Over the past year I’ve been collecting short songs and hymns focused on spiritual journey and pilgrimage. Some are walking songs or invite body movement; others feature a beautiful or thoughtful combination of text and tune. I have used many of them in congregations I've served as an interim/transitional musician and I'm happy to share the list with others as a resource.Read More
Is it a creeping tension in your neck and back? Perhaps you're finding it hard to focus or can't quiet your thoughts? Maybe your stomach is upset, your head aches, your teeth are clenched? Maybe you find yourself hyper-vigilant or distrustful of others in public spaces? You are feeling the subtle and insidious presence of anxiety, which seems to affect us all in these difficult days.
While I don't have a quick fix to our collective unsettledness or the anxiety that ebbs and flows, I have noticed that singing settles us. Perhaps one of the ways we can defuse anxiety and diffuse peacefulness is through song, specifically songs that remind us who we are and whose we are.
Last spring, I collaborated with mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein to present a Mother's Day recital that included two settings of the 19th century Czech poem, Songs My Mother Taught Me.
The poem got me thinking about the songs my mother sang that shaped my musical and spiritual life, and inspired me to compose a piano arrangement of C. Austin Miles' beloved Gospel hymn, In the Garden. Sentimental, yes, but I remember it as one of my favorite lullabies and it's a tune I will always associate with my childhood. The text has also served as an ongoing reminder that I am God's beloved and invited to an intimate, tender relationship with Jesus.Read More
Join me for a weekend residency in Cincinnati, Ohio from May 20-22. We'll SING sacred music from diverse cultures and traditions, EXPLORE leadership practices that encourage and animate congregational singing, and REFLECT on ways that worship can be life-giving, inclusive, and prophetic.Read More
Earlier this year I served as a guest musician at Broadway Presbyterian Church, where their pastor, Rev. Chris Shelton, presented a summer sermon series exploring the context and themes of the New Testament. To begin, we invited the congregation to imagine a time before worship bulletins, before hymnals, even before the letters of Paul and the Gospels were written. We created a worship service that was paperless, participatory and poetic. And we used story telling, communal song and images as primary vehicles for the expression and transmission of faith, like the earliest followers of Jesus.Read More