A co-worker and I were comparing notes about our husbands' similar, eclectic music tastes when she told me that her son, who is in grade school, enjoys the same music as her husband. As I was imagining Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" streaming through the boy's earbuds, she said, "He was born with a soundtrack for his life."
Music is important for the church, as well. We have been born again with a soundtrack for our lives. God, our Father, has gifted us with music and made it part of our worship. "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God." Psalm 40:3
In my adult life, I have been blessed with musicians in my church. Most of them have been well-trained and very talented. Some of them have been members or regular attendees who sang along with us from the pews. A few were professional church musicians who played instruments or led the choir and orchestra. Some taught children in our music academy and, therefore, enlarged our orchestra. Others visited our church to give concerts of songs they arranged or composed.
Here are a few musicians who have recordings that make up the soundtrack of my life. You will notice that I am partial to traditional hymns played on the piano.
Timothy Shaw, an award-winning composer, was our church's music director for a few years. He is accomplished on the piano. His music career includes professional roles as an educator, music engraver and more. Shaw's website allows you to listen to his recordings, look at music scores and find out how to commission new music. CDBaby.com sells his three albums of hymns in CD or MP3, MP3-320, and FLAC formats.
Another composer, performer and recording artist is James Ward. He visited my church many years ago. He is the man behind the alternate tune for "Rock of Ages" (page 500, Trinity Hymnal). This arrangement is one of the congregation's top 10 favorite hymns. Ward is a full time music director at New City Fellowship (PCA), Chattanooga, Tennessee. His recordings and sheet music are available on his website's Music Shop. See iTunes and Amazon for other formats.
Gail Smith also visited my church. She is a composer/arranger of sacred piano music and a music educator. In addition, Smith was the pianist at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She offers CDs and many books on her website as well as information about concerts, workshops and lectures.
In addition to the artists I mentioned, my husband (the one with the eclectic musical taste) plays other Christian CDs and MP3s by people I have never met. What is on your play list? Please tell us about the music that encourages you to worship God.