Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Nashville - Day 7

A million amazing things happened today. I'm going to go in chronological order, so make sure you read til the end.

To start with, I took my songs to Harold Lane - composer and arranger extraordinaire. Ben thought he might like to arrange my songs in 4-part harmony. Well, he didn't. Instead, he gave me a one hour private lesson in writing harmony! It was incredible. I realize there are people who do this every day, but for me, harmony has always been something "other" people figure out. Today, I learned how to do it, and it's like a light-bulb has been turned on in a dark room. I look at the music, and it all makes sense in a new way. I can see how things fit and work together on the page to make those great sounds. Imagine speaking English your whole life, and then one day learning how to read. Lots of new doors would be opened for you. That's how I felt today after my lesson. He's given me lots of homework, and I'm hoping to meet with him again tomorrow.

Then I went to a career workshop. It started a little slow. Mostly stuff I already know. But then he started talking about song choice and how to book gigs at churches, and that was great. I got his book, and I'll probably attend another workshop on Thursday.

This afternoon, we recorded our cd! It's all convention songs that are in our school songbook, edited by Harold Lane - a.k.a. my new harmony teacher! It went really well. Most songs were done in one take, and we even had time to record a few extra songs. We recorded in our rehearsal hall, sitting in the round in our SATB parts. There were 5 mics on tall poles, and they used, what looked like, a Mac program. The cd will be available for us by the end of the week.

Tonight, our group singing was again led by Mike Speck. He was on fire tonight! {The man is brilliant, but, oh my, is he crazy!} He gave us lots of great thoughts for leading worship as a choir. His best statement was that the choir should be a thermostat and not a thermometer. A thermometer tells you what the temperature is, but a thermostat can turn up the heat. A choir must raise the "heat" in the worship. We must not simply reflect the energy of the congregation. We must strive to increase the worship experience of the congregation. Just great stuff. Oh, and he's given me the name of Miss Canada. Where's my tiara when I need it?

Tonight's concert was by the extraordinary Anthony Burger. He's a pianist, and the most high-profile, non-Speer performer we've had. He's all energy, and he just burns up the keys. He is accompanied by orchestral tracks of his own arrangements. His signature thing is taking well known classical works, like the William Tell overture, and mixing in a hymn-tune. He's such a showman too. At one point, a cloud of steam exploded from the piano.

But the highlight of the day will undoubtedly go down as one of the highlights of my life. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, I met Bill Gaither. William J. Gaither. Husband of Gloria Gaither. Writer of "Because He Lives", "There's Something About That Name", and "He Touched Me". Founder and producer of the Homecoming video and concert series. Can you tell I'm a fan? Bill Gaither is so much of what I aspire to be: singer, songwriter, and producer. Yesterday, we were told he probably wouldn't be coming. Thank GOD I brought my camera tonight! I went speechless when he walked into the room. He introduced himself and opened the floor to questions. I asked three.

1. Do you ever find time to simply attend a church service? - Yes, I'm in church every Sunday.

2. Do you still find time to write when you're traveling so much? - Not really; not as much as I should.

3. What makes you chose a location for a video taping like we'll have in Toronto this fall? - Well, we wanted to do a large auditorium taping cause we haven't done that before; we're hoping to have 15000 people in Toronto, which will probably be the largest live taping of a gospel concert; and there's always such a great energy up there in Toronto.

Yes, I shot my hand up three times. He then introduced Anthony and stayed for the concert. Oh, and Ruff Taft came to see the show too. After the show, Mr. Gaither {I just couldn't call him "Bill"} did photos and autographs. You KNOW I got my photo with him. And I told him what an inspiration he is to me. And then, I did that shameless thing that Gerald loves me for - I gave him my cd! I told him I'd like him to have it, not as a pitch, but simply as a thank you for all he's done. I don't know if he heard me, cause he was mobbed. But he took it! Bill Gaither has MY cd!!! I nearly cried tonight. I'm just so excited and honoured to have met him.

Some people have met Elvis or presidents. I have met Bill Gaither. If I had done nothing else this week but meet him, it would have been an amazing week. If I had attended this school and never met Bill Gaither, it would be an amazing week.

Now that both have happened in the same week ... I just don't have the words to describe it.

No comments: