Your music director has been a busy bee lately, my friends. I shared with some of you that I recently joined the vocal jazz ensemble at Bellevue College. Through that program I am studying jazz composition and arranging with the group’s director Thomas Almli, so you might be hearing some cool or groovy sounds in the coming months in some of the music I compose for church. The jazz group tours (we recently performed in Texas for a major jazz festival), and performs music from the big band era all the way to the contemporary styles of today. Rumor has it that they will be performing at our church in May.
At the other end of the musical spectrum I joined a Gregorian schola in Bremerton. We meet several times a month for special music during mass and Vespers at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. I find the experience very peaceful and sometimes exhilarating as we sing chant, motets, and Renaissance music with Youth on tour at the Gates Foundation one person to a part. The music is powerful and beautiful, and I enjoy the independence of being the only bass in a group with only one alto, one soprano, one counter-tenor, one tenor, etc. Everyone takes responsibility for their part and works as a team to create artistry and nuance in a stunning acoustic space. If any of you are interested in visiting these services let me know. Ash Wednesday is our next special occasion.
As we approach Lent, I’d like to let you know that we have some special musical guests bringing their time and talent to our church. Simon Berry is a Flute-performance major at University of Puget Sound and will play a beautiful piece by Gabriel Fauré for us in March. NBCs The Voice contestant Stephanie Anne Johnson will return to play her guitar and sing for us, date TBA. We also have symphony violinist Brandon Patoc, tenor Wendell Brunk, and others coming to enhance our worship. You won’t want to miss any of it!