What a summer for music at South Main!

September 15, 2009
Thomas Coker, Minister of Music

Thomas Coker, Minister of Music

We’ve had a heck of a summer here at South Main!  We started off with Bach to Broadway auditions in April (the day after our youth choirs completed their 2nd performance of Godspell).  OK, I know April is not the summer but it was the “beginning” of what we would be doing.  Next, our Sanctuary Choir prepared for the July 1 pre-service concert for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly in Houston.  The opening missions commissioning service was held in our Sanctuary and a picture of the choir was on the cover of Baptists Today the following month.

At the end of July and first of August, music ministry personnel prayed this Minister of Music through the Texas Choral Directors Association.  Organist, Daryl Robinson was amazing as accompanist and organist for the “Hallelujah! Amen!” service held at First Baptist in San Antonio and well attended by TCDA membership.

The next week Bach to Broadway celebrated the 20th anniversary season with perhaps the finest production of the most challenging musical we’ve ever performed, Stephen Sondheim and James Levine’s incredible Into the Woods.  Kudos to director Sharna Shirl all the actors/singers/tech people for making this such a tremendous success.  The tunes and texts continue to go through our heads.

Then on to singing the National Anthem for the Astros game August 23!  What a hoot!  Many thanks to Carlos Lee for the tremendous free publicity he gave us when he decided to sing in the tenor section with us.  It was pretty fun.  By the way, the choir did a great job singing the National Anthem!  Now if only we could get Carlos to a rehearsal.  Ha!

Looking forward, our Sanctuary Choir anticipates having Dr. Michael Hawn Professor of Church Music & Director, Master of Sacred Music Program of SMU/Perkins School of Theology back with us.  The dates are September 26-27. Dr. Hawn’s interests include Global music and worship, cross-cultural worship, and enlivening congregational song.  These gifts promise to bring a special gift to our worship Sunday morning September 27th.  Anyone is welcome to join us for the retreat.  Please contact me, Thomas Coker, for more information. tcoker@smbc.org



The Choir Director’s Perspective

August 26, 2009
Thomas Coker, Minister to Music

Thomas Coker, Minister to Music

Singing for the Astros game was pretty fun.

It’s a daunting walk on the beautiful grass in the middle of the field of Minute Maid Park. You get out there in front of God and everybody – including the ball players warming up and you feel a little “whelmed” as Pat Hardesty described it. When we got on the field, left fielder, Carlos Lee was warming up in the outfield as time to sing the National Anthem was drawing close. I was thinking “you boys are throwing the ball a little too close to the choir for my comfort. We don’t have any gloves here in the choir! Do you mind moving over just a little.”

As the clock was counting down to start, Carlos, who by this time was very close to the choir, held the baseball and moved right behind the tenors as we were confirming the pitch to start singing. I was motioning for the tenors to give their attention forward rather than chat with with the “new singer”. They did a good job of getting their concentration back, faced forward with the right pitch, and we began to sing with big Carlos Lee, towering above the choir complete with the mischievous grin of a little boy who knows he’s both being cute and doing something just a little risky, joining in the singing. It cracked me up! I understand that he was not much help on finding that high F# pitch the tenors had to sing near the end of the arrangement, but hey, he had the right colored shirt on and fit right in.  It was pretty cute and a lot of fun.

Oh, by the way, the choir did a great job singing the National Anthem!  To God be the Glory!



Carlos Lee sings National Anthem with South Main Choir at Astros game

August 23, 2009
Carlos Lee and South Main Choir

Carlos Lee sings with the South Main Baptist Church Choir

Astros left fielder, Carlos Lee, surprised South Main Baptist Church’s Sanctuary Choir by joining in the singing of the National Anthem today.  This clip shows Lee singing with the choir as well as Minister to Music, Thomas Coker leader the choir.

SMBC Choir and Carlos Lee sing National Anthem

SMBC Choir and Carlos Lee sing National Anthem

Carlos, we are always looking for new choir members.  Come join us any Wednesday night or Sunday that you have free!