Monday, September 28, 2015

I Was Blogging and Found . . .

Eighth post in the series

I was drawn to this article for two reasons: I enjoy Ligonier Connect and "Louisville, KY" caught my eye. It is a brief article about the role of music in worship. Make no mistake, I am a lover of music and am mindful of its vital role in worship; however, as I have said on numerous occasions, music should serve the text: the word is supreme.

I am not a fan of the designation "Worship Leader" as it is often used in our churches today to describe the role of the music director. The article linked below addresses these issues and more.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Announcing Union Harmony 2015-2016

On campus auditions for Union Harmony are typically held during the spring, with additional auditions held in the summer, as needed. Veteran members of the group are required to re-audition, so there is no “resting on your laurels” so to speak! It is a vigorous process. Singers had to sing a solo melody, sing their part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) in a quartet, and sing scales in the range of the voice part for which they were auditioning.  I want to thank everyone who auditioned for this year’s group!

Members of Union Harmony 2015-2016 are: Katelyn Snelling (soprano), Kelli Hensley (soprano), Alexandra Estes (soprano), Maggie Watkins (alto), Jessica Boggs (alto), John Patrick (JP) White (tenor), Cody Sizemore (tenor), Jorge Jackson (bass), and Justin Matlock (bass).

Jorge (a bass) is new to the group this year and one alto, Jessica Boggs, is also new.  It is not common for a freshman to make Union Harmony, but Jessica is an exceptional singer from Corbin, with whom I have had contact with throughout the year.

Congratulations to all!  As always, I am looking forward to working with both Union Harmony and the Union Singers! If you happen to see one of these singers in the upcoming weeks, be sure to offer your congratulations!

Let the singing commence!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime!

I hope all are enjoying the warmth (currently hot!) of summer. Although it is still early and the beginning of fall classes is more than a month and a half away, we will "blink" and it will be upon us. With this in mind, I am finalizing membership in Union Harmony 2015-2016 and hope to make an announcement by mid to late July. Some really fine singers auditioned for Harmony, so it is a challenge and blessing at the same time to come up with the right combination of voices.

Enjoy the sun, water, beach, mountains, etc. and look for the announcement soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Was Blogging and Found . . .

Seventh Post in the Series.
I found a very interesting article on the role (or lack thereof) of the organ in many of our churches today.  The sound of an organ leading congregational singing reverberates within my soul! There is nothing like the sound of voices coming together in song, led by an organist who knows their instrument and therefore how to make the music come alive! I often lament about congregational singing and concur with the author of the article "Does the Church Organ Need to Go" (linked below).

Although I do believe some texts and music are not edifying nor appropriate for worship, good congregational singing is not necessarily about the style of music. We worship our Creator through congregational singing, so the music should serve a theologically driven text and if the singing is supported and led by the incomparable tone/character/timbre of an organ, all the better!

Enjoy the article!

Does the Church Organ Need to Go by Mark Harland

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spring Concert: Haydn's "Te Deum in C Major"

[Please take a moment to look over my blog’s new look and layout.  I have refreshed the look, feel, and functionality of the blog and look forward to offering posts for a 6th year]

Photo of Esterhazá, residence of the Esterházy family

The centerpiece of this year’s Spring Concert is Franz Joseph Haydn’s Te Deum in C Major. The Te Deum text is a standard and well-known text, which has been set to music by countless composers through the centuries, even unto today. Haydn was an Austrian composer who spent most of his career working for a family of Hungarian Princes, the Esterházy family. He was a contemporary of Mozart and once (briefly) gave lessons to Beethoven.  Joseph Haydn was quite a prolific composer of chamber, orchestral and choral works.

Haydn’s Te Deum in C Major is a short work of about eight or nine minutes (depending upon the desired tempo) and is in three, seamless sections or one might say, movements. The exhilarating opening and closing allegro sections surround a slower, contrasting movement, which offers a much needed repose.

It is a challenging piece, with its many interwoven musical lines and overlapping thematic material. All three of Union’s choirs will come together to sing this exciting work.  It will go by quickly, too quickly for my taste considering not only the majestic nature of the work, but also because of all the many hours the choirs will put into learning it!!

The program will also include numerous shorter (octavo in length) works, which will compliment Haydn’s Te Deum.

Please use the following link to view and listen to a recording of this work.  And don’t forget to put 
Tuesday, April 21st on your calendar.  The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. in Conway Boatman Chapel and is free and open to the public.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Choral Program's Christmas Video 2014

It is good to blog again!  After five years of blogging I took a bit of a break, but am happy to share this December post with you.

I am so thankful for our three talented choirs who have worked so hard ALL semester long; I am equally grateful to our faithful audience! The choirs sang beautifully and the audience was so receptive.  It was also nice to recognize Dr. Candy Wood for all she has given to the music program over the past 37+ years!

If you are a current singer, thank you for the joy you bring to my day.  If you don't currently sing with us, but would like to, simply sign up for MUSC 152 (no audition required). You could be singing with us at our next performance -- The Valentine Concert!

Please take a few minutes to enjoy the Choral Program's 2014 Christmas Video.

Merry Christmas!

PS Instrumentalists -- Mr. Douglas Olenik is our new fulltime Director of Bands! Be sure to sign up for MUSC 181 and be a part of Union's new and exciting Band Program!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Department: Fine, Performing and Communication Arts


Although the new department was announced last fall, today is its"official" first day. We are excited about the possibilities and look forward to departmental collaborations as well as collaborating with colleagues and friends on and off campus! We will continue to offer our students, colleagues and community engaging programs even as we brainstorm and conceptualize new and inventive ways we can serve our students and community!

Members of the Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Department include Dal Macon, Assistant Professor of Art; Christine Marley, Professor of Communications; Virginia Gay Gandy, Associate Professor of Music (Dept. Chair); Kim Yeager, Instructor of Theatre; Joe Martin, Adjunct Instructor of Public Speaking; and Danny Phelps and Kathy Smith, Staff Accompanists.

I will give more information in a future post, but did not want July 1st to pass without "marking" this new beginning for the arts at Union!