Last month, Steve and I flew down south for a week of music, inspiration, good company, good food, and a little R&R at Music & Worship Arts Week held at Lake Junaluska in NC. Music & Worship Arts Week is a time for church music directors, organists/keyboardists, choir members, instrumentalists, and more to bring their families and come together for daily worship, music-making, and inspiration. I haven't been to Music Week in a few years and it was great to be back.
The days began with worship and then everyone split off into morning rehearsals (adult choir, chamber choir, young adult, youth, children, handbells, drama, instrumental, etc.). Having participated in the Adult Choir and in the Chamber Choir in years past, I floated around this year so I could observe a different rehearsal each day. Everyone has a chance to go home for lunch before dividing up once more for afternoon activities: reading sessions, seminars, rehearsals, or a little R&R on the wide porches with rows of rocking chairs overlooking the lake. After a break for dinner, there are concerts and other events in the evening.
There were so many offerings this year it was hard to get to everything! I attended a reading session or seminar in every time slot all week long so I could soak up as much as possible. Reading sessions are a great way to hear new music and learn about emerging composers and we spent our late afternoons/evenings reviewing and sharing everything we had seen and heard during the day. It was wonderful having a piano in the house where we were staying!
Favorite moments of the week? Learning about hymn harmonization in a seminar with Dean McIntyre, observing Mark Miller in rehearsal, learning a few new early childhood music activities, and soaking up this beautiful view every night with wonderful friends.