My friends: For the next couple weeks, I am delighted to share with you writings from our beloved choir. Each of these stories will share something about them and their relationship with music. Today, please read this letter from Hugh Grefe. <3 Chelsie
My life’s soundtrack always has featured music, some of it better than the rest of course, but always music in the foreground and the background. You likely will hear some jazz or selections from the American Songbook if you join us on our front porch these days.
Mom loved the big band era (who doesn’t feel good with Glenn Miller, Ella Fitzgerald or Duke Ellington playing in the background?) and my father (Rev. Grefe) believed that music—as utterly mysterious as it was to him—represented a prime opportunity to “make a joyful noise” (see Psalm 100), so indeed he did, although never on key.
Inspired by Dylan and Peter, Paul, and Mary (and later, by the root musicians of the Mississippi Delta), I taught myself to play the guitar in the 60s. Fortunately, I had been given trombone lessons when I was in junior high band, so I knew just enough music theory to be dangerous, or at least less intimidated by it. With chord charts and inspiration, I “followed” the music in all sorts of wonderful directions. We were all adding our voices to the soundtrack of the peace movement and the battle for civil rights. This was after all the era of “coffee houses” with open stages and supportive audiences.
Ah, but the real magic happened when the Wittenberg University choir, 100 voices strong, performed Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” at Weaver Chapel. As a member of the bass section, I will always remember the nearly overwhelming sensation of being part of such expansive beauty and of being swept forward by that beautiful, harmonized sound.
In ways both sublime and dramatic, choral music took my solo coffee house voice and made it part of a creation in which the whole far exceeded the sum of the parts!
And so, I happily invite you to consider adding your voice and heart to Trinity’s musical offerings. You will be welcomed by your fellow choir members (who by the way like nothing so much as a good party where singing is part of the festivities) and you too will contribute to Trinity’s joyful and loving soundtrack. –
Hugh Grefe, Trinity Member