Last night, the ending of the Festival of Faith & Writing coincided with a concert by The National at the Van Noord Arena. I was surprised. When I attended Calvin there was no dancing allowed on campus. During the late 1970s students gathered in darkened dorm basements at covert "parties with … [Read more...] about The National: Rocking Out at Calvin
What if it works this way: We write the lyrics of our life when we?re young and spend our days and years living into them. I attended a Gordon Lightfoot concert last night at Wolf Trap, as part of his Fifty Years on the Carefree Highway Tour. It's easy to see that even after 50 years, Gordon is … [Read more...] about “We Love the Work” Gordon Lightfoot on Creativity
Step back in time with me, won't you? Imagine a church constructed of logs, filled to the brim with 250 people singing hymns without accompaniment. The majority of those people are Old Order Mennonite, dressed in their Sunday go-to-meeting clothes. Balconies on either side of the meetinghouse burst … [Read more...] about Hymns, Heat & Heaven — Can Women Be Ordained?
I acted like a groupie at a U2 concert and had a blast. I wrote more about the experience (here). Here's the set list including the opening act, Florence and the Machine: … [Read more...] about U2 Concert
Yesterday I sat on the sidelines of a particular community of faith. My husband and I attended a Shape Note Sing, which we do twice a year or so. (In that way I'm comparable to a Christmas/Easter Christian.) Shape Note singing (also called Sacred Harp singing) is unaccompanied, four-part singing, … [Read more...] about From the Sideline of a Community of Faith
The wooden room resounded with sound as a half-hundred people stomped their feet and industriously pumped their arms to accompany their singing. We sang from "The Sacred Harp," a hymnal first published in 1844, with lyrics pining for the Promised Land and glory beyond. Back then, church singing … [Read more...] about 12 Things I Enjoy About Sacred Harp Singing
One of the many reasons I love U2 is the way they keep reinventing themselves. It's not easy for artists to keep moving forward creatively, especially in a collaborative way. If it were easy, more people would manage it, right? This band makes me believe in synergy. Their vision is responsive, … [Read more...] about U2: Holding Onto Love
I spent New Year's Night singing hymns in a church, unaccompanied, with 300 or so other people. ?The crowd was diverse in age, but entirely white in skin color. Everyone was dressed very nicely in what I called "church clothes" growing up. I've sung with Old Order Mennonites before, it's a memorable … [Read more...] about Singing Harmonia Sacra to Greet the New Year