Yesterday we went to Bastyr University to hear a very entertaining concert by the Male Ensemble Northwest, a group of 14 men who sang a wide range of repertoire, from sacred to secular. They ended their program with a medley from classic TV themes, such as Gilligan’s Island, Petticoat Junction, the Brady Bunch and Car 54, Where are You?At one point in the program, they introduced themselves and it was amazing to hear that all of them are choir directors at churches and schools across Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. This is a choral group which has been in existence more than 20 years, and they traded off the conducting responsibilities. I wondered how it is that they can rehearse, since they live so far away from each other.
My sister, Doris Au MacDonald, and her musical partner, Sharon Dennis, also practice long-distance music-making. At one time they lived in the same neighborhood in Fairfax, VA and their kids were on the same soccer team. But then, Sharon’s in-laws passed away and she and her husband moved back to the family home in Culpeper, VA, about 60 miles away. So Doris and Sharon decided to meet in the middle of the two towns, in Gainesville, where they are the parish musicians for an Anglican congregation called Church of the Word. I asked them how often they get together, and they said at least three times a week.
It just goes to show you how music takes a lot of dedication and commitment. By the way, Sharon and Doris will be writing a new Morning Prayer service for the ALCM regional conference next summer in Thousand Oaks, CA. Rumors are that they are also writing a new Evening Prayer service.