First Baptist Church Regina recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Meet Your Musician on May 11-13. This exciting weekend dedicated to exploring and singing choral music was considered by many as the ‘best ever.’
Prolific composer and concert pianist, Joseph Martin from Austin, Texas, returned for his unprecedented 5thvisit to Regina to lead the enriching week-end. Joe inspired participants and congregation alike with his music, Sunday morning message, piano playing, and his sense of humor.
His piano renditions of “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” in both the morning and evening services were exhilarating, inspiring many to leap to their feet spontaneously. The weekend ended with an inspiring Celebration Concert on Sunday, May 13 before an appreciative congregation of over 350 people! MYM 2012 was an overwhelming success.
MYM 2012 represented the 25th year of this highly praised and recognized choral workshop experience. There were over 50 paid registrants, plus the musicians of First Baptist Church Regina, involved in the actual workshop experience. Close to 90 singers were in the Lower Hall on the Friday and Saturday, either renewing old friendships, or making new ones. It was a like old home week for many of the registrants who have faithfully supported MYM over the years. Registrants came from as far away as Vancouver, B.C. and Richmond Hill, Ontario, with the majority of registrants from cities and towns within Saskatchewan.
Major North American publishers and Saskatchewan Choral Federation once again provided resources and support for MYM. Alfred Publishing, Beckenhorst Press, Hal Leonard Hope Publishing, and Shawnee Press, Inc. acted as co-sponsoring publishers. Numerous other publishers acted as contributing publishers. Meet Your Mustician is indebted to these publishers for their remarkable support and encouragement over the past 25 years.
The Celebration Concert on Sunday night opened with the 120 voice Mass Choir’s singing of Joseph Martin’s “O Come Let Us Sing to the Lord”. The sound from the Mass Choir assembled across the front of the church sanctuary, up the two staircases, and across the choir loft was “awe inspiring”. The level of expectation of the congregation continued to build throughout the evening’s presentation. The Mass Choir was composed of 3 guest choirs (Faith Baptist Choir, Grace Mennonite Church, and Sunset United Choir), and the choirs of First Baptist Church.
MYM has a highly recognized reputation in North America, as expressed to those in attendance by both Joseph Martin, and a number of other clinicians and publishers over the years. Publishers request the opportunity to be a part of this unique choral experience. Each year over 10-15 publishers contribute music resources for our music reading packets either on a “complimentary” basis, or “print cost” basis. MYM is most grateful for this valuable contribution.
The benefits of this workshop experience are too numerous to mention. However, with the disappearance of many choir programs in the churches over the past years, MYM is one highlight on the choral landscape that continues to nurture and help sustain those churches and community choirs and their musicians who find solace in the “music making” activity that a choral experience offers.
Joseph Martin’s hymn arrangement of “To God Be the Glory” brought the MYM Celebration Concert to a resounding and inspiring conclusion!
However, it also left both participants and congregation eagerly anticipating MYM 2013 and working with the exciting composer, pianist and guest clinician, Joel Raney from Chicago, Illinois. “The Best Ever” will hopefully only get better!
MYM hopefully exemplifies both Martin Luther’s and J. S. Bach’s expressions, “Second to the Word of God, Music deserves highest Praise” (Martin Luther), and “Deo Gloria” (J.S. Bach).