Making Music at St. John’s

Anne Timpane

By Anne Timpane, Director of Music Ministries

Why do we do what we do? It’s easy for us to tell you what we do and explain how we do it, but it’s not as simple to articulate why we do what we do – especially where music is concerned.

In a recent TED talk, Simon Sinek, author of the book Start with Why, shared his theory on the choices we make and those “gut” decisions that just feel right even though we have difficulty articulating our reasons for making them. He used the question “why?” as a simple but powerful model for effective leadership and held up the Wright brothers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Apple as examples of people and companies whose belief in their ideas led to their success. Hearing this made me wonder why music is so important in the lives of so many people, and what makes them choose to join the choirs here at St. John’s?

I asked some of our ringers and singers to share with me why they ring or sing. As I suspected, everyone had a different answer. They spoke of fellowship, of the chance to learn new skills, of wanting to share their gifts with others, of the beautifully moving texts and tunes, of the way music expresses feelings in ways that words can’t, of using their gifts to give thanks to God, but most of all, they told me that they do it because they love it.
Sinek said, “What you do proves what you believe.” Our singers and ringers know that their lives are enriched by the experience of working together and that their musical leadership matters to our parish. They believe in the transformative power of participation in a community where music is offered in love and thanksgiving for gifts given and received.

I know that my life has been greatly enriched by making music together with the people of St. John’s. I thank you all for your support over these past ten years, and for the opportunity to grow and learn together here at the crossroads of faith and life.

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