Monday, December 13, 2010

This Is Exactly What I Had Hoped.

Last week, I posted an email from Rev. Jean Norton, the minister of music from the United Church of Christ, thanking me for the "gift" of My Thanksgiving Prayer for their city-wide interfaith Thanksgiving concert. I wrote her back, very pleased that the song had been utilized this way. (I put "gift" in quotes because I didn't know they were using it, that's okay. I said on the free download page that I was offering my music for non-profit use, if the situation was appropriate).

In the note, she mentioned that the idea for the song came from the minister of music at the Unitarian Universalist church.

So, I went looking to find out who this obviously wonderful person was, found their website, and sent a note. This is what I got this morning.

Hi Mr. Schalchlin,
So nice to hear from you! I was so happy when Jean Norton sent you a note to tell you of our performance. 
I am a Roman Catholic and new to working for the UUs since February. As you can imagine, it has been a struggle for me to figure out what they are comfortable singing, theologically. :-) Then I was faced with this Thanksgiving Service, joining with the Congregationalist and Jewish communities, as a newbie, never having attending the joint Thanksgiving service in the past. 
Yikes!
And, the UU budget for music is non-existent, at least for this year. I was desperately seeking free resources. I found you just by searching the internet. At some point I must've searched youtube for "Thanksgiving" or "Thanksgiving Prayer" and found the rehearsal video by the SFGMC. Somehow I found your website. I loved the piece and was sold by the story, too.
Our Thanksgiving service was to focus on youth and support for a new youth drop-in center (theplace2b.org). I had been aware that gay/lesbian issues lead some youth to leave home and need a service like this center offers. The piece was also easy to learn, and had plenty of flexibility for splitting the parts if we had enough voices in a joint choir, or not, if the voices didn't show up.
So, we rehearsed our choirs separately, had 1 joint rehearsal, then another joint rehearsal before the service. We sang the TTBB score as SATB with piano, with the women in the higher octave. Not quite as tight harmonies, but it was still beautiful. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find anyone who made a sound or video recording. :-(

Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece of music!! I hope to send you a donation when our budget allows.
Sincerely,
Sheila Doak
Director of Music
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities
PERFECT! This is exactly what I had hoped would happen when I first began posting these arrangements online, that someone who needed a quick resource, whose budget was strained, but  who was doing something for the community, would take the arrangement, make it fit their situation, and then SING it.

Knowing that, in addition to celebrating thanksgiving, they would also use the song to help benefit a teen center makes me even happier. And happier, still, that they didn't really know me until they went looking!

Now, I've made a couple of new friends, and have seen Peter's and my song used for exactly kind of service we had envisioned.


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For my birthday, also St. Francis of Assisi Day,

here is "Rescue" the song I sang to Erika Amato 's Buddy the dog. Imagine if we loved humans as much as we love our animals...