Monday, March 30, 2009

Silence on the Hill

Gerald and I just finished our rehearsal in preparation for tomorrow's rehearsal with Teri. Gerald is going to play "Just a Closer Walk" and "Give Me Jesus" on my new CD, so tomorrow will be a chance to share those arrangements with Teri, and see how her piano skills might fit in on those songs.

I got an upsetting email today: Music on the Hill has been cancelled. This spring will be our last season. Music on the Hill was a lunchtime concert series held at my former home church in Toronto. We started it about 8 years ago as an outreach project. My role was Artistic Director. I found, hired, and coordinated the talent, and I even kept doing the job long distance from here in Nashville. We hosted 6 concerts in the spring and 6 in the fall, and they featured a wide range of music - everything from classical to opera to jazz to world music. We had some amazing performers, and received lots of support from the arts community and the local government.

One of the things that excited me over the years was our growing audience. I remember one first season show that, due to unexpected timing, ended up being held on election day. We had less than 20 people in the audience, and I was crushed. As Dad left the show, he slipped me a note that said, "Don't worry. It will grow." Apparently, over the last year, they've been averaging a hundred people a show - a terrific number for this kind concert. I loved Music on the Hill for many reasons, but the outreach was very important to me. Many of our audience members, and even many of our performers, would never step into a church, but our concerts gave them a reason to walk through the doors and sit in the sanctuary. Who knows how God used that moment over the years?

I don't know the exact reasons why the series has been cancelled. I've been told it has to do with funding at the church. When I got the email today, my heart sank. I'm just so sad to see this happen. But I'm also really proud of the work we did. We gave opportunities to many artists, and welcomed thousands of people through the doors of our church.

And here's the real grace for today: I had my friend Deanna booked to sing in this spring's series. When she announced her wedding date for June, she told me she would also have to cancel her concert. Since Gerald and I will be in town for the wedding, we decided to take her spot. God clearly knew what was coming, because Gerald and I will now sing this June, in the last series of Music on the Hill.

Please join us if you're in the area:

Allison & Gerald will perform a concert of
original and classic Gospel and Country songs.
St. John's York Mills Church
19 Don Ridge Dr.
North York, ON
Pay-What-You-Can Admission


tarajackson said...

I'm sorry to hear about that girl. :( But yes, God knew what He was doing to grant you that spot. I'm sure it will be wonderful!! And who knows? If the community learns that the series is in danger, support might start pouring out! Will be praying for you! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

I did not know that - I did not recieve the email so sorry to hear that.. I know it touched a lot of people!!