Bringing written music to life

Whether conducting a choir or an orchestra, conductors are all eyes, ears, and hands. From the first bar to the last note, they are in control over the tempo and the dynamics. But they don’t fall from the sky. So how do congregations across the world find their musical leaders.

District Apostle sets the pace

A choral concert in Uruguay on the occasion of the Chief Apostle’s visit at the beginning of April had a special character: the encore was conducted by one of the visiting Apostles. District Apostle Peter Lambert, who served as head of music in the Regional Church of Southern Africa for many years, conducted the last song.

The choir, comprised of choristers from all over Uruguay, performed a total of fifteen pieces during the concert in Montevideo—including some in French. After a standing ovation from an audience of around two hundred, District Apostle Lambert rose to conduct “Es tu promesa, oh Señor” (“Thou gavest once a promise, Lord”) to the delight of the choir and the audience.

Young people take to the podium

Around twenty young musicians met in Eberswalde in Germany at the beginning of January for a conducting workshop with Gerrit Junge, head of the music department of the New Apostolic Church Northern and Eastern Germany. He taught the basics of conducting and choral conducting, which was implemented after a shared pizza lunch.

Musicians launch music programme

The music professionals of the KwaZulu-Natal-Mpumalanga District in South Africa unveiled an ambitious music programme for 2024 during a meeting in the congregation of Pinetown on 11 February. In a move to bolster the talents within the congregation, the launch of the conductor and organ development programme was announced. The afternoon also saw the official launch of concert preparation activities, setting the stage for performances that will not only showcase the talents within the church but also serve as outreach to the wider community. A special segment of the meeting was dedicated to the Sunday School music plan, a testament to the Church’s commitment to nurturing the musical gifts of its younger members. This plan aims to integrate music more deeply into the children’s religious education, making worship a more engaging and joyful experience for them. The day was punctuated by the commencement of registration for the various programmes, followed by an inaugural rehearsal that brought together the choir and orchestra.

Mamas set the tone

Without the mamas, congregational life in Angola would only be half as well organised. The women organise church life outside the church services. District Apostle Rainer Storck celebrated a divine service especially for them during his trip to Angola in mid March, in which he emphasised their function as role models. Many of the women had travelled from far away and spent the weekend in tents on the grounds, where they also cooked together. A special highlight of the weekend was a concert in which five female choirs from different regions performed traditional African music. Each choir had chosen uniform clothing as a distinguishing feature.

Children play the leading role

For weeks, the Sunday School children of the Bellville Apostle Area in South Africa had been learning about the importance of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, and Ascension Day. On 17 March, they passed on what they had learned in their congregations and rehearsals and performed passion plays in the various congregations. The events that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion were brought across to the audience with a lot of passion and belief and emphasised: Jesus died for all and rose again.

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