Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Breath of Heaven

Sunday afternoon, we attended "Hope of the World" an incredible concert by Honors Choirs of SE Minnesota. The concert was excellent and all the choirs did exceptionally well.

For me, the keynote was the song Breath of Heaven, made popular by Amy Grant. I have heard Amy sing this song many times with passion and as good as she is, Amy didn't hold a candle to this choir of middle school singers. It was not technical perfection or musical elegance (though these were superb) that made the performance great, but it was an emotional connection between the singers and the hearts of the audience that made the song so powerful.

Nick Johnson, director of the Chorale Choir, asked the singers what strong emotions they had experienced through this song. The emotions elicited by the song and expressed by the singers were very strong. This emotional connection during their performance was reflected in the faces of the singers, and though I could not observe it through my tears, I think the audience as well.

Abby Wilson sang the first verse as a solo and transported our  minds back to Bethlehem and Mary's prayer. It is a song about the fears and burdens of carrying God's son. Abby sang an amazing, beautiful solo that gripped our hearts and minds.

The choir then elaborates on Mary's fatigue, fear, loneliness, and darkness. We are there; we feel it deep in our bones. These middle school singers reach into our soul, and we feel the emotions of a scared and lonely girl. No matter what our age, we are transformed into a fearful and weary teenager again. But the singers don't leave us there, with Mary we are inspired to reach out to the Breath of Heaven for guidance and strength, to offer all that we are to His plan for us.

Thank you Nick, for leading us and your choir in deeper truth. Thank you Abby for helping us connect with Mary in such a powerful way. Thanks to the singers for helping us connect to this song with our emotions.

Well done. I know this is choral music, but Honors Choir rocks!

This reminds me of another performance by this same choir where they received a standing ovation. See my post on April 28 earlier this year entitled "A Standing Ovation".

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