Voices of angels on a snowy night
During an opening prayer for a Friday night concert at the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church, Rev. Ruth Morrison talked about what a tough week it had been, citing struggles for democracy in Libya, an earthquake in New Zealand, four Amish children losing their lives in Kentucky flooding, and teachers protesting their lack of bargaining rights in Wisconsin.
“But tonight,” she said, looking out across a gathering of people from a variety of area churches, “we are in the presence of angels.”
The angels on this snowy night came with voices, representing the Eastern Nazarene College from Quincy, Massachusetts, as members of the A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers.
For 90 minutes, the choir delivered a spell-binding performance to the delight of congregation members from the Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene, the CEUMC, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, and the St. Bartholomew Catholic Church.
The choir arrived in Cape Elizabeth Friday afternoon after being driven from Quincy through heavy rain, sleet and then snow. They took part in a community-style dinner at the Church of the Nazarene and then continued down the road for the concert at the CEUMC.
The experience of listening to the choir was unique because Dr. Timothy Shelter, the choir’s director, sat at a keyboard in the center of the church while choir members stood around the perimeter of the sanctuary, encircling all who were there to listen. It was surround-sound at its best with voices coming from front and back, side to side, and wafting down from the high-arched ceiling.
In addition to singing a wide range of spiritual selections, some members of the choir addressed the gathering and talked about how their favorite Bible passages carried them through difficult or challenging times. It was an opportunity to realize that the choir’s faith went deeper than just angelic voices.
A dessert reception followed the concert and then members of the choir spent the night at the homes of families from all the involved churches. The choir then moved on to a Saturday morning concert at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, followed by other concerts throughout the weekend in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.