Singing to the glory of God
Whether young or old, many people love to make music. Music brings people together and it can create peace. The language of music is an international one and is understood across the world.
Two benefit concerts in Germany
Yellow and blue were the dominant colours of the 230-member youth choir that performed in Hanau in Germany on the Saturday before Pentecost. The Youth Celebration Choir, established in 2018, gave a benefit concert for Ukrainians fleeing the war.
It was the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that the young people were able to once again come together for a three-day choir workshop. The programme at the concert included a song by the Ukrainian-Russian composer Dmitry Bortniansky—which is a prayer for peace—and some lively sacred compositions from European, African, and American composers. The audience rewarded the choir with standing ovations and a large donation, which was given to a local organisation that has committed itself to helping Ukrainian war refugees.
Funds collected at a benefit concert a week later by an ensemble called Youth Orchestra & Friends were also used to help people in Ukraine and Africa in need of help.
The instrumentalists of this young ensemble had also come together for a three-day rehearsal weekend. The concert delighted the audience in the hall and the people watching a live stream on YouTube. The timpanist acted as MC and led the audience through the concert, which included classical works as well as modern compositions by Siggi Hänger and Julia Maier. The programme also included the soundtracks to some popular movies. A member of the orchestra, who happened to be in Mali on a business trip, sent a video message which the audience was able to see. He described the conditions in Mali and called for donations. The QR-Code for the donations was posted several times on YouTube, and in the end a generous sum was raised.
Children’s choirs sing to the glory of God
On 25 June 2022, some 60 children from the Kuils River district attended a Sunday School district choir practice at Highbury Congregation. Although they were on their school holidays, they did not mind at all to come together and praise and worship God.
Music across the church fence
More than 60 churches in and around the city of Berlin in Germany opened their doors to the public as part of a cultural festival called Night of the Churches. Various denominations open their doors to the public and invite people in to listen to musical performances, readings, or vigils and thereby display their diversity. The New Apostolic Church Greifswald also opened its doors. The members had organised refreshments and a concert. The choir was comprised of members from a music project called Ecumenical Christian Choir. Members of the Evangelical Christian Church, the New Apostolic Church, the Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Free Church, and the Catholic Church combined to form the ensemble. They sang three pieces and then an organist treated the delighted audience to two organ pieces by Felix Mendelssohn.
Music is hard work
For music to inspire and move an audience, a choir or an orchestra has to work hard. Not only does the conductor need a lot of musical knowledge, but he or she also has to be a confident and committed leader. To encourage conductors in this, the music leaders in the area of Apostle Nene in South Africa came together for a workshop at the Buffalo Flats congregation in East London. The session was arranged by the Apostle Area music leader, Deacon R. Groep. Apostle Nene opened the workshop with a prayer and some words of encouragement. The workshop included discussions regarding the music structures. Responsibilities were highlighted, and choir and orchestra development plans were set out and communicated.