Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Memoriam

Paul Manz passed away yesterday. My wonderful friend Rita Juhl introduced me to him just last spring. Paul was a gifted Organist, Composer and Church Musician who made the Hymn Festival what it is today. His improvisations and introductions to hymns are epic and influence almost all church organists. Now everywhere I look there is something floating around by him or a person remembering the amazing gifts he brought to the world of Church Music. To quote from the MorningStar article:
The esteem and respect with which Paul Manz is regarded can be seen in the many honors he has received. He has twice been named one of the "Ten Most Influential Lutherans." He has served as National Councilor of the American Guild of Organists and is listed as one of the "101 Most Notable Organists of the 20th Century."
Having the chance to meet these men and women who have directly influenced the world of music in their lifetime is an honor. Most of them never intended to leave a mark as they have but instead through love and a drive for excellence they simply did what they believed they were supposed to do. Out of that dedication and love you find the real impact that moves in waves far beyond anyone else's expectations. And when a simple person like myself gets to shake their hand, they are truly interested in who I am. I think that's what make them great. Love and passion for others. Being a fine musician/organist/composer is just a bonus.

Guess the moral here is be good at what you do, but most of all, love the people who find their way into your life. Thank you Paul Manz for your wonderful gifts you have given us and may light shine perpetually upon you. We will remember you in song and heart for generations to come.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Puppies and Surplices

"My Name's Sugar and I'm gonna break your heart."


This dog has managed to capture my heart from 2000 miles away. I may never see her as a puppy but at this point the amount of stories and pictures I have received (even text messages) about this dog pretty much makes me the most jealous dog lover in the world right now. I am currently fighting off the urge to revert to a 5 year old temper tantrum and yell "I WANNA PUPPY!!"

So sorry we have slacked on blogging lately. The 'Pres and I are currently finishing major tasks that have soaked up our lives. I am sure when we get off these mini roller coasters we will have some good quality updates to post.

Being the Episcopalian that I am, I decided to purchase myself a very nice Cassock to wear on Sunday Mornings. My Lutheran congregation finds it quite funny that I wear a "dress" every Sunday. I just have a thing about being vested (and not in a choir robe circa 1970). My mother graciously said she would be willing to make me a Surplice. Being that my small congregation still holds a tension toward anything "high" as they might call it, I really don't want to push the full vesting of the cassock and the surplice on them every Sunday. It just so happened that my parents came to visit me this week (the week spanning Reformation and All-Saints) and what better time to try out my new, hand made, with family lace surplice on Reformation Sunday when the kiddos are getting confirmed!

You might say it is a little much but even Martin Luther said that worship garb, dress or how the church was setup really didn't matter. So while I won't wear my Surplice accept for feast days, I think it's probably the coolest thing I have ever seen, let alone owned. My mom labored for months on this thing long distance getting it perfect, and it is, PERFECT. I guess I always took for granted that my mom was a seamstress...now I realize how amazingly talented she really is. I love the fact that I will probably wear this for the rest of my life and think of her every time I put it on. Thanks Mom.

So, puppies and surplices it is. Hope you are enjoying the Fall where ever you are and if you are in Minnesota, Join us for the National Lutheran Choir All-Saints Performance.

Blessings -

~soundguy

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Birthday Loves!!

October gets off to a great start - celebrating two of my best girls' birthdays. Today it's my girl Erin.

She puts the class in "class act."
She's one of those sainted individuals who is saving the world's kiddos through music. And now she's even becoming nationally recognized for her creativity! The only thing wrong with my Erin is her geography - she's too far away =(

Big Birthday Smooches, Erin Schmerin! Can't wait to celebrate with you soon!