Do you know about Solo Thoughts?
It’s a great research tool to help church soloists, musical directors and music committees to find music appropriate to church services — particularly songs for the soloist. It’s called Solo Thoughts and Watchfire Music publishes this quarterly and monthly. We’ve been doing this now for about 8 years.
If you are new to Solo Thoughts, here are more specifics: Solo Thoughts matches 12 to 24 solos per week to each Christian Science Weekly Bible Lesson. It also provides a purchase link to buy in-print sheet music for your church service. This is a very detailed document that cuts your own research time down as well as introducing you to new sacred solo repertoire.
Christmas came gently this year through many exquisite moments. Here are just a few of them:
1. Subway Brother
Peter and I were going through a subway turnstile a few days ago. As I went through first, our shared metro card ran out. Peter searched through his wallet. A bedraggled man who had observed us, stepped up to Peter, took out several metro cards from his pocket and said, “Man, I just want to help you. Here.” And he swiped one of his cards for Peter to pass through. Peter thanked him and offered to pay, but the man just laughed and said, “No, man, I just want to help.”
They looked each other straight in the eyes, shook hands and grabbed each others’ shoulders. A hearty thank you from Peter, and they said goodbye. We smiled and said, “Ah, New Yorkers.” But what we really felt and acknowledged was “There goes the child of God!” It was a Christmas moment.
Florence, Italy —
I’ve been to Florence, Italy three times in my life. In fact, I am here in Florence at this very moment as I write. Each time I come to Firenze, three essentials always require my attention: Music, Art and Love.
Firenze: La Prima Volta (The First Time)
Having declared my major in music, I was just out of my freshman year of college and touring eight countries in two months with my university chamber choir, The Choraliers. We spent four unforgettable, and absolutely life-changing days in this Renaissance city singing Latin motets in Florentine churches including Il Duomo and Santa Croce.
I was constantly running after the bus, having stayed too long at the museums and in the cathedral and churches. I had just completed a semester of Art History and every time I turned a corner, there was some painting or statue that I had studied. It was mind-blowing.
I fell in love with a boy in Firenze. He was American and was traveling on his own. One of his friends was in our choral group, so when they arranged to meet up, I was swept off of my feet. (more…)
I have been reading, following, liking, commenting and posting on the passing of Nelson Mandela. And his giant legacy. And his giant gift of sacrifice and love for humankind. I must share with you some wonderful writings on Mandela by some wonderful writers. I invite you to comment and share your favorite writings, images, videos, and thoughts on this very great man who transformed a nation, a continent and our world for generations to come. To Nelson Mandela with love.
To My Readers on this Thanksgiving Weekend:
I could not be more grateful for each of you! And for all of the good, all of the music, all of the shared thoughts and communication — and all of the inspiration! Thank you for sharing in this universal language of music and ideas! If you did not see it before, here’s my Fall Update newsletter:
As we approach this season of thanks, I am reminded that “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”(Melody Beattie) With this in mind, I send you news of what I’ve been doing, the joy and fulfullment it has brought, and the excitement of seeing many of you in my concert tour around the country and beyond in the coming weeks and months!
This past summer flew by at the speed of light, and I can sum it up in 2 words: Deep Waters – my new CD.
A suite for orchestra and voice, composed by Peter Link, it contains 3 songs and 4 instrumentals — and it’s a gapless (continuous play) CD. Click HERE to listen, download, and get the free digibook (digital liner notes).
I received a Facebook message recently from a friend asking me about my thoughts on applauding musicians after performing during a church service. As the Soloist for seven years at The Mother Church, (the international headquarters of the Christian Science church in Boston), I had many experiences that involved applause… and many that did not.
I messaged my FB friend back with my thoughts. She then asked me to share my answer to a broader audience. This issue has come up often, so it seemed like a good thing to do. Here goes!
“My question is related to the presentation and thanking of musicians during the services: Many branch churches are considering being more socially warm toward our musicians. (organist and soloist). Since the Church Alive Summit in Northern California*, many people are questioning whether applause is acceptable. I understand that The Mother Church (TMC) does not want to influence branch churches in their decisions, but I’m wondering why at times I have heard applause in the TMC service broadcast, and not at other times.”
* Regional gatherings of Christian Scientists and friends that are held around the world
Well, put on your seatbelt… Here are a lot of thoughts comin’ atcha!
I’m going to begin with the idea of applause in church.
First, it has been my experience that each branch church is working out applause and how to be more inclusive in their services on an individual basis. I think it comes down to how the members of a particular church feel as a group.