MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey (from April, 2015)
The choir and I are completing the choir season and ending with a service celebrating music. Mark Sunkontarak has kindly agreed to serve as Worship Music Coordinator for our summer services—a big role, and do let him know you appreciate him if you get the chance. The choir has also been asked to sing for the annual community AIDS vigil. I know that I sound like a broken record, but music and singing are great sources of strength in times of need and resistance.
Recently we performed (with the help of featured singer Cathy Small and singer and guitarist Mark Sukontarak) our “Auction Song,” requested and purchased this year by Sara Stinson. It was a song from another era of political strife–“Chicago” by Graham Nash, written in response to the arrest of the “Chicago Eight” (later “Seven”) for anti-war demonstrations during the National Democratic Convention in 1968. The song assures us that “We can change the world.”
As I continue to struggle through the challenges facing all of us at this time, I derive much energy from working with the choir and practicing individually to prepare for our Sunday worship services. Even so, I need music to listen to for my own needs. It is my practice to sing Hindu chants each morning (either “Gan, Gan, Ganapati” or “Sita Ram”), led by a recording by Ragani. But sometimes listening is helpful.
Thanks to an early birthday present, I now have a double-CD set of Garth Brooks’ music. Who knew this would be what I could turn to at a time like this? I feel that I have discovered a new world. I shared with the choir my new (to me) favorite of Garth’s—“The Change.”
“And I hear them saying you’ll never change things
And no matter what you do, it’s still the same thing
But it’s not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know
That it will not change me…
“This heart still believes that love and mercy still exist
While all the hatreds rage and so many say
That love is all but pointless in madness such as this
It’s like trying to stop a fire
With the moisture from a kiss.
“And I hear them saying you’ll never change things…
“What I do is so
This world will know
That it will not change me.”
I hope that you find music to sustain you, for all the work that you do in the world.
Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader