Tuesday, January 10, 2006

As We Gather In Your Presence

I wrote this song with two services in mind. Well, three, actually. But the third one was a ceremony. It all started when…

Rabbi Daniel Roberts hired me to teach and lead music for the confirmation service at Temple Emanu El in Cleveland, Ohio. The service included a song to be sung at the time the students were to give an offering of a “floral gift.” I didn’t know the song that had previously been used, and I didn’t have an appropriate one in my repertoire. So I wrote one. Actually, I sketched out the chorus and the first verse.

Around the same time, another service was coming up at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, also in Cleveland. It was an end of the school year Shabbat Hamoreh, a service at which all of the teachers were recognized and appreciated. We were also saying goodbye to two of our beloved administrators who were moving on to other positions and, in one case, another city. The second verse came with this service looming.

Finally, 8th grade graduation was nearing at The Agnon School where I taught music. I played the nearly finished song for one of my eighth grade students who helped me with some marvelous suggestions for the Hebrew chorus. (I’ve taken Hebrew Level 1 five times now. He was much better at it than I was.)

The song was completed and sung at all three occasions. It’s proven to be a pretty sturdy opening song for almost any service or ceremony, and I certainly open with it often in concert.

1 comment:

Leon said...

Just a test comment