Tuesday, May 21, 2013

When you ask me to sing . . .

Every year I try to post a blog article about what you can expect if you ask me to come and perform a therapeutic music program, or some other music program.

Well first . . . it depends on my calendar.

I am not a full-time singer/musician/performer.  I am a full-time ordained pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Grapevine, Texas.  

And, for the record . . . I love my job!!!!

However, as my schedule allows, I am able to accept invitations to sing at various "appropriate" venues.  These are listed in the column located just right of this blog entry.  Scroll down and read all the sections and you will get a gist of what I can do.

But since I depend a lot on word-of-mouth referrals, and since I have just come out of a period of in-activity due to a year long bout with cancer, I thought I could write a bit of a refresher . . . especially for those of you who seem to drop my name to others with the comment ... "you ought to get this guy to come sing for you."

1)  I am by training and experience more of a folk-type singer / song leader.  I enjoy helping people sing together.  If you know who Pete Seeger is, or remember/know the music of Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver or Harry Chapin, then you have an idea as to how I try to include people into any music performance I take part in. 

2)  I am a certified Therapeutic Music Entertainer, and I know many of the TME songs in the Hugworks.org catalog.  Jim Newton and Paul Hill of Hugworks are my music mentors, and together they have written an incredible catalog of healing songs.  The words to most of their songs have been vetted by a long list of child life specialists for age-level appropriateness.  I have sung quite a bit in local children's hospitals and in local nursing / rehab centers using Hugworks music. 

3)  A few times a year I travel to a church or gathering to lead worship.  I sing in local parks and campgrounds, at some community functions, for schools and at libraries.   Although I have not done one in a while, I am sometimes available for house concerts and as entertainment for family related parties and fundraising events.

4)  If the venue / gig is one where I do not need an amplifier, then I will be bringing my Guild jumbo 6 and 12 string guitars, or my Taylor GS.

5)  If the venue / gig is one where I will need to plug into the house PA or use my own PA system (Lucas Nano 300) then I will probably bring several of my Taylor acoustics, usually the GS or a T-5 acoustic/electric. Sometimes I bring my NS74ce nylon string.  I come to this type of venue / gig fully ready to go, with all my own equipment.

6)  As a general rule, I do not plug into or use an amp unless I am playing with the 1st Church Guitars guys or in a setting that calls for me to play / sing with a band.

7)  General speaking, for a school concert I will sing for about 45 minutes, and can also include my playing one or more of my Native American flutes, as well as using a djembe drum.   When I sing for children in hospitals or for senior adults, I usually only use one guitar, because I sometimes am asked to go room-to-room. 

8)  I try to sing as many songs as I can from memory.  Admittedly so, I am a little out of practice due to my recent cancer battle, so I will probably have some songs printed out in a black notebook on a music stand.  If you look at the favorite artist list I have (also on the right side of this blog page / scroll down a bit), then you have an idea of the type of music I like to sing and perform.  When performing for adults, I'm most often invited to perform for a slightly more "mature" audience, or for "family style" events.

9)  Every effort will be made to arrive early, to be professionally dressed and professionally prepared.  Positive word-of-mouth depends on it.

10)  My schedule is pretty full for May and June with lots of church related stuff before I leave for Philmont in July.  August - December dates are negotiable at this time  . . . again, everything depends on my professional church and personal calendars.  If "Plan A" doesn't work out, then "Plan B" or "Plan C" can always be something we talk about.

Hope this is good info for some of you . . . whether you pass it on or give me a call.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rick serving as Assembly and Worship Leader at VBS - June 24-28

It's that time of year again!!!!

Vacation Bible School!

I think I live for VBS each year.  My memories of VBS are numerous and ALL good.

Sad, perhaps to say, that some of my best memories in my life are VBS related.

On the other hand . . . some of my best memories in the my life are VBS related!  Awesome!!!!

Yep . . . I am VBS'r at heart . . . and proud of it.

I will be the Assembly and Worship leader at our SonWest Roundup VBS beginning at 9 AM on Monday, June 24th through June 28th.  Finally . . . we are doing a VBS with a western theme, which means I get to wear my big Philmont Scout Ranch Cowboy Hat every day!!!

And . . . I get to sing and play guitar every day!

And . . . I get to lead stunts every day!

And . . .

Yep . . . I am a VBS'r at heart . . . and proud of it.

Registration for VBS continues . . . the link to the VBS info page on the FUMC-Grapevine web site at http://www.firstmethodistgrapevine.org/10664/event/event_id/316550/Vacation-Bible-School-2013. . . . or contact the church office at 817-481-2559.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Rick singing for New Horizons on May 28th

A concert featuring the songs I grew up with as a child, youth and young adult . . .

Come hear, and join in the singing of many favorite folk music classics, also songs by Glen Campbell, John Denver, Elvis, Jerry Reed, as well as several Broadway love songs from the 60's.

Come listen . . . come clap . . . come dance . . . or come sing!  We are going to have a lot of fun.

For more info, click http://www.firstmethodistgrapevine.org/10664/event/event_id/352802/New-Horizon-with-Rick-Mang . . . or contact the FUMC-Grapevine Church Office at 817-481-2559

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ready to start blogging again . . .

Howdy y'all!

Work has begun in earnest to get my personal and ministry-based music ministry back and running since my recent "disease free" report from my oncologist.

How I wish now, in hindsight, that I would have kept singing regularly somewhere.  My fingers on both hands are going to need some re-training as I start playing and singing more.

About all I've done as far as guitars and singing since this past September has been the occasional Children's Time in worship; singing once for a kindergarten class that my daughter is the teacher of (that was a blast!);  singing a few songs for some 3 year olds who attend the Creative Learning Center at our church; and performing part of one gig with Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill of Hugworks.org, which I had to leave because of a call from a family that had experienced a death.

Except for playing here and there at the Grapevine Guitar Store (really not playing, just piddling around on new Guild and Taylor models) that's been about it.

By the way, the new Taylor GO models are really pretty neat, especially if you play a lot of music "unplugged" like I do.  I'm giving them (especially the 518e model) a really hard look at this time.

I have my first "concert" in over a year on May 28, when I will be performing for the New Horizons dinner and program at the church.  My program title is "Songs I Grew Up With!"  Needless to say, all the songs are ones the audience will be able to sing with me.  In the end, getting people to sing seems to be what I do best.

I am getting really excited about leading the opening session and doing music for our annual Vacation Bible School during the last week of June.  I will be meeting with our assistant Children's Ministry Director in the next week or so to get the details squared away.

In fact, I leave the afternoon of the last day of VBS (June 28) for Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, where I will serve the entire month of July as a chaplain.  I am very appreciative of the graciousness the FUMC-Grapevine Staff/Parish Relations Committee has extended to me in granting me a month of renewal/mission leave so I could accept the invitation to go to Philmont.  I hope to return on August 1st with fresh eyes to see my next 8 years of ministry here in Grapevine, TX.

Speaking of 8 years, I will celebrate the conclusion of my 8th year of service as the Senior Associate Pastor of FUMC-Grapvine, TX on the 3rd Sunday in June.  Awesome!  I truly love and appreciate this church as I have no other in my 25+ years of professional ministry.

After I return from Philmont, I hope to have calendared several singing opportunities around my pastoral calendar.  I want to return to singing on some regular basis for Hugworks.  I miss my partnership with Larry Dykstra, and getting to sing with my music and guitar mentors, Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill.  It will be good to rejoin them in singing to children in area hospitals as my calendar permits.

Secondly, I hope to start singing in a couple of our local nursing homes again in September.

Thirdly, and this is something new . . . I will be singing for the children our Creative Learning Center 2-3 times a month in the early afternoon hours, as they expand their schedule for the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014, in the process offering new child development and learning opportunities.  I think I will enjoy this very much.

My daughter wants me to come visit her class on a regular basis this next school year as well.  That experience will be a major priority. My baby girl is a great teacher, and it is fun as all get out to watch how she engages each child.  Her classroom is a textbook case for positive classroom dynamics (in my humble and completely unbiased opinion).

I am also hoping to sing more in the local Grapevine area as well.  Again, my first priority is to the church and my pastoral ministry there.  However, I just feel it in my bones, and feel it in my spirit as well, that it's all going to work out.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>