At the end of our 2018 workshop, a participant said to us, „we experienced a great deal of joy during the week, and go home having profited a great deal.“
The enjoyment is self-explanatory: of course brass choir players enjoy the opportunity to play with other similarly motivated musicians. And anybody would enjoy the sort of fellowship we experienced together. But how did we profit from the week?
The easy answer would be new musical skills. That would be true enough: we learned different pieces in different styles, each with different challenges. In large group rehearsals, in smaller ensembles, and in individual lessons, everyone had the chance to discover and practice something new. But that wasn’t the only „profit.“
Our daily Bible studies gave us the opportunity to spend time each morning in God’s presence. We learned the stories behind beloved hymns and saw how the authors’ experiences shaped their words. This connection between music and experiences with God lent our playing a deeper dimension: the understanding that our music can communicate spiritual truths.
The musical and spiritual fruits of the week were of course important—but so was the time we spent together. We had lots of opportunities for conversation and sharing: young with old, Swabians with Saxons, Germans with Americans. The deep fellowship we experienced all week also deepened our musical praise. With this threefold profit—musical progress, spiritual encouragement, and good fellowship—we all traveled home with great joy.