Last Sunday I debuted the oboe d'Amore at church on worship team and for communion.
Our team was short an electric bass, an electric guitar, and vocalist because of out of town family commitments. So, the team members included myself on d'amore, Ben on the grand piano, Janet on her bass viol, and Josh on drums. It was more acoustic sounding, except that we were miked.
We got a lot of good complements, and people even clapped several times. The songs were all traditional Christmas hymns with a more contemporary setting. I improvise - that is make up - my parts with an emphasis on sustained tones with some embellishments and a few fancy noodly stuff thrown in. Fun. I also throw in the melody at times.
Everything is recorded, so in awhile, Ben will give me a recording of everything I have played in the last couple of months. Then I will see if it really sounded as good as we all felt it sounded! Reality check.
My daughter said it sounded good - which is high praise coming from her! She's pretty picky. She also noticed that I was having a little trouble with breathing, which no one else noticed. I was. I had to use my asthma inhaler just before we played, and my lungs hurt just a wee bit. While my breathing on the d'amore is much more comfortable than it was a couple of months ago when I started playing her, there is still some discomfort.
So, I'm going to have to finally admit that my asthma is a bigger problem for me than what I want to face up to. Off to the doc. in the new year. I'm so much better than I was even a year ago - actually Sept. of 2013 was the last time I had bronchitis. That is a long stretch for me! Maybe I can make it to be never having bronchitis again, let alone the flu or pneumonia! Music must have healing properties at least to the extent that playing a wind instrument makes a person want to have more air! It motivates me to get the help I need so I can keep blowing for many more years. :-)
My husband and I also did communion music. We played Of the Father's Love Begotten and Thou Who Wast Rich. Thou... uses the French melody Quelle Est Cette Odeur Agréable.
Here's something I wrote about the hymn Thou Who Wast Rich. from last year. When I wrote this blog post last year, I had just returned from Honduras a few weeks before. My pastor friend and his family were really trying to change the church culture in the area where he lived. The prosperity Gospel with its emphasis on giving to wealthy preachers was something he abhored. In fact, in his church, he didn't even talk about tithing! His people were poor, so how could he ask them to give up what they themselves needed to live on? He and his wife were the ones being generous and encouraging true generosity, not giving in order to become rich or to make others rich.
It is something I had been thinking about a lot as well. So, this hymn expresses a lot of what I believe to be who Christ is and then who we are expected to be as followers of Christ - generous and giving, not greedy and taking. I want to live that way, myself. Christmas is a good time to remember Christ's sacrifice and the sacrifices we are to give in His name.
It is one of my favorite Christmas hymns, or maybe one of my favorite hymns of all kinds.