#WorthRevisit: Song of Mark

Today’s #WorthRevisit was inspired by my friend’s Facebook post. She was the director of this production, and took a chance on my strictly-amateur musicianship in order to get my kids to participate in the production. This is the only opportunity I’ve ever had to perform with all 3 of my kids. It was a true privilege, and I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity and the friendship. 5 years ago today, I was the guitarist for Song of Mark.

Growth Curve

During the past two weeks I’ve been rehearsing for Sunday’s performance of Marty Haugen’s Song of Mark, a musical production based on the Gospel of Mark, with a group of musicians and singers that I don’t ordinarily work with. It’s been a wonderful and interesting experience.

Playing with a new group is always a challenge, and that’s good, because when you play with the same people week after week, you start to know what to expect. It takes playing with different people to make a musician grow.

I’m not an excellent musician by any stretch of the imagination. Once I was out of college, I haven’t been in a position where I could play my guitar every day. It was more like one or two times per week. That’s not conducive to growing as a musician either. And while I had enough basic piano lessons to know how to read music, I’m a self-taught guitarist. The director of this production teaches music and can play just about any instrument. Frankly, if she weren’t so nice, I’d be really intimidated.

It’s nice being a part of a musical production with my kids. All 3 are taking part. Big Brother is playing electric bass, and Middle Sister and Little Brother are both in the children’s chorus. Since there are only about 20 in the entire cast and orchestra, we make up 1/5 of the people involved in this event.

All the music is new to me, and Haugen’s music is always a challenge. One of the other guitarists from my Sunday folk group observed that Haugen must hate guitarists when I showed her some of the music, written in tortuous keys and including chords like E-flat, Gm, and the like. Many of the songs are 6 or 8 pages long, so I also had to learn to work in page turns!

I have loved the opportunity to go and play for almost two solid hours at a time–though my arms are really feeling it. I’m playing along with a pianist, a keyboard, and Big Brother on the bass. With only one guitar, I don’t have much room for error. That’s a challenge too.

I think the challenge is good for me. And certainly playing is good for me. And some of the songs are really, really good. Here’s the refrain from my favorite one:

When the day of our God has come to pass,
The skies will ring out with the angels’ song.
The last will be first and the first will be last
When the day of our God comes,
The wondrous day of our God.

That’s been stuck in my head for days–and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Want to watch? The videos are here:

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

Small Success: New Strings for Christmas

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

For the Christmas-music version of Teenage Musical Torture, I’ve been waking TheKid with such gems as “Dominic the Donkey,” Bob Dylan’s version of “Must Be Santa” (complete with accordion–it’s a real treat) and the barking-dog cover of “Jingle Bells.” Because laughing in the morning is way better than shouting.

On Sunday at rehearsal for the Festival of Lessons and Carols, I noticed that my guitar strings were in terrible shape. I’m really bad about changing my guitar strings. It takes FOR-EV-ER, and I suppose that if I did it more often, I’d be quicker at the job. But I have a 12-string guitar, so that means the job takes twice as long.

IMG_0039But since the strings were actually starting to unravel, I had to do something about them before one of them decided to break in the middle of Mass or that concert.

Amazingly, I managed to get all the strings changed out in 1 hour and 15 minutes, shaving 45 minutes off my Best Time Ever–and the new strings nearly held perfect tune during folk-group practice last night (I was still restringing the guitar when people arrived at practice.) Maybe next time I won’t wait so long to do this job.

During yesterday’s Epic Burst of Productivity (really. It was insane.) I dug through the freezer and inventoried the meat. I also sorted it out, as things tend to get shoved in there without regard to putting like items together. And unless there is a Sale of Epic Proportions at the grocery store, I won’t be buying any more meat until mid-January.

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