Kaleidoscope: Our Upcoming Church-Wide Music Event Bridges Generations
When was the last time you looked inside a kaleidoscope? A classic childhood toy, a kaleidoscope is a cylindrical tube with a series of mirrors that, when peered into, reveals an optical effect of moving, colorful, and perfectly symmetrical patterns. A high-quality kaleidoscope looks a lot like brilliantly moving diamonds or dancing stained glass.
While a kaleidoscope is a fun toy, it admittedly makes for an odd name for a musical presentation. Yet, Kaleidoscope is the name of our church’s Festival of Choirs and Congregational Song, happening May 5. We think that Kaleidoscope is more than just a clever name, but it’s more importantly a metaphor for what it means to be the church. Just as a kaleidoscope brings together contrasting shapes and colors and places them within one large, complementary design, so the church is a diverse collection of many different people brought together by the Spirit of God. Bonsack is comprised of people of different generations and backgrounds who have different tastes and perspectives. Not one of us is the same. Yet we are one church, with one mission, worshiping one Savior. We are all unique pieces of one grand design!
Kaleidoscope celebrates this idea by bringing together the many different groups of our church’s music and worship ministry, including the Adult Choir, orchestra, Student Choir, Music Time for Kids choirs, Community Life Center Worship Band, and handbells. While some of these ensembles will perform selections by themselves, the majority of the festival will include unique combinations of the different ensembles. Throughout the program, nearly 250 people will be on the platform, adding their own unique piece to the kaleidoscope of worship. Furthermore, congregational song will be an emphasis of the evening, giving everyone in the pews an opportunity to add their voices to the mix.
Kaleidoscope creates a point of collaboration and synergy for musicians who serve weekly in the Sanctuary and the Community Life Center, but only occasionally have the opportunity to make music with each other. The Adult Choir will sing throughout the evening, including works by John Rutter and Dan Forrest. Soprano Nancy Parr is especially excited about the variety of music in the program as well as the kaleidoscopic theme. “Each new selection, like the changing pictures in a kaleidoscope, provides not only spiritual guidance but also messages of praise, hope, joy, peace, comfort and blessing,” Nancy says. “No two [songs] are exactly the same, but we have been invited to sing to the Lord a new song.” Also anchoring the program will be the Community Life Center Worship Band, which will accompany some of the choral selections and lead all of the congregational hymns. Sara Kennedy, our Interim CLC Worship Team Administrator and keyboardist says, “I think it will be encouraging to see the different groups and generations to lift their voices in one song.”
Since January, the young participants in Music Time for Kids choirs have been rehearsing the music for the program, which presents the 1st-6th graders with a unique opportunity not only to perform alongside the other musical ministries of our church, but also a full orchestra. Besides offering their musical gifts, the sixth graders in the program will present also dramatizations of three Psalms which will offer the framework for everything that happens in the presentation. Especially enthusiastic is sixth grader Abby Bjorklund. “This is my first year in Music Time for Kids and I’ve always wanted to do musicals,” she says. “I love that we’re able to combine with other choirs and the orchestra.”
Sandy Owen is enjoying helping to prepare the children for Kaleidoscope by leading the rehearsals for the 1st- 3rd grade choir, called the Music Makers. Sandy has served in children’s music ministry for twenty years, and she recently reflected on her experience working with children. “I may have the title of director, but I’ve learned as much, if not more, than the children have. Knowing that I have the responsibility to teach young minds about God through music has nurtured my own personal walk with Jesus, helping me to grow closer to my Lord and Savior while using the gifts he gave me.” Beyond Kaleidoscope, Music Time for Kids is in serious need of volunteers for next fall and spring if the ministry is to continue at its current size and scope. Sandy encourages everyone who is free on Wednesday evenings to serve alongside her, and there are many ways to connect with the program no matter one’s skillset. “Join me, won’t you?” Sandy asks. “Just find an area that needs some help, no matter how big or small the tasks may be. Your blessings will be multiplied, of that you can be sure.”
If you are interested in participating in Kaleidoscope, it may not be too late for you to join an ensemble. The Adult Choir begins rehearsing the music for this program in March, and they are delighted to welcome new members. Student Choir and Music Time for Kids also continues to welcome new participants throughout the spring. Whether or not you participate directly in Bonsack’s music ministry, you still have a place in the larger kaleidoscope that is our church. Everyone in our church has unique gifts that they bring to the table, and our hope is that Kaleidoscope will inspire everyone to connect with others through worship and service. In a season of continual transition for our church, Kaleidoscope celebrates our unity as a body of believers. Minister of Music, Grant Frederick says, “Our newly created strategic plan calls for us to intentionally engage the local community outside our church, and I believe we can do this more authentically and most effectively when we’re engaging with the diversity that is inside our church. I think worship is really about singing each other’s songs, and Kaleidoscope presents us an opportunity to do that together.”
Whether you are on the platform or in a pew, make plans to participate in Kaleidoscope on May 5 at 3 or 6:30 p.m. For more information about Kaleidoscope, the Music Ministry, or getting involved, please contact Minister of Music Grant Frederick (email@example.com) or Music Time for Kids Coordinator Susan Plenge (firstname.lastname@example.org).