Here is a big “Thank You!” to our new friends in Senatobia, MS. After spending this past weekend with the kind folks at 1st Baptist Church, Cindy and I feel like we have a whole group of new “old friends.” We were there at the gracious invitation of Chris Dale, Minister of Music at FBC. This is the third composer weekend I’ve done with Chris at various churches over the past decade. And like the previous two, this was a real treat.
Cindy and I took the scenic drive from Nashville on Friday to this charming Southern town an hour south of Memphis. We met the choir that night for a brief rehearsal. We reconvened on Saturday morning for a more intense rehearsal time. That evening, we all gathered for a Southern potluck dinner. (For the record, after a weekend of Southern eating, I am officially back on my diet as of this morning.)
The choir sang four of my anthem arrangements on Sunday morning. Cindy sang an old standard she and I wrote in the late 80s, “He Hears Every Word.” The congregation received all the music very warmly. The arrangement of “Bow the Knee,” written by my friends Mike Harland & Chris Machen, seemed to really hit home with the congregation. All in all, it was a whirlwind weekend, and a satisfying experience for me. I hope the choir at FBC feels the same.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it agin: My music doesn’t come to life until choirs choose to sing it. And it is my honor that FBC Senatobia chose to do a weekend of work on pieces I wrote.
So, thanks to Chris Dale, his wife Donna, and all the folks in the choir for their hard work and hospitality. Also, thanks to Connie and Caren, their able accompanists, and to Chris Williams, pastor of FBC. Finally, thanks to the congregation, who made the weekend a possibility.
It turns out that Chris and his family are headed off very soon to Oklahoma to help care for an ailing parent, so their tenure at Senatobia is coming to a close. I want to wish them Godspeed and the very best as they make this change.