I believe music is at the center of spiritual celebration and worship; it brings a sense of community for church members. For almost six years I have worked closely with the pastor and the music director to coordinate the weekly spiritual message with music by helping select repertoire that supports weekly readings and the spiritual message. I believe music completes the communication circle of regular and holiday worship and is the keystone to worship experience and community building.
My goal as Liturgical Music Section Leader is to enhance the worship message and community experience through selection of special music and song. To be successful, I believe that knowledge of the liturgical calendar and understanding the weekly message of worship is critical to selecting the right repertoire, but it is just the beginning. My philosophy for success is building strength in relationships through active participation, careful listening, and study, and bringing that knowledge to the job of Liturgical Music Section Leader.
A successful church community is not led by one person, it is guided by several people who have active and valuable roles, including the Liturgical Music leaders. A successful church community is one that is constantly growing and evolving, in numbers and in mission. The supports within the community needed to freely flow from the members to the leaders, and from the leaders to the members. As a music section leader actively engaging the membership and getting to know the members of community is critical to truly understanding their tone and expectations. Learning about the needs and expectations of the membership and using this knowledge to help make decisions strengthens the community as a whole. To truly understand people, listening is most important.
Active listening is critical to success; it takes effort and time. I believe listening to the intentions of the church leadership’s message and to the expectations of community helps define the role of liturgical music in the worship service. Active listening is more than hearing words, it is understanding people’s feelings about ideas and learning their perspectives, valuing their membership in the church community. It is my philosophy to committed to taking the time to learn about community members and leaders, listen to their needs and expectations/wishes for the future, and use this knowledge to guide my recommendations and decision making when recommending repertoire. Meeting with members after weekly services is helpful as is attending monthly meetings. Aligning my decisions to appeal to the membership helps keeps them engaged in the services and in turn, this helps attract new members.
In response to the request of members we have increase the number of church concerts during the year and widened our musical genre to include current as well as traditional repertoire offerings. Embracing the community and creating a culture of inclusion respect, where each person is valued, has energized our community. We have also continued to livestream and record our concerts and made them available online. This has expanded our reach for new members and enriched what the church provides its members.
Experience has taught me in order to fully grasp the spiritual message and the meaning of scripture a thoughtful reflection process is necessary. Biblical stories are often difficult to apply to struggles we encounter today, and the message isn’t always clear. To be successful I reflect on the tone and intention of the stories and think beyond the words to find the underlying thought that can brought forward to discuss in today’s terms. It is this personal interpretation of biblical scripture and understanding how members of the community apply it to their own lives that is critical information that helps in choosing the right liturgical music.
Ideale, by Tosti & La Serenata, by Tosti
Classical music speaks to me and allows me to express feelings when words simply won't do. These are two pieces I performed at my undergraduate recital "Music of the Soul", at Longy School of Music in April 2018.
"Vainement, ma bien aimee", from Le Roi D'ys By Lalo