By Daniel Thomas, CGS Musician
Fall is fast approaching, along with all of the renewed activity it brings at home, school, and work. We’re also ramping the music back up for the fall - beginning a new liturgy, and welcoming back all of our instrumentalists from “summer break.” We’ve got some exciting things lined up that will blend familiar and well-loved music with some new twists - so be sure to keep your ears open! For now, though, I want to take advantage of my space this month to acknowledge our musicians and everything they contribute to our worship service.
Ronny Johnston is our drummer and percussionist, and is one of the most easy-going and talented musicians I have had the pleasure of working with. He is always ready to provide whatever texture is needed to fill out the music, rolls with any changes or additions that come up last-minute, and can take a piano part and find an effective and musical percussion part from it. We are lucky to have such an accommodating, reliable, and gifted musician working with us.
The rest of our musicians are volunteers and give freely of their time and talents to create a beautiful musical foundation to our worship. Our “rhythm section” is filled out by Gail Johnson on guitar and Rob Colver on bass. They have both been playing since long before I started here, and while their playing may not be as immediately noticeable as drums or wind instruments, they fill out our sound with their solid accompaniment. I’d also like to acknowledge Jean Hope, who had been playing with us for many years (and hopefully will be returning to us soon!) and Lynne Hunger, who joined us last year.
We are truly blessed and fortunate to have Chuck Witschorik on tenor sax, Kevin Visscher on clarinet, and Rachel Visscher on viola. This somewhat non-traditional combination of instruments work beautifully together, and allow me to have a great amount of flexibility in arranging our music. I can have some instruments supporting the congregation's melody while others are playing supporting lines or descants; I can have all three playing together to provide a beautiful chordal texture; or any of them are capable and willing to take solo lines. They are accommodating beyond reasonable expectations and willing to try anything - including playing the handbells. None of them had any experience on handbells prior to CGS purchasing them in late 2017, but they jumped in without hesitation and have given us some beautiful handbell music over the last two years (and there’s going to be more!). Of course, I also want to thank my wife Rebecca, who is a handbell veteran and has lent her talents to our group on many occasions.
The collective talent and dedication of this group gives us musical possibilities that far eclipse most congregations of our size. I am tremendously grateful and humbled for their hard work and commitment to making music a vital part of our community, and thank them all from the bottom of my heart. I hope that when you see them you can take a moment to give them your thanks as well.
"And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him.” -2 Kings 3:15
Christ the Good Shepherd
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