Question: In a word, what is St. Philip’s Choir?
There is something about good sacred music - I often say its like a good sailboat: designed and created by God, and merely revealed by human beings.
Saint Philip's is blessed by a splendid building, a crumbling but hard-working organ (and a new one on the way!), and a choir director who has a particular ability to call out of his choir a performance that few of us think is possible. We're just us folks. But Woody Entrekin makes us REALLY good. Better than we deserve to be. And certainly better than any of us are or can be on our own.
The congregation is attentive, but we are also our own audience - amateurs 'though we may be, we respect and enjoy good sacred music - and to hear ourselves performing it in such moving, powerful, soaring, triumphant ways, just impresses the heck out of us (even if we do say so ourselves!).
So, for me, coming to Saint Philip's has an awful lot to do with the fabulous music there. It's a combination of things that does it: a beautiful spot, great clerical leadership, phenomenal musicianship, a choir director who is like no other, and, - should I mention it? - a group of talented singers who can't contain their enthusiasm for a situation in which they are better than they ever thought they could be.
I am moved and pleased to hear that some parishioners come specifically because of the music. I come because of the music. I'm so proud to help make the music. I'm so pleased you appreciate the music.
Now I've set some high standards - I hope we can continue to meet them!
(Oh - my favorite piece is "Sing me to Heaven." I hope the choir will sing that at my funeral. )