I grew up in a home where music played constantly, whether it was my mother playing the piano, my father playing his guitar, or classical music on the radio. My parents’ love for music was passed down to both my sister and me, as we learned to play the piano ,the guitar, and various other instruments. Right along with those (I think necessarily) came a joy and love for singing. This skill was cultivated further by my church’s children’s choir program and by the music programs in both elementary and high school. Since then, my love for singing has only grown more due, in no small part, to my involvement with Deo Cantamus.
My “lifetime” involvement is somewhat unique, beginning in 2005 when Al Hawkins announced his plan to start a children’s choir, “Let the Children Praise,” in addition to the adult Deo Cantamus chorale. I remember recording my audition on a cassette tape and being very excited to find out whether or not I made it into the group. Singing in Let the Children Praise was a great opportunity and had a significant impact on my musical development. We sang pieces that were much more technically difficult than anything I had sung previously, the most notable of which was Bach’s Wir eilen mit schwachen doch emsigen Schritten, a piece I still remember to this day. I was fortunate enough to continue singing with the group for about six years which pushed me musically in ways I might not have been otherwise.
After graduating from high school, I was excited to audition for the adult chorale, hoping to sing in the premier of Josh Bauders “Abraham.” Unfortunately, my work schedule did not line up with rehearsals and I was unable to sing that year, much to my disappointment. In God’s sovereign plan, however, I still ended up being able to sing that amazing composition the following year, August 2014, when the group made the official recording, and I have sung with the chorale every year since. I don’t think I could possibly overstate how enjoyable singing in the group has been. I’m not a professional musician, so the opportunity to listen and learn from the insights of other trained musicians has really been incredible for me. Additionally, as you would hear if you asked any other person in the chorale, there is a tight bond within the group that comes from the faith in Christ which we all hold in common. In our musical expression there is a unity of voice that stems from the love for God that pours from our hearts. It is this unique connection that causes me to look forward each season to the opportunity to stand next to fellow believers as we lift our voices in praise and adoration to Him who alone is worthy.