Beloved Friends-

I am delighted to share that from Friday June 23 through Friday July 15, I am turning this blog spot over to our Director of Music and the Arts, Chelsie Cree to share a little bit about the growing “soundtrack” and music ministry at Trinity. As we head into these summer months and afford the choir and section leaders a well-deserved time of sabbath, I thought this might be a good time to invite Chelsie into this space to share a little bit about this vibrant ministry. Please welcome our much beloved Chelsie Cree…

May you never forget that you are loved,


Hello Friends,

Click. Ad. One second. Two. Three. No. Next, click. One. Two. Three. Nope. Again. Next. One. Two. Three… Oh? Four. Five. Six. Maybe. 29. 30. It’s okay. Next. One. Two. Three. No. Next, click. One. Two. Three. Nope. Again. Next. One. Two… Yes. 

I take the selection of music very seriously. Now, the look of this serious might surprise someone if they stumbled upon/into the process, as it is not necessarily the serious shown in stereotypes; a furrowed brow, musical style superiority syndrome, and likes their morning coffee black. While I respect this form of serious in its commitment to their sonic pedestal, this type of focus is not the one that I have found most success in. My serious lives in messy desks, lots of colored pencils, lots of notes everywhere with random song titles, and a cup of cream with a shot of coffee, thank you. While messy, my seriousness lies in a relentless dedication to choosing music across many expressions and styles thatliterally stirs my heart and makes me feel. Like Marie Kondo and her process of cleaning, if it doesn’t make me feel something, it’s out. And no work, no matter how traditional, “correct” or contemporary it is, gets a free pass. It must cause a stir in my chest to move through the ranks of approval in our system.  

A wonderful part of Trinity is how high music of all styles is valued, and what may seem disjointed to some is just right for us. Each Sunday, we look to include “a little bit of a lot” on each service, so each person can have something to sing on the way home. And my hope is always the new things you’ve heard have touched your heart as well. This beautiful, wide net we’re looking to cast requires a low, steady hum of constant looking, listening, learning.   

In learning more about our tradition, my eyes are more open to the vast amount of music written for services, and the resources created by those wishing to simplify the process. I have found valuable books written by people looking to categorize and help give suggestions for music that create one idea of musical continuity on a Sunday morning, and that help connect music to our sacred texts for that particular Sunday. For traditional pieces that hug our hearts still to this day, this is fertile ground for exploration. 

And, because we’re Trinity, we’re always looking to expand our palette. 

Sometimes I will go on a listening binge for an evening at the church, and while I might not find anything for the moment, I will find things I can look back on, so when the time comes again to choose, I have a living list, already sifted through.Spotify playlists and YouTube playlists have become some of my favorite online bookmarks for music that stirs, found at unpredictable times…like in long car rides, or grocery stores. 

Another way that music comes in is through the suggestion of others. Kelly, my wife, will send me music that she “thinks she would hear at Trinity,” like this U2 song. Kim Buehler suggested “Take Me To The Alley” by Gregory Porter, which has now become an important piece for our ministry. Music that comes in this way is highly important to me, as it shows me what the people who experience Trinity hear, which is an invaluable perspective. A text or email of a link is always an exciting gift to open. 

As I listen to these works, I am always listening for the message of the lyrics, and about our music groups at Trinity; what their skills are, and how this music would fit into their instruments. Would this music work to showcase our group, and does it sound like Trinity? For example, this piece called “Sing Me To Heaven” is beautiful but doesn’t sound like Trinity. We can achieve a similar style in singing with the influence of a different musical style that sounds more like Trinity in this piece, All of Us from Considering Matthew Shepherd. This piece also does a wonderful job of marrying traditional instrumentation with guitar and traditional vocals that also sounds like Trinity: The Lake Isle by Ola Gijelo. In service music, there are many settings of the mass, and one that sounds like Trinity is called “The Sound of My People” by M. Roger Holland II. And these pieces are a small, small representation of the vast works in the Trinity category. 

I know we’re on the right track by the contents of the choir member’s folders. Like a teacher choosing music for their students, when they open their folders full of music for the semester, each musician should feel challenged and excited by the diverse set of music in front of them. And as we sing through them for the first time, my hope is that their hearts too are moved by the music we sing.

You are loved.


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