From Ron ...
It’s May 20 as I write this. Christina and I are about to complete a ten-day test trip, offering "hum-along" live music & story events at a half dozen churches in Ontario. Groups of people gathered carefully — fully-masked and carefully distanced in spaces which had been attentively and lovingly cleaned and prepared. Depending on local protocols and practices, some sang, some hummed and some participated by listening and following words with their eyes and hearts. For most of the host churches, it was the first special event featuring live music in over two years.
I was moved by many things: The obvious hunger of people to sing or hum together again. The care taken to compile lists of contact information of those attending. The use of tape and signage to insure appropriate distancing between people. The opened windows to help with the flow of fresh air. The sanitizing of piano keys before and after the events.
I was most profoundly touched, however, by music leaders. Musicians and choir directors have endured a truly challenging time. So many have explored new and sometimes uncomfortable ways of keeping the spirit of music alive using creative means not even dreamed of prior to 2020.
There have been sustained heroic efforts by caregivers, health and safety personnel and educators among many others whose commitment to their craft and calling has been gratefully acknowledged. After being deeply moved in Georgetown, Mono, Bowmanville, Mississauga, Barrie and Oakville this past week, I wish to personally add to that long list of heroic individuals the church musicians who have gone so far beyond what might have been expected of them — or, in many cases, beyond what they themselves might have imagined to be possible.
So, hugs all around (someday when it’s safe) to the directors and players and strummers and singers and hummers who’ve found ways to continue to inspire us in such dark times. I’m very proud to be part of the same family of faith which we refer to as 'church music makers and shakers'!