This is my first year with a bulletin board here at FPCY. When I was teaching in Connecticut, I LOVED making bulletin boards – creating them was more for me than it was for anyone else. It scratched a part of my brain that I didn’t get to scratch often. This holds true even now. My message this year is simple… “Individually we are one note, together we are a masterpiece” It’s a cliché saying in the music world, but it’s true.
I’m going to call back a previous disciple article of mine and talk about “unison” and “harmony.” Unison refers to “different voice parts singing the same melody or tune together.” Harmony refers to a chordal structure in which different pitches are stacked to form a solid sound or series of solid sound. This stacked harmonic structure often requires tones within varying voice ranges to blend in support of a single melodic line carrying the text of an anthem or song. With unison the message of a single melodic line is of primary importance. With harmony the feeling of conjoined tones is more important than any single pitch. The musical score often indicates which is more important. Sometimes harmony backs off to allow melody to soar. Sometimes rich harmonies dominate the music to carry us emotionally beyond the simple meaning of the text. And then there are those times when both unison and harmony are present and share importance.
Singers realize that there are times when a unison effort is necessary to carry a poignant message with great strength and resolve − it is a focused musical oneness dependent on each member agreeing musically to join all the other singers in one accord. When harmony is prominent in a musical score, there is required cooperation and adjustment to ensure that individual parts don’t rob the spotlight from others. Harmony requires alignment and adjustment for the good of the whole. Harmony achieves its “oneness” through cooperation and mutual respect. Harmony achieves its beauty through consciously adjusting the sounds in each word for unanimity and of course… breathing together.
I think you see where I’m going with all this…Churches attain purpose and vitality through much the same process as a choir. Studies show when a choir sings well together, heart rates are in sync and breathing lines up; Abby Cross even leads us through specific exercises to help us attain unity in rehearsal. Breathing together…caring for individuals…working as one body… focusing on covenant… being aware of needs… being guided by the same spirit… breathing together… all are choir goals.
There are two choirs in every congregation. The smaller choir is the church choir. The larger choir is the congregation. Each of these choirs influences the other. The vitality of each of these singing groups is contingent on the other. They need each other to survive and strive and make God’s music together. I love hearing the congregation sing hymns on Sunday morning; it’s when I truly worship as an individual. I love it so much that I want to HEAR MORE of you MORE OFTEN.
Consider this a call to consider joining our Church Choir. It’s a rewarding experience and enlivens the larger worship experience every Sunday morning. We’d love to see you there! Thursday nights at 8:00; Sunday mornings at 9:30. Absolutely no experience necessary.
Yours in harmony, Garrett