Making a joyful noise
It seems as if Jazz Sunday gets bigger and better every year, since its beginning at our church in 2007. But what made this year’s service even more memorable came from the Children’s Story.
The Rev. Ruth Morrison introduced the Children’s Story by quoting from Psalm 100, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands . . .” She told the children that throughout the Jazz Sunday service, the musicians had been “making a joyful noise” and she was sure God was listening.
She then asked drummer Paul Aronson to talk with the children about how he plays the cymbals. One by one he had the children approach his drum set and after handing them his drum sticks, he instructed them to give the cymbals a rap. At first there were only a few tentative taps, but it wasn’t long before the Sanctuary was ringing with the cymbals’ vibrations. It was indeed a joyful noise.
But it wasn’t over. Paul then asked Pastor Ruth if she wanted a turn. She admitted it was “something I’ve always wanted to do” and it wasn’t long before the cymbals rang out from Ruth’s repeated raps with Paul’s sticks. With this being Pastor Ruth’s last Jazz Sunday before her retirement in June, her last cymbal crash was a fitting end — and the congregation applauded.
As for the rest of the morning, Stephen Bither’s collection of talented musicians provided every form of Mardi Gras-style jazz imaginable, playing before, during and after worship on this last Sunday before Lent.
And complementing every blast from Michele Kingston’s trumpet and every strum from Peter Dumphy’s banjo, our choir, led by Faith York, was was in high spirits, as was the organ playing of Gail Parker and Tyler Roddenberger, who helped rock the Sanctuary when the rest of the musicians let loose with “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
In addition to Paul on drums, Peter on banjo and Michelle on trumpet, thank you to Stephen on piano, Tom Wilbur on Sousaphone, Barry Daniels on clarinet, and Peter Lord on saxophone. Jazz Sunday 2017 was as good as it gets.
When the last strains of “When the Saints” began to fade — usually the end of the Jazz Sunday service — Pastor Ruth addressed the musicians and said, “Since this is my last Jazz Sunday, I want an encore.”
And so they did.
Jazz Sunday would not have been complete without a pancake brunch afterward and thanks to Clint Lawrence and his kitchen crew of Judy and Robert Knupp and Mariah Parker, it was all you could eat.
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