Greetings from the Benches (Piano and Organ That Is)!

Greetings from the Benches (Piano and Organ That Is)!

It’s nearing summer and do you know what that means to the music ministry to Old First?

It means a lot! It means we need to you to share all that hidden music talent you all possess in worship services.

Our choir is on vacation for the summer after June 14th which is Choir Sunday, the day to thank and praise the group of volunteers who helped us make a joyful noise throughout the seasons of Advent Christmas, Lent and Easter and the beginning of Pentecost. Their commitment is selfless and at times challenging.

It is challenging in the sense that life is complicated at times, and it is not always without bumps. These bumps often interfere with scheduling commitments. These bumps sometimes are like Philly’s potholes, you don’t see them till it’s too late and you may get a flat or a least have to drive around them. Despite the road conditions in life’s journey, we sometimes just can’t get to our destination as we would like or perhaps we might be even a little late. Not all of the members of the choir at Old First have ATVs but they always somehow manage to come together and inspire each other to make a glorious noise despite what section may be lacking in numbers. I even have a few in the choir I can count on to switch voice parts and sing higher or lower than they normally do. We’re blessed to have such flexible, committed members.

While the choir is on vacation, it is Old First’s tradition to have Special Summer Music in all of our services throughout the summer. This tradition preceded me, and I would like to continue it in the spirit of OF’s all-inclusive attitude towards the music ministry. I am encouraging ALL of YOU to step into the limelight as soloist, or if you’re a wee bit shy, participate in a small ensemble that I will help you organize, so that the congregation may grow together sharing together the gifts God gave you.

As part of your preparation for a service, we will schedule rehearsals together as needed, and I look forward to coaching you and helping you reach you optimum potential performance and confidence level.

So you say….. “oh, my I get too nervous…..I can’t do that, I get easily embarrassed…” etc etc… well the good news is…… it’s okay. Everyone gets nervous! Yes, Everyone. The bad news is….it’s not an excuse!

Being nervous before and during a performance is normal. Not that we Old Firsters pride ourselves on being normal, but I think you get the idea…

I used to get really, really nervous. Once while I was playing a concert here in Philly, the famous pianist Van Cliburn was the keynote speaker at the performance; I thought I was going to die. Well I didn’t, obviously. Afterwards, after a very grace filled conversation with him, I got up enough nerve to ask him about nerves. He said something very close to this….

“If you don’t get at least a little nervous before a performance, you really, really, really should worry…because it means that your heart is not in it.”

Please talk to me after worship services and put your heart in it with me this summer!

-Louis Menendez                                                                                                                           Old First Music Director