As I think about how everything lined up for this trip, I can trace God's hand back to 2008. It would be easy to write it off as pure coincidence but I believe like an intricate piece of music every note and rest is placed purposely on the page by the hand of the Composer.
In 2008 my sister, who directs a youth choir, asked if I had an arrangement she could use that year for her choir tour. I agreed to write an arrangement of "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." I have always been drawn to the song and was excited to work on a new setting for SATB choir, piano and cello. About a year later I made a connection with Mark Hayes when he came to my church to do a choral festival. Mark took me on as a student and we worked on several pieces to submit to different publishing companies. I never thought that my arrangement of "I Have Decided" would ever get picked up. There have been numerous arrangements of that piece and what would make mine stand out? In 2010 Lorenz accepted the arrangement for publication and it was released in 2011. This was the first of many I would get published in the years to come. The piece has had a major significance to me as I felt this was God's way of affirming my writing and also reminding me of the purpose for my music.
The youth choir my sister directs, Esprit de corps from Lincoln Berean Church, used the piece again last year as part of their tour. Check out the Youtube video of one of the performances.
The same year this arrangement came out I saw a post on a Church Music Discussion board I belong to from Chris Monroe. He was asking for recommendations for a composer who he could commission to write a piece for the retirement of the organist at his church. I felt this prodding from God to email Chris. Since I only had one piece in print I never thought Chris would even know who I was. His response caught me totally off guard. He had used "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" and was familiar with my writing. I could have never imagined this would be the first connection I would have with the Asian Christian College of Music. Chris was one of the founders and patrons of the college which started.... you guessed it in 2011.
Well like any good story, here is where I will leave you for the time being, a bit of a cliff hanger. There is more to the story but I have promised myself I will not make these posts too long so you will have to come back to get "the rest of the story" to borrow a phrase from Paul Harvey.
Until next time!
This blog will journal my experiences as I prepare to go overseas this July and teach at the Asian Christian College of Music in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in India.