January 07, 2009

For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth

If this doesn't bring tears of joy to your eyes....


  1. My eldest is a big fan of the Christian kids' radio show _The Pond_. (She's sorry they've apparently stopped making new radio episodes for the indefinite future.) In one episode the other pond animals go to church with Methuselah, the alligator. He's an alligator, so he's green, but the people (animals?) at his church sing more or less like these guys. I told my daughter, "Hey, come over here. Now you get to hear what it sounds like when they do Handel at Methuselah's church!"

    That was great.

  2. I liked this adaptation! It makes you pay attention to the words again, for one thing.

    Although, come to think of it, no matter how many times I sing the "hallelujah chorus" the words seem to always stand out and remain fresh.

  3. I agree, Lynn, that the Hallelujah Chorus always seems fresh and always has a strong impact.

    It reminds me of when I was a sophomore in college (Mary and I were in the same class) and we performed Handel's Messiah in the gymnasium (which, by the way, had incredible acoustics).

    At the end of the Hallelujah Chorus the college president jumped up out of his seat with gusto, threw his hand in the air and yelped. I mean, he YELPED! There were tears in his eyes. And he asked us to sing it again.

    What a wonderful piece of music.

  4. Oh - and Lydia would have been in that performance as well. Am I right about that, Lydia?

  5. You know Rich, though he is much slower, Dr. Mark is still as excitable as ever. Every once in awhile he fills pulpit for Stephen. He and his wife are still getting around, and she's just as pretty as ever. It's a really neat thing to be attending the same church as them, never thought that would happen!!

    I played for the Messiah, Rich -- and for a few other oratorios. I never did like sitting in the orchestra under Mr. Wilkes. He did NOT have a good center point for his downbeat. He was great at conducting a choir, but he was harder than ever to follow for a steady beat. We had a few run ins about that. To this day I am fussy about conductors....

    Lydia didn't come until my Jr or Sr. year, right? Did you know we were roommates, Rich? Lydia was a FUN roommate. We loved to cover a subject for hours and sometimes we ended up agreeing to disagree, but it never ruined our friendship!

  6. Talking about those college days makes me miss Gil Haglin tremendously. I think he will always be my image of the perfect choir director. I loved singing under his direction.

  7. First, in case I wasn't clear, I loved this performance in the video. It was wonderful.

    Rich, I think the yelp for the Messiah was before my time. I think you were a senior when I came--I came fall of '82.

    Did you guys know my brother-in-law David (Tim's brother) teaches music at BBC now? Just a trivia bit I thought I'd throw in there. He has his MA in composition from Ithaca.

    I miss Mr. Haglin, too. When I heard he'd passed away a couple of years ago it really brought it all back. The way he was so sparing of compliments, and that made you want to please him all the more.

    While I'm writing something totally disorganized, I don't know if any of you were or are readers of _First Things_, but Richard John Neuhaus passed away this morning. His cancer came back this fall, I think it was, and he went back into the hospital the day after Christmas.

  8. Lydia - I couldn't remember which year you had come to BBC. I'm sorry you missed the 50th anniversary year. It was a great year in many ways - not just the Messiah, although that was one of the highlights for me.

    I have never heard of the kids radio show you mentioned. We don't do much radio in my house. My son doesn't have the patience to sit still for anything - radio, television, video games, books - it's all much too sedentary for him. Although he does love for me to read to him when he goes to bed, but we still have to keep encouraging him to lay still and not do flips or jumping-jacks on the bed while I'm reading.


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