Christmas Music: Mary Did You Know

Mary Did You Know

The Pender Choir sang an arrangement of this Christmas Carol December 2, 2012 and as part of the 2015 Christmas Cantata.

Mark Lowry wrote the words in 1984 when his pastor asked him to write the program for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. The music was written by Buddy Greene.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will walk again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM

 

Christmas Music: Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells was composed by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (1877-1921) in 1916. Originally titled Shchedryk, this Ukrainian folk song is sometimes called Ukrainian Bell Carol. “Shchedryk” which was associated with the coming New Year, originally celebrated in April.

Leontovych used this tune in 1904 along with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky to create the version that everyone knows today. It gained popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, and was introduced to an even wider audience when it was used in the movie “Home Alone”.

It was first performed in the Ukraine on the night of January 13, 1916, on the Julian calendar this is considered New Year’s Eve. In the United States the song was first performed on October 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall.

This video is from the Christmas special of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, presented at the BYU channel. The orchestra and choir produce a very beautiful sound.

Not the standard version –

The O’Connor Music Studio has several versions of this Christmas Carol available for loan, including this version from the Mannheim Steamroller:

 

Christmas Music: I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

 

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator’s despair, upon hearing Christmas bells, that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men”. The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among mankind.

This version is done by Casting Crowns.  I chose it because the Pender choir sang this on Christmas Eve with past-Associate Pastor Dan Elmore singing the solo…and I fell in love with this version.

As seen on 2008 TBN Christmas special. “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” is available on Casting Crowns’ Christmas album, Peace On Earth.

More traditionally, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s version:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Christmas Cantata Tomorrow!

 

“The Mystery and the Majesty”
Let’s get in the Christmas spirit together this Sunday, December 3rd, at our 8:15, 9:30 or 11:00 am Service.
Our amazing Sanctuary Choir (MrsO sings in it!) and Orchestra will present a Cantata by Joseph M. Martin entitled “The Mystery and the Majesty.”

From jubilant glorias to gentle manger lullabies, this inspirational cantata celebrates the wonder and splendor of Christmas. Traditional carols and newly composed seasonal anthems blend with thoughtful narration to help create a meaningful experience.

At PenderUMC, 5 minutes from the O’Connor Music Studio

12401 Alder Woods Drive
Fairfax, VA 22033

 

Want to Sing Contemporary Christian music?

 

My church, Pender United Methodist (about 7 minutes from the OCMS on route 50), has just announced that they’re forming a new choir for contemporary Christian music.

  • Choir members will be given sheet music and an audio file containing a performance of the song that is part-predominant (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). You will be able to listen to all voices, but your voice part will be louder above the others. Not sure of your voice part? We can perform a voice test to determine your range!
  • We will rehearse with the Common Ground band for the two Wednesday evenings prior to the Sunday worship date. Rehearsals will be Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm and should last no longer than ½ hour.

Learn more about this exciting new opportunity at http://www.penderumc.org/cg-choir

In Memory of Bob Chiralo, OrganMaster

From https://pendernews.org/2013/04/12/bob-chiralo-organmaster/

 

I’ve been thinking a bit about shoes lately, specifically organ shoes. Many people probably don’t know that organists usually use special shoes to help them play the pedals on an organ. When I was learning a new piece, I would play barefoot to help feel where my feet should go but when playing in church I always had my Organmaster shoes on.

The About Us page of the Organmaster website says in part:

Organmaster Shoes began in 1976 when an organist, Carol Carlson, struggled to find shoes that would work for organOrganmaster Shoes began in 1976 when an organist, Carol Carlson, struggled to find shoes that would work for organ pedaling. She knew that many organists, like herself, were playing in bare feet or slippers. Normal dress shoes did not allow the organist to FEELwhat note the foot was touching and were too slippery on the pedals. After years of searching, she finally decided to design the perfect organ shoes and sell them herself!

Her shoes for Toe-Heel Pedal Technique have a FULL HEEL providing solid contact with the pedals and 1 ¼ inches high to avoid injuring a leg muscle.

The shoes are very secure on the foot while playing the pedals. The women’s shoe has an elasticized strap with a buckle and the men’s shoe is a lace-up dress oxford.

However, it is the SUEDE LEATHER SOLES on the bottom of the shoes which make her shoes so special and which her customers rely on to tell what note the foot is touching. The shoes slide over the pedals, but don’t slip off because the suede provides just the right amount of grip allowing the organist to FEEL his or her way across the pedal board. The shoes also play silently on the pedals.

The shoes were an immediate hit producing an overwhelming response by organists. Very soon the shoes were being shipped all over the world. Many organ teachers tell us they require their students to wear our shoes as well.

Organ legend Virgil Fox took organ shoes to the extreme when he studded the heels with diamonds so that they would sparkle as he was playing Bach’s Gigue Fugue, or as he said “…when I dance the gigue.”

Anyway, shortly after Thanksgiving 2010 our church organist, Bob Chiralo AKA “Mr. Bob” to the kids, learned that he had cancer. During his surgery and treatment, his organ shoes sat neatly behind the organ and I would see them every week at choir rehearsal and Sunday services.

His shoes being there always gave me the hope that he might be back to use them soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011, Bob lost his battle with cancer and at choir rehearsal I noticed that his shoes were gone, too. That struck me as so final.

Bob won’t be back with us but I’m sure he’s putting those shoes to good use playing in heaven.

Thanks for all those years of service you provided to our church!

From Bob Chiralo’s online obituary:

 

bob-chiraloRobert Philip Chiralo died on April 12, 2011 of brain cancer. His wife was at his side, as was Father Alexander Drummond, who administered the Sacraments of the Church and a dear family friend, Jeanne Dalaba.

Bob was born on May 8, 1949 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was an honor student throughout his school years there and began studying piano at age 8. At age 16, he was certified by the Lutheran Church to serve as an Organist/Choir Director. He continued his organ studies through his undergraduate years and was a lifetime member of the American Guild of Organists, serving in various capacities in that organization. In his deep devotion as a church musician he continuously served at various churches in Pennsylvania, California and most recently as organist at Pender UMC in Fairfax, Virginia.

He was an active Republican grassroots pro-life volunteer, member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee and spent several years as a tour guide at Manassas Battlefield Park. He was a student of world history, particularly military history.

Bob Chiralo had over thirty-five years of technical, management, and business development experience in intelligence and defense with the Federal Government. This began with his early work at the Aerospace Corporation, continued through his employment at Logicon Geodynamics and Logicon Ultrasystems (both now part of TASC, Inc.), and led to his current position at SRI International. Bob established a professional reputation as a pioneer in the area of Measurement and Signature Intelligence, especially in applying the science of sensors to the growing field of overhead sensing systems support for our national security and intelligence communities. This included extensive involvement in the evaluation of new remote sensing and hyperspectral detection technologies and culminating in his role in helping establish the Spectral Information Technology Applications Center (SITAC) to better formalize the evaluation of various new methods in these arenas. Bob’s expertise also led to one of the more interesting assignments of his professional career, his service as a technical advisor on imagery processing in connection with the House of Representatives 1978 investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bob joined the Washington Office of SRI in 1998 as Intelligence Community Program Development Manager; his responsibilities included support of the company’s business development efforts and Intelligence Community Program Development, including project and program management spanning nearly the entire spectrum of the intelligence and national security communities. He was also quite active professionally. He was a founding member of the Measurement and Signature Intelligence Association, and an officer and past Chairman of the organization, and played a key role in its 2008 reorganization as the Advanced Technical Intelligence Association (ATIA). He was also an active member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the North American Remote Sensing Industries Association (NARSIA) and the National Military Intelligence Association (NMIA). He held a B.A. in Physics from Wittenberg University (1971) and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (1973) in addition to other ongoing professional studies connected to his work.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Monica Dolle Chiralo of Centreville, VA; daughter and son-in-law Monette and Michael Johnstone with grandchildren Melissa Mae and Maxfield Alexander Johnstone of Seattle, WA; parents Anthony Philip and Mary Jane Chiralo of Reading, PA; and brother Joel Anthony Chiralo of Carney, MD.

The Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Clifton, VA on Monday morning, April 18 at 11:30 with burial following in the Garden of the Blessed Mother at Fairfax Memorial Park. A celebration of his life and music ministry will follow at Pender United Methodist Church in Fairfax. In lieu of flowers, it was his desire that donations be made to The Jeanne Bussard Center, 555 South Market St., Frederick, MD 21701. This is a facility which serves mentally and physically handicapped adults. It was dear to his heart.

~~

Addendum:
1) Monica says:

“Bob is, indeed, using them (his shoes) – because he is wearing them, with his black cassock, a rosary in his hands and a Phillies’ hat on his head. Sure hope St. Peter isn’t a Yankees fan!”

2) This interview Virgil Fox shows his shoes even better in the first few minutes.

Addendum 2

From http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?112+ful+HJ5031

Virginia’s Legislative Information System

2011 SPECIAL SESSION I

11200137D
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5031Offered April 25, 2011

Celebrating the life of Robert Philip Chiralo.

———-Patron– Hugo———-Unanimous consent to introduce———-WHEREAS, Robert Philip Chiralo of Centreville, a highly respected professional who played a pioneering role in the development of measurement and signature intelligence, died on April 12, 2011; and

WHEREAS, a native of Pennsylvania, Robert “Bob” Chiralo received a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania; and

WHEREAS, Bob Chiralo enjoyed a successful career that spanned more than three decades and involved technical, management, and business development work in intelligence and defense with the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Bob Chiralo began his distinguished career at the Aerospace Corporation before moving to Logicon Geodynamics and Logicon Ultrasystems (both now part of TASC, Inc.); in 1998 he joined the Washington Office of SRI International; and

WHEREAS, a brilliant innovator, Bob Chiralo recognized the role that the science of sensors could play in the growing field of overhead sensing systems support for the national security and intelligence communities; and

WHEREAS, Bob Chiralo became actively involved in the evaluation of new remote sensing and hyperspectral detection technologies, eventually helping to establish the Spectral Information Technology Applications Center; and

WHEREAS, highly regarded for his technical expertise, Bob Chiralo proudly served his country in a variety of ways, including working as a technical advisor on imagery processing during the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; and

WHEREAS, Bob Chiralo made numerous contributions to his profession through his affiliation with different organizations; he was a founding member of the Measurement and Signature Intelligence Association and played a key role in its 2008 reorganization as the Advanced Technical Intelligence Association; and

WHEREAS, Bob Chiralo was also an active member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, the North American Remote Sensing Industries Association, and the National Military Intelligence Association; and

WHEREAS, Bob Chiralo was a gifted musician who learned to play the organ as a young boy; at the age of 16, he received certification from the Lutheran church as an organist/choir director and continued his organ studies as an undergraduate; and

WHEREAS, a lifetime member of the American Guild of Organists, Bob Chiralo took great pride in serving as a church musician, most recently at Pender United Methodist Church in Fairfax; and

WHEREAS, an active member of the community, Bob Chiralo was a stalwart member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee and spent several years as a tour guide at Manassas National Battlefield Park; and

WHEREAS, a devoted family man, Bob Chiralo will be greatly missed by his wife of 30 years, Monica; daughter, Monette and her family, including two grandchildren; parents, Anthony Philip and Mary Jane; and numerous other family members, friends, and admirers; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of a pioneering leader in the intelligence community and respected community supporter, Robert Philip Chiralo; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Robert Philip Chiralo as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.

~ From another of my blogs, O’Connor Music Studio

Josh Groban: The Science of Music

There’s more to a song than meets the ear, as Neil deGrasse Tyson finds out when he interviews singer/songwriter/producer Josh Groban. Josh shares how he got started playing his family’s electronic Casio piano while he was still in diapers, and whether he was a science geek in school.

In studio, concert pianist and MIT Lecturer in Music, Elaine Kwon, and co-host Chuck Nice add their voices to the chorus to help us hear the science woven into the songs. You’ll learn how artists breathe life into their music, and about the qualitative difference between human generated and automated music.

Explore the importance of the acoustics of a performance space, the effect music has on people, the difference between melody and harmony, the ranges the human voice is capable of, and which was more important, Charlie Parker’s personal style or his sax.

Plus, Neil and Josh discuss “acoustic panty removers”, Chuck admits to singing first soprano in his church choir, and we find out whether Rachmaninoff really had “big hands” and what rubato means.

via The Science of Music with Josh Groban | StarTalk Radio Show by Neil deGrasse Tyson.