As a committed christian, I have a strong responsibility to infuse all my art with a deep faith, recognizing that my talent is a gift from the Lord, the Great Composer, and that He has specific assignments and “parts” written for me. It is my duty to live more fully into these “parts”, so my life and work may be an ongoing witness to the higher purpose of my art. It is hard to not just follow the leadings and worldly whims of a culture that views talent as means to celebrity, and hard work as a means to personal success and comfort. When I am not busy with my performing, teaching, or family, I devote myself to music as ministry and music as worship. I am the son of music educators, and I am passionate about the intersection of faith and talent. My life’s credo is taken from the old hymn text by Frances Havergal, ‘Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee. Take my voice and let me sing, always, only for my King’. I am liberated from the bondage of self when I make much of Christ, not myself. Singing His praises, not my own.
To this end, I have endeavored to do three things. First, I am an active artist-in-residence at First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, committing as much time and energy as I can to serve that church. Second, I am co-founder and artistic director of Sacred Music Foundation, an organization designed to beautify, deepen, and enrich the artistic output of the church, as a witness to the world. Third, I often program sacred concerts, either individually or under the umbrella of Sacred Music Foundation, as a way to steward my gifts more in service of the Lord. Some of these programs are listed below, with brief explanations of each. If you are interested in sponsoring, programming, or supporting any of these concerts, please contact me directly.
“Songs of Repentance and Renewal”
A lenten-time service that explores the boundaries God has established for our own good. Song selections include everything from Bernstein to Britten, and are interspersed with ancient poetry and scripture texts that hover around the theme of repentance and restoration. This is a multi-media presentation that includes images from the “boundary” between ocean and land as a metaphor for God’s unchangeable truths in creation.
“Breathe on me, breath of God, blend all my soul with Thine, until this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.” Based upon this last verse of the hymn “Breathe on me, Breath of God”, this program focuses on the Holy Spirit and His distinctive power through song to communicate God’s Love to the human heart. This program includes multiple settings of standard hymns, as well as some well-known sacred classics, all designed to echo the prayer, as the old hymn(Spirit of God, descend upon my heart) says, “My heart an altar, and Thy Love the flame.”
“Kyrie Eleison: Journeys into Mercy”
Sponsored by Sacred Music Foundation, this program presents two halves with parallel stories told dramatically through new musical settings. The first half is a piece by composer David Pettit entitled “David and Bathsheba”, that recounts the famous tale of pride, temptation, abuse of power, and repentance. The second half is comprised of the new biblical cantata “Joseph”, by friend and colleague Alicia Lewis. It takes the journey from Jacob wrestling with the Angel, all the way to Joseph in Egypt standing before his brothers. Both pieces employ strings, piano, and a narrator.
“Behold and Adore”
This is a Christmas program that is a musical meditation on the incarnation. Ross Hauck, tenor, and Alicia Lewis, pianist,present an evening of intimate worship of the Christ child. Solo settings of prayers and scripture will be interspersed with christmas carols. This quiet and reflective evening is offered to help us “push back” against the rushed, frantic, and hurried stress of the Christmas season, and ”fall on your knees” before the manger to behold and adore the newborn King!
“My life flows on in endless song, above earth’s lamentation. I hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation. No storm can shake my inmost calm, when to that rock I’m clinging. Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?” – american hymn text
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love, and rejoice over you with singing” – Zeph. 3:17-18
“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. I think of you throughout the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:2-8