“Beautiful music is food for the soul . . . and hearing it feels like your soul being fed. Music is very therapeutic — takes your mind off stuff from the day and transports you to another place.”
— Peggy Graff, Organist and Interim Director of Music & Worship Arts
Research shows that music can work in mysterious ways to heal both the mind and the body. Rhythm and tone can excite or relax you, and music-making is a healthy way of expressing yourself. Music therapy exists in lots of settings for healing and wellness purposes. Here at FUMCFW, Music Ministries are an important part of our worship experience. Think of it like this: if First Church is one body, music is a vital organ (pun intended), and the pulse of music in our church is critical to your experience!
As host to Spectrum Concerts for almost 20 years, our church provides a very special venue for a true delicacy among soul food experiences. Twice each year The Spectrum, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s professional chamber music ensemble, partners with our church to provide a free performance open to the Fort Worth community and surrounding areas. Organist and Interim Director of Music & Worship Arts Peggy Graff describes chamber music as classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments and performed in a venue that has the acoustic capability to enhance small chamber-type music. In this case, the venue is our Leonard Memorial Chapel, which is similar in size to a palace chamber or a large room. This intimate setting allows musicians and audience members to experience an up-close-and-personal evening of music. As Peggy says, “The Chapel has such beautiful acoustics for people to experience chamber music.”
The second of two Spectrum season concerts is coming up on Monday, February 22, at 7:00 pm in the Chapel. Peggy says what stands out about this concert is that it involves choral music. It will feature Chants Encounter, a vocal quartet, singing music from a variety of genres and style periods. “This is a quartet that sings popular music, Renaissance music — and everything in between,” she adds. Violist Daniel Sigale will join forces with Keith Critcher, pianist, as they perform Zoltan Kodaly’s “Adagio for Viola and Piano.” Also, an FWSO string quartet will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s “String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68.”
Peggy says one of her favorite parts of the Spectrum Concerts is getting to take things in from another perspective. As a performer herself, it is a different experience when she gets to just sit back, listen, and really soak it in and enjoy it. As many others have said, and Peggy agrees, beautiful music is food for the soul. “When you perform it, that’s another dimension,” she explains. “But just hearing it feels like your soul being fed. Music is very therapeutic — takes your mind off stuff from the day and transports you to another place.” Peggy says she is amazed at all the composers who could write the way they did, and then at the players who can play what’s written as intended by that composer who lived anywhere from 100 – 300 years ago. “It’s remarkable,” she adds.
Another one of Peggy’s favorite things about this concert experience is the reception in Wesley Hall following the concert, which will give you an opportunity to meet and greet the performers and others in the community. Peggy says some of her most memorable moments from past concerts took place when she got to meet performers and learn about them afterward in the reception. “We’d love you to stay and visit with them and, in doing so, meet people you may never have seen,” she points out. “Or, you might get to see people that you already know.”
Please join us for this one-of-a-kind concert and reception that brings people to our church and welcomes them as part of the community. “You can come here and be immersed and washed over with this music that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel good — for free!” Peggy exclaims.
Take a load off after a hard day’s work and get your fill of music — from the heart of First Church to your soul. For more information, contact Peggy Graff (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2405.