Monday, March 10, 2008


I love how things “come together” unexpectedly.

For example when I learn a new word, then start seeing it in use all over the place. Or when I see a long-forgotten song on Monday, and on Tuesday am asked a question the answer to which is that very song.

Or why when I was in the 8th grade and tried to read “The Fellowship of the Rings” it just didn’t click with me; but as a college freshman on my first Christmas break I could not put it down. (I know from my own children that 8th grade is not too early to “get” Tolkien’s work.)

Or, to be specific, particular, and current, how I “just happened” to get a copy of Alice Parker’s book on melody, days before hearing the Goshen College Women’s World Music Choir. I didn’t start reading the book until after the ACDA convention, and have found that it points me to some essential elements that will govern music-making for our World Music Choir work here.

Two things I appreciate about this: first, that the book fuels my enthusiasm for establishing a high school church world music choir; and second, that the book provides a musical foundation early on as I think and dream about the idea . Would I have come to this foundation naturally? Where would the idea have come from? Is it the essential starting point, or does it just seem like it because the two apparently unrelated things came together unexpectedly? When would I have taken time to begin to think about getting started, and how would I have known what resources to look for?

Alice Parker’s Anatomy of Melody is not written as a guide to singing world music. And perhaps few world music choirs will naturally look to Alice Parker for their musical inspiration. But it is such a natural match, for me, and I’m thankful for the synchronicity. As much as I admire Carl Jung on that topic (and I confess I am not well-schooled on it), I must say that it is a specific gift of God to bring these things to germinate or cross-pollinate when otherwise I could not devote myself at this time to the creation of the WMC here. Call it cognitive bias if you must; call it casually providential if you will: I will go a step more personal and thank God for graciously making these things “come together” unexpectedly, and fruitfully.

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