Music is a huge part of worship at Oldtown. Whether it’s traditional hymns sung by our Oldtown Choir, more contemporary music from our talented guitarists, percussionists, and vocalists, the sounds of our talented chime choir ringing out in the sanctuary, or our beautiful concert piano and our historic tracker organ, worship at Oldtown has had a joyous and beautiful soundtrack for many, many years.
We try to balance the music we provide, blending a good mix of traditional hymns, beloved gospel and country Christian favorites, and the beats of more contemporary Christian music as can be heard on today’s hottest Christian radio. We are blessed with many talented musicians and vocalists willing to share their gifts with us as we do as King David commanded the chiefs of the Levites, and appoint our kindred “as the singers to play on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise loud sounds of joy.” (1 Chronicles 15:16, NRSV)
2020 presented a unique challenge for the music ministry, as we have been unable to safely gather together for worship. Early on, we obtained additional licensing to allow us to include copyrighted music in our online worship videos. Though there are limits to the songs we can post online, our licenses cover most of the contemporary music we enjoy in worship and all songs in several of the hymnals we use, including the Chalice Hymnal.
Since we began our online worship, our talented musicians have been recording performances of songs from their homes and elsewhere to include in our worship videos. We have all become familiar with the challenges of trying to record good audio and video quality from phones and other devices, recording in low light or outdoors in the wind, and just how hard it can be to “get it right” in one take. I thank all of the performers who have contributed music for our worship services and encourage anyone interested in helping out to let us know.
As some of you may know, when we worshiped in the sanctuary, we would make an audio recording of every worship service, allowing us to provide audio copies of services on request, if people wanted to have a copy of a particular Sunday’s worship. These recordings have come in handy, as Ed has been diligently searching through our recordings over the past year to find performances of songs in past worship services that provide a sense of familiarity to our online worship videos.
We all look forward to the day when we can gather together again safely and raise our voices in unison to the Lord. Until then, we invite you to continue singing along from your couch, your car, or from wherever you enjoy worship with Oldtown in this most unique of years.
May you always hear the song of the Lord in your heart, and may you always be able to sing along, loud and long, making a joyful noise to the Lord wherever you may be, forever and always.
~ Jim Fennell, for the Oldtown Music Ministry