The Ecumenical Choir: An appreciation

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 9:00am

For those who missed the Thanksgiving service at the Harbor Baptist Church, the Ecumenical Choir gave a beautiful performance. Public worship began at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24. It offered a way for the members of the community to gather together before many departed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The program was replete with traditional hymns sung by the congregation along with the professional sounds of the choir led by director Carrie Todd. Voices merged in song made this pre-Thanksgiving gathering truly special.           

Stirring solos were performed by Joe Loya and Sarah Sue Deane, who sang a duet with Carrie Johnson.

The lyrical sounds of Debbie Howarth’s flute added to the richness of the choral presentations.

Two of the unique song selections the choir performed were “Borning Cry” and “Away From the Roll of the Sea.” Both added meaning and beauty to the day. All the songs selected merged the themes of Thanksgiving and remembrance.           

The choral song “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” written by contemporary folk hymn writer John Ylvisaker speaks of the journey of birth to death. The song was chosen, according to Director Todd, to accompany the Memorial Roll Call. Members of the community who have passed away over the year were all remembered by announcing their names to the solemn toll of a bell.

“Away From The Roll of The Sea,” written by Nova Scotia-born song writer Allister MacGillivray, hadn’t been performed in a while but is actually a favorite of many in the group. Lisa Sprague, a longtime member of the choir, explained, “The song was sung at my dad’s funeral and will always be special to me.”

“It is so appropriate for Block Island and some in the choir think it should be a signature piece,” said Todd.           

Accompanist Ann Henault added tastefully to the entire performance with her skills on the piano.

Up next for the Block Island Ecumenical Choir is “Lessons and Carols,” which will be performed at the St. Andrew Parish Center on Spring Street at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Mark your calendars and prepare to enjoy what should be another incredible performance.