Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spurred By Song

At this afternoon's opening Holy Eucharist service at the biennial conference of the National Assn. of Episcopal Schools, convened two blocks from the Alamo in sunny San Antonio, we had an energetic celebrant in the Bishop of West Texas, the Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge, and a rousing, moving sermon from the Rev. Paula Lawrence-Wehmiller.

And the music was rocking. Dr. Thomas Lee of the Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio did yeoman service on a borrowed organ, accompanied by Brass FX, another local outfit. After the service, the Come As You Are Worship Band served up some smoldering Tex-Mex praise music right off of a Joe Ely record. As one of the band's vocalists did a flute solo, I noticed the FX trombonist standing nearby with a smile that said, "Can I have a turn?" And that he did.

Most movingly, several anthems were offered by Les Petits Chanteurs, an internationally renowned boy's choir from Port-au-Prince, flown in thanks to the generosity of Episcopal institutions throughout the U.S. (including St. John's Church and School). They sang the national anthem last night at the San Antonio Spurs game (which probably would've been national news if it hadn't been for the sad word about the breakup of Tony and Eva Longoria Parker). Their sweet, high voices melted 700 hearts -- and when they capped it off with "We Are The World," as they do at all their appearances, we were standing, swaying, and beaming. Hearing these kids sing it, I'm not so sure that Jackson-Richie standard shouldn't be in the hymnal!


Emmet Faulk said...

Thanks for the kind words about the CAYA band from St. Mark's. I was the leader of that group. My wife, Renee, was the flute player you referred to. You may be interested to know that the trombone player was the legendary Ron Wilkins. We were incredibly blessed to have him join in the postlude. We would love to have you visit the "Come As You Are" worship service at St. Mark's San Antonio any time!

Fr. John said...

Thanks, Emmet, for the wonderful music as well as your gracious comment. Ron Wilkins -- wow! You were all burning with the Spirit. I looked for CAYA on iTunes. Do you have recordings?

See you on our next visit to San Antonio. Thanksgiving blessings to you, Renee, and your family.