Dancing at the Harvest
By Daniel Thomas, CGS Musician
Last month I used this space to thank our musicians, who provide us with a wealth of time and talent to beautify our worship time with their skill and artistry. I’m going to give them a little extra shout-out today as we have moved into our fall liturgy.
This season we are using liturgical music from “Dancing at the Harvest” by Ray Makeever. Makeever was born in 1943 in Illinois and studied at Luther College and Iowa and Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Divinity. For over forty years Makeever has been composing and publishing music for worship; “Dancing at the Harvest” was published in 1997. He currently lives in Minneapolis.
As a musician, Makeever’s primary instruments are guitar and flute, and you can hear this in his writing, much of which has a pop and folk influence. I wanted to honor those influences as we performed this liturgy, so we have purposely left the piano out of our arrangements this season. Rob, who normally plays bass guitar, has joined Gail on acoustic guitar, and I am playing bass guitar. A lot of the melodic support that I would normally provide on the piano is now being picked up by the sax, clarinet, and viola.
I’d like to think the sound we’re making is closer to Makeever’s original intention, and I’m enjoying the chance to play a different instrument during service. Since we’re doing the hymns in the more “traditional” arrangement (with me on piano), and we’re incorporating the bells in the “Alleluia,” and the choirs are back from summer break, providing music during offering and other times, we now have a wide variety of musical textures throughout our service.
So, I’d like to thank our musicians again for being willing to “play around” with our sound, both on this liturgy, and for all the other ideas I come up with during the year. CGS is lucky to have these artists in our stead, and I hope you enjoy all that they have to offer as we worship together.
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