Warning: Shameless Self-Promotion Alert!
Well, not exactly self-promotion, since I don't disclose my name here in blogland. However, it was pretty exciting this morning to get a FedEx shipment of my "contributor copies" of an anthem I wrote lyrics for. Thirty real retail copies of the anthem, complete with "Words by [Psalmist]," along with demo and accompaniment recordings. Believe it or not, this isn't bragging, it's delight. Other than youth curriculum about ten years ago, this is the first time I've ever been "in print." The text for this simple anthem just flowed one day, shortly after I learned that the choir I was singing in at the time and which had been through a very hard trial by fire, was expecting "our" first baby (a couple who both sang in the choir was expecting for the first time). It was our first completely happy news. I told the couple how wonderful it would be to be their little one's aunties and uncles and we laughed together, because it was a rather large choir. Well, just days later, I had a kind of vision of the reality of how we become family through baptism. And a baptism text just poured out of my spirit and onto the paper. I kind of went, "Huh?" for a while, then tried for all I was worth to get some music going. It did not happen. Over and over. Nada.
So I met that church's music director, who is much-published, for lunch one day a few months later, just before that baby was due and not long after I accepted my current music ministry position at a different church. I had the text with me and told him about it. He looked at it, then looked again. He said he was certain he'd be able to work with it if I was sure I wanted him to. Of course I was! So...a week later I got a call from him, asking if I'd like to see and hear what he came up with. And with only a few minor changes from then till printing, that was it. It was premiered at the baptism of the baby whose "announcement" sparked the whole project, and just a week later we presented it at my church when a couple who had waited a long time to adopt, had their new little daughter baptized.
It's a niche anthem, to be sure. Totally useless for congregations that do not baptize infants and children. Not even all that appropriate for youth and adult baptisms. But both the composer's church and mine love it and here we sing it for each baptism. And now, when the choir returns from their month of vacation, they will be ecstatic (and so will our pianist) because we'll have "real" music to read it from (the composer's manuscript was admittedly difficult to decipher).
ANYway, I suppose this is an invitation to "rejoice with me" over a milestone. I needed to share it with someone...thanks for reading!