Thursday, March 13, 2008

Making A Joyful Noise...

Last Tuesday, our church hosted a choir visiting from Indiana. The Bethel College Choir, about 50 strong, filled our modest chapel with absolutely beautiful sounds overflowing! I have heard many choirs before, but they have to have been the best of all. At times, with all the technology and stuff we use at church, I forget how good the acoustics are in our chapel but BCC sure made excellent use of it!

They started out in two rows on either side of the pew aisles, singing back and forth over the audience. Then they got up on stage for the next number. Near the end of that song, suddenly the choir went into surround sound; unbeknownst to us, about 6 of the ladies had gathered in the back of the chapel. It was fantastic! All of the solos were wonderfully sung. During a break in the middle, we heard the testimony of one of the young ladies. They quickly passed the mic around to say where they were from and what their majors were, many of them double majors or with a minor. One guy was a double major in Spanish and Math; my kind of guy! Nah.

They sang:

1. This Is the Day

2. Dona Nobis Pacem (from ‘Mass of the Children’) with baritone and soprano solos by Jacob Kisor and Ruth Olson

3. Holy Is He [where the director had the audience join in on one of the verses]

4. Sanctus (from ‘Requiem’)

5. Hallelujah (from ‘Messiah’)

6. Ev’ry Time I Feel The Spirit [sung by the men of the choir] with solo Chuck Zook

Then some of the members came forward as part of their acappella group, about 10 of them, as the Bethel College Voices of Triumph. They presented a well-sung version of ‘The Battle of Jericho.’

8. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us


9. He Has Forgiven Me, soloist Marcia Miller

10. Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down

Now, as if every song hadn’t been great enough, they topped it with that number 10. It’s a traditional spiritual which traditionally includes the signing of the chorus. Lauren Stellhorn signed the entire song with the chorus backing up with the singing and the chorus signing. It was absolutely uplifting!

They finished with ‘He Aloha Ko Iesu’ [Jesus Loves Me].

I am so glad that Mom and I went to hear them. They had a CD of the Voices of Triumph so we picked one up. We listened to it on the way home and it is good! It includes the song that they had sung that night, along with ‘Battle Hymn,’ ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing,’ and ‘In Dat Great Gittin’ Up Mornin’.’

Anyways, I kinda feel a little shame ‘cuz they sang so beautifully and I sing…not so much. Well, I don’t think God hears the imperfections in my voice so long as I’m singing His glory!

And to that, let me invite all those in town to the Kalihi Union Church Easter Sunday Celebration! See flyer below and then I’ll see you there! You don’t have to come to the early 6:30 a.m. service, though I’ll be at all the services. The choir also sings at the Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m., lots opportunities so please come on by!

[Click on any image for a larger view]

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