Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Summer Playlist

I love collecting music. As soon as a piece catches my ear, I immediately investigate how to get that song onto a CD or in my phone. Things like Shazam have made it really easy to do, but sometimes the kind of music that catches my ear isn't necessarily what the rest of America is jamming to. 

This music playlist chronicles my entire summer. This summer was absolutely amazing, with so many special things happening. I managed to find a piece for every special memory I have of this extended school break. I hope you enjoy!

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Choir, "Christ Begins"


Our grade school graduation service was capped off by the entire school singing this piece, written by several pastors in the WELS and performed at the Seminary a few years ago. (This video is an ASL interpretation of the song.) I really enjoyed directing the kids, and the kids loved singing it with piano, guitar, and violin!

Charles Ore, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" 


The WELS Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts (AKA Worship Conference) started off with a Reformation celebration, capped off by this piece as the postlude. You can call it my next Challenge Piece!

Felix Mendelssohn, "Verleih' uns Frieden"


This was sung by my choir at the All Saints service during Worship Conference. We sang it in English, titled "Grant Us Thy Peace." But we had the full orchestration with it. I have loved the sound of cellos ever since I heard Bach's Cello Suite, but this was the first time that the sound made me cry. Ugh, it's so beautiful. 

John Butler, "Ocean"


We're stepping away from Worship Conference for a bit to go to Europe. On my first night in London I was walking around Trafalgar Square. (It still seems weird to type those words!) A busker was in front of the National Gallery playing this song. I heard it from across the square and just loved the sound. Luckily at the end the busker said that it wasn't an original song, but one composed by John Butler.

I knew John Butler from my mother - she loves the John Butler Trio - so that night I went onto YouTube and found the song. This song can't just be heard, it needs to be viewed. Just look at what he does with his hands - it's nuts!

Edward Elgar, "Nimrod"



In St. Paul's Cathedral I was there for the Eucharist service, but I conveniently decided to go up to the Golden Gallery during the service itself. When I came down, the organist was playing this piece. He pulled out all the stops for the climax of the piece, and then brought it down to the softest flutes in mere seconds. I like the orchestral version, but the organ is how I'll remember it. 

J.S. Bach, "Sleepers, Awake"


In Germany I visited Leipzig, where Bach spent time composing for St. Thomas' Church. To commemorate my time I had to find a Bach piece I actually enjoy, and I remember loving this one on my mother's Bach Greatest Hits CD. 

Bedřich Smetana, "The Moldau"



Smetana was a German-speaking Czech who wrote a piece about the flow of the river that runs through the Czech Republic and Prague. The river's Czech name is Vltava, but its German name is the Moldau. The Czech people love this piece, and so do I. 

A Great Big World, "There Is An Answer"


If I were to put together a video of my trip, this would be the music in the background. I have owned this album for a while, but I had to rediscover this song at a Kohl's before putting it in my permanent repertoire. 

Jay Som, "The Bus Song"


I heard this one while in Milwaukee with my brother. While he lived there, he always talked about the radio station were I ended up hearing this song. So I guess he's right - it's a pretty good station!

Boku No Hero Academia, "You Say Run"


This was the summer where I started watching My Hero Academia, and it filled up the Naruto-sized hole in my heart. This is the piece that many people - including myself - are latching on to, and it is definitely worth a listen. 

I have heard many anime soundtracks, and they all end up sounding the same after a while - I'm sure the people that play them sometimes get bored. But when they played through this song, I like to think they all looked at each other and said, "This one is lit."

Dan Forrest (and Martin Luther), "A Mighty Fortress"


We finish the summer playlist by looking ahead to the fall. I sang this piece at the opening concert for Worship Conference. There are some pieces that make your hair stand on end and get a thrilling feeling as you perform or play them. This happens to be one of those pieces. 


I enjoyed my summer, but it's time to head back to school! Here's looking forward to concerts, family, education, and Star Wars.

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