It Is Finished: Behind The Scenes
of Good Friday
On Good Friday, the music ministry team presented It Is Finished: A Tenebrae Service by Mary McDonald. Creating and pulling together special music in a pandemic has been no easy task over the past year. As Director of Traditional Music, I have had to learn many new ways to put music together in a safe and professional way. I am thankful for the team that I have around me to help lead and guide me. The ensemble that I created pulled together members from our Chancel Choir, The Praise Team and musicians from other connections to Christ UMC. (Many of these same musicians were also used for Elaine Jackson’s commissioned anthem, It Is Well With My Soul.)
Sabrina Miller, Christ UMC accompanist, played and recorded all the accompaniment. Additionally, she recorded all the individual vocal parts that were made digital and were then sent to Justin Johnson. Justin and I then went through the music measure by measure to ensure that tempos and dynamics were the correct sound and blend. Because of the small window for learning the pieces, finding ways to rehearse and securing a recording timeline became no small feat. I invited 10 individuals that I knew to have strong voices and strong site reading skills. Each person was asked to learn their individual parts mostly on their own. We used the Sanctuary on a couple of Thursday nights to spread everyone out and while masked, learn and secure their parts. Kaylee Osborn recorded the Soprano and Alto parts, and I recorded the Tenor and Bass parts so that our singers would have a starting point to hear and learn their parts more securely. This would become the foundation for our recordings and eventually their voices would be added to the vocal narrative.
Over 4 hours on a Friday night and 4 hours on a Saturday morning we recorded each member’s individual part. Standing in front of a microphone and securing a set of headphones, each one recorded their voices with master audio tech Justin. Presten was present to coach, tweak and encourage each singer in providing their best effort. These recordings were then mixed lovingly and professionally together.
Justin spent many hours combining all the recordings, mixing and editing to create our best performance. We then shared these with Brandon Travis our master visual tech to upload and do his magic. He pulled this all together to make this available to our congregation via YouTube. For this production we used 5 different slides that invoked and recalled the moment of the piece of music. Pastor Mike Costanzo and Pastor Sarah Wimberley along with Presten Fry spoke the narration throughout the Tenebrae Service.
All of this was put together to remember and honor our Good Friday traditions and share a musical tribute. We hope that you enjoyed and felt ministered too through our production of It Is Finished: A Tenebrae Service.
It Is Finished: A Tenebrae Service by Mary McDonald
Performed by a Special Ensemble
Good Friday, April 2, 2021 – Christ United Methodist Church
What Wondrous Love
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
I Am Light, I Am Life, I Am Love
As You Will, It Will Be
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Let Him Be Crucified
It Is Finished with Were You There
Jordann Mathis Presten Fry
Kaylee Osborn Andy Wimberley
Regina Cooper Doug Cooper
Bettie Jean Evans Chuck Foudree
Colleen Foudree Larry Voth
Narrators Audio Technician
Pastor Mike Costanzo Justin Johnson
Pastor Sarah Wimberley
Director of Traditional Music Video Technician
Presten Fry Brandon Travis