Archive for March 13th, 2013


It was as far back as the 18th century that European music was becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Thomas Jefferson, author of the American Declaration of Independence and two-term president of the United States referred to the Baroque classical of the 1700s as “a delightful recreation through life” and also “this favorite passion of my soul”.

This weekend I experienced two performances that stirred the passion of my soul. The ripple effects of a theater performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and a musical meditation given didn’t exactly blow me away……instead it deepened the vibration of the A note in my soul.

Festival of Arts Program

“Remember the A note,” violist Grace Byrd instructed us in the meditation audience. She was guiding us on the path to follow John Beall’s,  Variations on Wondrous Love 1942 composition. Grace united us with the centering effect love has as it ripples out into the world like  the rings created in the water when a pebble is thrown into it.

Follow the music of the strings, and you will see it always comes home to the solitary A note, she said. That is us. That is love. And you cannot love without vibrations and “rings” of it going out into the world, you know not where.

We listened. Sure enough, there was that A note the music returned to. Music sometime quiet and stirring, sometimes fusing into a dramatic fortissimo to where her partner accompanist on the Grand Piano, Joseph Byrd melded into one with the all octaves on the piano keys, and notes on the music sheets flying onto the next page.

I sensed he was only aware of the message of the music and the lead of the violo strings, which indeed, led us all back to the solitary A note of love.

The A note was heard between audience and performers. The grace received. The inspiration from it accompanying us into our week. One does not remain untouched by this beauty. This beauty is of God.

Kathleen - in charge of Jesus Christ Superstar

Passion overflowed at the Marshall Franke Center adult theater performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. As stated in the program, the play “loosely follows” the gospel accounts of the Passion Week of Jesus Christ, but it was close enough for us in the audience to feel the touchable presence of Christ, his apostles and the perplexed rulers of the day. Just what are we to do with this man-God Jesus?

The story came alive through the spectacular lyrics of the songs.  Under the direction of our daughter Kathleen, the musical compositions etched out the personalities and complexion of the whole story of the Passion.  The actors surrendered totally to the demands and nuances of their historical figures.

The play totally humanized the principle figures of that biblical time and the drama “got behind” the narrative to such an extent that you found yourself saying, “Yes, if I were there…..”

The A note was present throughout the play….Jesus was about love. People couldn’t understand this love, this divinity present in each of us. This was intensified in the character of Judas. They were so afraid of it in themselves, they could not stand to see it in Jesus.

Of course it is about power, but not the power of the land at the time. It was about the power of God’s love manifesting itself as human in the world. That could not be. The music  of love was off-key to the ancient politicians of the day. And so the cross became the answer….they thought.

But, as we know today,  the A note could not be ignored. The crescendo of the cross led to the Resurrection of Christ, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the growth of Christianity throughout the world.

Tribute to Kathleen

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