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Plymouth Generosity

Plymouth’s music program is “a remarkable machine,” and it has to be to meet the high expectations it’s built.

If you attended some or all of Plymouth Church’s Holy Week and Easter Sunday services last weekend, you undoubtedly were inspired by the fantastic performances of all involved in our congregation’s music program. I was moved to tears more than once by the music’s spirituality, pure beauty and occasional power.

It reminded me that in a church as large as Plymouth, good stewardship takes many forms. Our first thought, usually, is that stewardship means our financial gifts. But, really, our time and talent are equally significant.

So to the 180 singers in our seven or eight different choirs – from the Pre-K kids in the youngest ensemble to the old guys in the back row of the Chancel Choir – thank you. And more applause for the Plymouth Bells, the Saturday Night Band and the ballet dancers who lifted us. Hurrah for the four full-time music staffers and the 26 part-timers involved in the directing, accompanying and supervising.

All those just mentioned are the musicians we see in front of us. There are dozens of other volunteers who provide the support, robe help, chaperoning and fundraising. Especially noteworthy among those are the Children’s Choir Guild and the Youth Executive Committee that backs the Matins Choir and programs.

Oh, the work and preparation!

Christopher Goodson, Plymouth’s Director of Music & Fine Arts,  shared the rehearsal schedules of the Chancel Choir and Martins Choir, each of which performs at about 45 services per year. Who knew that the high school Matins singers, directed by Susan Waller, spend 55 or more hours per year in rehearsing – that’s in addition to their actual performances. The adult Chancel singers average 125 hours per year rehearsing.

Is the Plymouth music program as special as it seems?

“It’s much larger and broader than you find in churches many times the size of ours,” said Goodson, who has been director here four and a half years. “And most of those larger churches put much more money into their programs than we can.

“We’re able to do what we do because of the tremendous dedication of our participants – and the parents of our younger singers – and because of the history and tradition of our program. It’s a remarkable machine we have. It has to be to meet the high expectations we have built at Plymouth.”

— Plymouth Generosity are from the Board of Christian Stewardship. Writer Chuck Offenburger is member of that board and of the Plymouth communications team.

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