What an awesome and blessed night! Tonight, I sang in the Inspirational Music concert series in Brampton's Gage Park. This series of summer concerts, organized by Lesley Morgan, has been running for several years, but if you stick to Toronto, like I do, you might never hear of this awesome ministry.
Every Tuesday throughout the summer, audiences in Brampton are treated to two hours of free Christian music. The city donates the use of their park and gazebo, and all the artists and organizers volunteer their time as well. People can bring their lawn chairs, get a free Bible or Christian book, and enjoy a variety of musicians from choirs to soloists to bands. Each night features 4 or 5 different performers, so there is really 'something for everyone'. (I hate that phrase, but it really does work here!)
Tonight had a theme of Hymns, which was great for me. I'm trying to get more experience singing with tracks, so I chose 3 tracks and one guitar song. I opened with a Sandi Patty arrangement of "Amazing Grace". Yes, it is done sooo often, but I really wanted a good singalong song to open my set. And it worked - lots of people joined in. Next I did another Sandi Patty arrangement - "It Is Well With My Soul". Not only is it one of my very most favourite hymns, but it's a killer arrangement that gets nice and high at the end. People sang along, which was awesome, but this song also got a great response from the audience. They actually clapped twice for it! (This year on American Idol, David Foster said you know you have a great song when you can get applause in the song as well as at the end. I couldn't help but think of this tonight. It really is such a great song!)
Next I moved on to my guitar song. I spoke about how great it is that we're still singing hymns like "It Is Well", but how it's also important to be writing new hymns for the church. (I got a little applause for this!) I taught everyone the chorus for "I Call Out Your Name", and then sang it on guitar. I did hear some people singing, so that was pretty cool. It might just have been my parents, but still - people were singing :)
I ended my set with Allison Durham Speer's track for "Upon This Rock". It's such a great song and such a great arrangement. And with all those high notes, it's a good one to end on.
Tonight was great and fun and I really enjoyed being a part of it. It was wonderful to meet the audience, and so awesome to meet the other musicians. But here was the coolest part: We were singing the Gospel in public! Not in a church or our living room or in a concert hall. Right out in the open, where everyone could hear us! How often do you get to see that in this politically correct city? What a great opportunity for all of us! I feel so blessed to have been there!