My Word of the Year has been “Worship,” as you may recall. I’ve certainly been learning to worship God in any and every situation, not only at church services, and not only when things are going well.
Today’s quote says it all — these lyrics of a song by Danny Oertli, a dear Compassion friend. He certainly learned to worship God through his tears when his first wife died of cancer. His music has always been a huge encouragement to me. This is truly what worship is all about — trusting God in all situations; knowing He’s still on the throne, and certain that He can be trusted fully. This is why we worship Him.
While in Nairobi we also got to meet some young men that Chris knew from a previous trip. Patrick and Freddie are members of a Christian band called “BMF” — or “Be My Faithful.” They are very well known in Kenya, and other places, and we were privileged to have dinner with them. This is Freddie on the left and Patrick on the right.
Our dinner was delicious:
We heard some of their stories and asked a lot of questions about various ministries. Patrick works with a ministry called “Dusty Feet,” which is working to rescue children from slave labor (check out their website here!. These guys have a heart of gold, and it was a pleasure to meet them!
People ask me what I’m planning to do, now that I’m retired from BHS as the accompanist. Well, I won’t be playing 200 pieces of music per year, but I’ll still be involved in some way. I’ve been studying jazz at Sheridan College and hope to continue playing with the ensembles there. I also hope to play with jazz combos here in Buffalo, and will certainly be playing for worship services from time to time. As I said earlier, I can sit at the piano and play only for myself and the Lord for hours at a time. The piano won’t be completely silent, and hopefully someone better than me will be playing this one.
I’ve always been interested in jazz music. Years ago, on a cruise with my parents and husband, I was practicing in a lounge during the day and didn’t realize one of the members of the professional jazz band was listening. He asked me to join their set that evening and I did. We had a blast.
Here are some recent pics of moments with local jazz musicians.
I even ended up in the news with the Sheridan College Jazz Band. Let’s keep this going, friends!
In all the years that I did travel with the Balladiers, we performed on various stages and nearly always received a “I” rating. In fact, I don’t know that we ever got below a “I.” They were always outstanding, and looked great on stage, going clear back to some of the best groups we had under the direction of Jeff Young. We performed some very difficult music through the years, but they were always up for the challenge. In the final two photos you’ll see one of the highlights during the years that the Rose brothers directed the groups — performing with M-Pact here at our own auditorium. They also performed with the New York Voices in a Master Class at a jazz festival. Another great opportunity was having a piece composed for our group by Kerry Marsh — “Centerpiece.” Those were the highlights, and here are just a few photos through the years:
I must say that it was always fun hanging out with the kids from the BHS music department. I particularly enjoyed traveling with the Balladiers and jazz band to various jazz festivals. It was deeply disappointing not being able to travel with them the last few years of my employment, because they performed without piano accompaniment. To this day, nearly all these kids still come to share a big hug when I see them.
I have a few photos to share from some of the more recent BHS musicals. Again, my thanks go to whoever shared these photos with me. One of the disadvantages of being consumed with the music from the piano bench is not being able to watch the show. Again, we had really great performers and directors for all these productions.
Guys and Dolls
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Kudos to all the pit band members that worked with me though the years — it was a lot of fun!