The Music Program: “Leading the People’s Song”
Every congregation has a song of its own – a song that reflects its history, defines its present, and expresses its hopes for the future. The challenge for any church music leader is to get to know that song and develop it in order to help the congregation thrive on it – in essence, to lead the people in their song.
OUC‘s song is dynamic – founded in the United Church musical tradition, it is expressive of the ever changing nature of our congregation and strengthened by the variety of our denominational backgrounds. Leading the song of the people of Orleans United Church has been made all the easier and more enjoyable by an incredibly large cadre of volunteers, Scott Richardson’s leadership, and the professional and pastoral support of Glen Stoudt and Molly Bell.
The congregation is OUC’s first, and biggest, choir. We have established a strong tradition of congregational participation not only in familiar hymns, but in new songs and in the singing of prayers and prayer responses.
Due to their size and weekly contribution, the choirs are the most visible part of the music program. Each individual is valued for his or her musical gifts as they are, and encouraged by others around him/her. It has been a great source of pride to see so many people coming out and discovering their own voices – many for the first time!
- The Senior Choir practices with Scott on Thursday evenings at 7:30.
- Junior Choir (ages 5 to 10) is happening after worship. More singers are welcomed. You can find the lyrics and music track for practice.
A variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles add an special energy to many of our services. We now have a praise band to lead musical worship on a regular basis, with guitars, drums, strings, woodwinds and piano (to start!).
Each of our players provides their own touch to the celebration of worship and in leading the “congregational choir”.
We are indeed blessed at OUC by a great number of musicians – singers and instrumentalists – who regularly and confidently share their talents with us as soloists. Their contributions add yet another texture to our worship.
Music composition also thrives at OUC, with our ‘resident’ composer, Dave Eagles, who often creates music for our choirs and keyboards, and who wrote a musical, Love One Another that was performed in May 2004. We have been pleased in the past to have the musical gifts of our diaconal minister until 2000, David Kai, who contributed several arrangements to Voices United and participated in formulating this popular worship resource.
The introduction of liturgical drama has added depth and vibrancy to worship, as seen in the Christmas cantata, White Gift Sunday, and other services. We also mounted an intergenerational musical play, By the Sea, in May 2003.Even though the performers may change, one constant – the message of God’s love for all – does not.