It's About The Words

From My Heart To Yours
A short devotional for church musicians from the pen of
Rev. Bryan Jeffery Leech 

October 15, 2007
It's About The Words

On a visit to England in the late 80s, I was invited to meet Julie Andrew’s longtime friend and vocal coach. Madame Stiles-Allen was a sprightly ninety year old, full of energy and the joy of teaching anyone who wanted to sing. When I complimented her on Julie’s impeccable diction, she said, pointing to the ceiling, “Well, in the beginning was the Words, in more ways than one.” And then she added, “Singing is nothing more nor less than musical speech.

Choirs are simply groups of speakers, giving messages that are underlined by the composer. I’m grateful these days for supertitles at the Opera, because, even if the performance is in English, it is sometimes difficult to catch the drift of the musical dialogue. This coming Sunday, what messages are you speaking out for the edification of the congregation?

Make sure your diction is clear. Make sure you agree with the lyrics. Pray that these snatches of poetry will be heard and absorbed into the lives of the people. Remember, yourself, to listen as you sing lest, in blessing others, you come away empty of good things.

From my heart to yours,



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