There were a couple of things I was not prepared for when we moved to rural Texas. Although I’m a native Californian, I have lived in other parts of the country. I survived living in the Boston area, so I thought Texas would be ever so much easier because people are at least hospitable there.
And it has been…except for the music. I love just about all genres of music, even rap. Country music, however, has been a stretch for me. I must confess, I had never really listened to country music before. Well, the Dixie Chicks, but true Texans don’t like the Dixie Chicks.
When we moved here, we signed up for country western dance classes. After all, Texans love to dance so when in Texas… I thought we were going to be kicked out of our first class. After teaching us the steps of the two-step, the instructor put on a classic country song. I looked at my Oklahoma-bred husband and, thankfully, my manners kicked in. I wanted to burst out laughing, but bit the inside of my cheeks instead. Was this for real?
Needless to say, I am grateful for the ability to stream my favorite classical station from San Francisco. In years past, KDFC has had a separate holiday station. We’d stream it to give us a sense of the holidays, being by ourselves out here in Texas.
This year, the station decided to play the “sounds of the season” as their regular programming. In classical music that means lots of choral pieces, religious works, spirituals, handbells, Christmas-story music. I was shocked! I might expect acceptance of religious carols to be OK in Texas, but certainly not politically-correct-ultra-tolerant-we don’t-want-to-offend-our-advertisers-or-anyone-else San Francisco. They’re even selling a pre-loaded iPod or USB drive with a broad sampling of what can be heard on the station.
I’m really enjoying listening to excellent choral music. After years of terrible church choirs, I never thought I’d ever be able to tolerate choral music again. My favorite choral group is San Francisco’s Chantecleer. They are truly an orchestra of voices. These twelve men have an unbelievable sound and exquisite harmonies and arrangements.
Early on in my ministry, I learned the power of music to speak to our innermost longings and vocalize when there were no words. Music is truly an universal language that moves us beyond ourselves and constrained perspectives. Beautiful music, in any genre, is a sermon itself. I am delighting in the sounds of the season of the great composers, past and present, this Christmas season.
What music or specific song, speaks to you?