Westminster Choir in Richmond

Stunned, Inspired, Refreshed, Renewed, Excited, Intimidated, Overwhelmed, Humbled...

On a cold, rainy Friday night here in Richmond, the exquisite Westminster choir demonstrated a level of choral excellence and musicianship that is rarely heard in our local churches and schools. These young musicians, after 11 hours on a bus, engulfed the dinner provided for them in a short time, and then proceeded to amaze and inspire the crowd of ~500 attendees. Their presentation of Raua needmine "Curse upon iron" by Estonian composer Veljo Tormis presented the primal essence of man, in war, as we hurl our iron upon the world. Its energy evoked deep emotions in my soul and the use of vocal symphonic effect was most effective. A WWII veteran spoke to me during the first intermission, after the first round of standing ovations, and said that he had never seen or heard a piece of music present such a profound example of the urgency, terror and confusion of a battlefield. Closing their concert with John the Revelator by Paul Caldwell, the energy in the sanctuary was overwhelming and humbling at the same time. They are indeed at a special place, and they are blessed by their experiences. They blessed us by sharing that passion and discipline so expertly.

Our world is in desperate need of the excellence demonstrated by these musicians. Our art can make a difference. The quote below, written by Dr. Charles Hulin IV was presented as part of the opening remarks:

The Artists’ Perspective
Artists are interested in expressing the human condition. They are interested in all of life. As an art form, classical music explores every facet of the human condition: pain, passions, conflict, disappointments, as well as love, joy, peace, self-control, and much more. As music gives a broad picture of human experience, it provides a tremendous gift to the church. It shows something of the need for God in daily life outside the church’s walls. It also speaks of the presence of God wherever we find ourselves.


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