care.
Fix in us your harmony—a symphony to share.
Help us trust your grand design, composer of the heart.
Make us now your instruments and let the music start.

Chorus:
Heal our Alleluias.
Touch our wounded praise.
Comfort every troubled song with your gentle grace.
Sing to every shadow.
Breathe into the night—music from the heart of love.
A canticle of light.

God bless you all. Robin