Heart of an artist

The exceptional Annie Moses Band came to Richmond Va yesterday in a feature "day" of worship and concerts at Huguenot Road Baptist Church.  I had heard of these Juilliard trained musicians, and was excited for their formal concert, but astounded by what I observed after the concert.  At HRBC, we are hosting CARITAS this week and the Annie Moses Band unplugged, came over to the the gym after an unbelievably long day and shared another mini concert and testimony with some ladies who are struggling.

Annie, the centerpiece of this band has many, many musical talents to be sure, but watching her interact with the small audience of homeless women and a few supporting HRBC families in the poorly lit, horrible acoustic of the HRBC gym was a wonder.
Just as she had in the big concert, she opened her very heart and soul and shared musical moments with everything that she had.. It was inspirational, powerful.. and for me it represented the fulfillment of a dream for music ministry.  She spoke eloquently about her faith, inclusively, lovingly.. not judging but encouraging all in attendance. The execution of the music was authentic, bridging classical execution and excellence with fiddling, jazz, bluegrass, and songs about "daddy and momma"... the stories intertwined to connect the music, the musicians, the moments and memories... and in doing so, they created all new memories for those of us watching.

As I sat beside my friend Fontella, a multiyear attendee of the CARITAS program, I was honored to see music so expertly applied in the service of ministry. I was glad that she got to hear and experience it along with me.  I was honored to hear and see such splendor offered up as service to God.

I disagreed with one point ;-)  

Annie said that the greatest metric of success for performing musicians was in inspiring the audience to want to dance and move to the music. She had a wonderful group of young girls dancing during their playing.. including my daughter.   I believe that greatest metric is instead found in inspiring the audience to desperately want to sing, and raise their hearts in song... Luckily, we have no need to decide who is right on this one.. The Annie Moses Band accomplished both in stunning fashion as I found myself only wanting to sing with them.

They are artists, performers, entertainers, nice people, and most of all.. they are ministers of music... sharing God's power and spirit from their hearts, and hands..  Thanks be to God! 

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