At present we have 26 members in the choir, all committed singers and musicians who week by week support the music of our services. Our newest recruits during 2014 were Caitlyn and Gill Amos. Caitlyn having joined us several weeks ahead of her mum!
There have been many happy times during the last year. Here’s just few of the highlights,
- Advent, happily at last, the organ was available from the third Sunday in Advent on completion of the Phase 1 Tower works
- Christmas, with friends from other churches singing with us (see slide show above from Christmas 2014 practice and event)
- The introduction of our new hymnbook “Hymns Ancient & Modern”
- Palm Sunday, where Alan Murray with tremendous feeling and musician ship produced and directed a meditation entitled “Will you come and hear the story” with songs and readings that told the story of Holy Week.
- Easter Day (with early morning breakfast after the dawn service on Broomhill.)
- Remembrance Sunday at St James and “Lest we forget” at Sacred Heart.
I certainly feel that in 2014 we carried on the great tradition of music at St James and continued our outreach in Penicuik when we’re joined by singers from other churches throughout the year. We love to welcome them and we thank them all for the enthusiastic involvement in music making at St James.
Looking ahead to 2015 there will be many opportunities to continue to make music, however I share concerns with others in that we are not getting any younger – the average age of our church family is rising and occasionally only “two or three are gathered together” .
Musicians and choir members are often at the sharp end of our worship. We will never know what seeds we plant with our music in worship, we can only continue to offer music that God uses to his glory. If you are interested in singing then the New Year is a great time to start. Please remember that there is always an open invitation to come and sing with us. There are no auditions …..and no immediate solo parts. Come and join us?
This year marked my fifth anniversary as Choirmaster and I am grateful for the team effort that supports our music making. My thanks to organists Jean and Jennifer, the musicians in the band and to Alison and Alan for all that they contribute to music at St James. To every member of the choir for their enthusiasm and commitment, thank you.
I had a look back at my first report to the AGM in 2009 and the statement then is so relevant today “Each week as hymns are selected I send an e-mail around before the Thursday practice. I often muse about how wonderful it would be if these folks could all be together, in the same place, at the same time, on a regular basis” – but hey, that’s life, – that’s St James in 2014.