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Music Director's Monthly Newsletter Message

February 2009 - Music Notes

Music Notes by Jessica Baier

The Chancel Choir and the Handbell Choir at Bower Hill are back in the swing of things as we rehearse weekly to prepare music for Worship.  The Handbell Choir is not only preparing music for BHCC’s Worship services, but also rehearsing to perform in the North Hills Handbell Festival, which will take place on April 25, 2009.

Both ensembles at Bower Hill are also preparing to provide music for the Lenten Season, which starts at the end of February with Ash Wednesday.

The Chancel Choir’s anthem for Ash Wednesday is based on Psalm 51:10-13: 


Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right spirit within me. 

Do not cast me away from your presence,

and do not take your holy spirit from me. 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will return to you.


In his book, Rehearsing the Soul (Devotions for the Church Choir), Terry York states that we are constantly rehearsing our souls because our words and actions reflect our hearts.  There is another level of commitment related to the involvement of being in a church-related ensemble, and that is the musician/Creator issue. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” 

The psalmist’s prayer should be our prayer each time we gather.  There isn’t much in the world that helps us prepare for rehearsal.  In fact, the world probably thinks our church involvement is a colossal waste of time and energy.  We wade through that kind of environment every week to make our way back to this place, this task, this time of spiritual refreshing through music (York).

The clean heart goes with us and is capable of constant renewal and strengthening.  The right spirit that goes along with it can cut through the pressure that the world stacks up in the time and path between leaving and returning to church. Throughout this Lenten season, I pray that we find God’s message to clean our hearts and renew our spirits.