By Cass DuCharme
Our sanctuary was filled with beautiful music and my heart was filled with pride as the A Cappella Choir from Carson-Newman presented their concert at Highland Hills on Sunday night. Thirty years ago this fall, I arrived on Carson-Newman's campus as a transfer junior. Although I was working on a Business degree, I wanted to be involved in the music program. My sister, Peggy, who was also a student at Carson-Newman, suggested I try out for A Cappella and the rest, as they say, is history.
Dr. Eric Thorson was in his first year as conductor of A Cappella in 1983 and is still leading the group 30 years later. He was a wonderful conductor and mentor to me as I embarked on my church music career. Throughout my junior and senior years at Carson-Newman, being a part of A Cappella solidified the fact that I wanted to be a church musician and choral director.
The choir's signature closer at every concert is Peter Lutkin's arrangement of The Lord Bless You and Keep You. One of A Cappella's traditions is to invite all former members to sing this song with the choir at the end of each concert, and I was fortunate to be a part of that group Sunday night. Although I couldn't quite make it to the end because my emotions got the best of me, I loved being a part of that group again and getting to sing those words of blessing. The text is taken from Numbers 6. "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. Amen."
As we embark on this final week of Lent, I hope that these words resonate in your life. I also hope that you will make plans to be present for our Lenten and Easter services on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The Lord has blessed our church and each of us and I pray for God's continued blessing to be upon us.