This has got me to thinking about how it must feel to be Don Prestly (director of worship and music) up there on Cantata Sunday. He has strings and woodwinds to his left and brass and percussion to his right. This orchestra is made up of some very well-known people in the Twin Cities music scene, some who have been coming back to play with him for close to 20 years. Add to that are all the people who make up the choir. This year we have more choir people than we have choir chairs. I’ve forgotten the number, but let’s just say they will be creating quite a sound.
It’s the sound that he directs that must be amazing to hear with Don’s ears. Don has been listening and preparing for this one experience for quite some time. I know, because his office is just across a very thin wall from mine, and sometimes he forgets to put his headphones on when he plays the CD. I can’t imagine the feeling of leading those talented musicians and all those people as together they all create something so moving and beautiful.
As I’ve watched my friend Don direct over the years, there is a sense in which it’s all one extraordinary moment for him. In real time, the Cantata lasts about 35 minutes and is a lot of work. And yet to me anyway, Don is so caught up in what he is doing, so connected to every note and word, in all the right ways consumed by what is being created, that my guess is that to him it is over in a twinkling of an eye.
Most of us know that this is the last Cantata that Don will direct as the Director of Music at EPUMC. He’s done so many, offered so much of himself. I don’t mean to embarrass him here. I want to hold up my friend for his faithfulness and dedication of sharing his gift of music. I also want to encourage you to attend and listen with me this year. As we listen, let us be grateful for all the Cantatas and musicians and choirs that have come together to create all the extraordinary moments of beauty Don has been at the center of creating.
Keep the Faith,