Thursday, October 3, 2013

House Concert . . . a great experience . . .

This past Saturday, I joined the guys (and gal) of our First Church String Band in performing a house concert for one of our adult Sunday School classes at the church.

Gospel, folk, rock, C&W, golden oldies . . . we had songs in every category, and we did well enough on each that the "audience" (composed mostly of friends) sang and danced.

We are Methodists.  Dancing is OK.

At 56, I may be one of the youngest guys in the band.  I'd say we are composed of 50-80+ years olds, mostly retired, a few still working.  Many of us have previous experience being in a band . . .

A looooooong time ago!

I suggested that a better name for us as a group was the "Wanna Be Band."

In truth, we all "wanna be" in a band.

And it has nothing to do with fame, fortune or being in the limelight.

It has to do with making music.

Personally, I am an adequate rhythm guitar player.  I might even be good enough to earn some extra money playing guitar more . . . if I had the time.  However, I would have to play a lot at night, and travel.  Something I am not willing to do.  Travel is OK, when my professional schedule allows, but working nights in clubs, etc. . . . that no longer interests me in any way, shape or form.

Personally, I can sing pretty well, with the proper warm-up and rehearsal time.  Even after my thyroid surgery, I am still a bit of a nasal baritone, but not as much as I used to be.  I can't hit as many high notes as I used to.  And despite my singing solo a lot these days, I would rather sing parts in a trio vocal arrangements.

I really like the blending of voices.  The singers in our First Church String Band all understand the value of harmonizing.

But more than being an adequate guitar player or an adequate singer . . . I have an energy for making music with other people.  I have shared before that I love performing.  But what I love even more is when the audience sings with us.  Or when they start clapping in rhythm. Or when they join together is motions.  Or when a couple will stand up and start dancing to the music.

I like most when I see someone smile and whisper to a friend, or say out loud to the band . . . "I know / remember that song!"   Sometimes we call people up to sing it with us.  Terrifies a few.  For others, it makes their day.

People so benefit from singing together.   Do you have any talent to sing, or play and instrument?  If so, you are needed.  Our world is sort of screwed up, and I am one of those people that others label as "naive" who think that people who sing together can start overcoming their differences in order to do some good for others in the world.

Call me naive.  But I have seen (and will testify) the good that music can accomplish in helping constructive change take place in people's lives, in a neighborhood, in a church, in a community . . . and I look forward to one day seeing just how far music can reach and just how much good it can help accomplish.

God's grace, and what music can do, still amazes me daily . . . ><>

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