Church-Part 7A

13 Nov


Judy Wills

The Music

I would like to make a short detour here.  Still talking about The Church, but instead, some of the music we’ve sung, and performances we have participated in.

While I don’t really remember much about what we did in Albuquerque First Baptist Church, back in the 1950’s , it was probably mostly just sort of a “concert” of either Christmas or Easter music, perhaps with a narration interspersed between songs, depending upon the season of the year.

Photo credi Google search-t First Baptist Church, Albuquerque

But the beginning of my fondest memories of the “cantatas” or “musicals” started shortly after Fred and I married and moved to Fort Worth, Texas.  We joined Travis Avenue Baptist Church there, and were so impressed with the choir that when we joined the church, we didn’t even give the choir director an opportunity to invite us to choir.  We asked her how we could join in!  She was quite surprised!

Credit Google Search and Travis Avenue Baptist Church

I don’t remember a lot of the Christmas and Easter musicals we did at that church, but I do remember one special “musical” we performed.  It’s called God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson, and is a Negro Spiritual.

Credit Google Search

It is actually seven Negro sermons in verse – made into a musical.  It is a wonderful, beautiful musical, but because it is not “politically correct” to sing those wonderful songs, we never hear about it anymore.  But I loved the way our director staged it.  It was an evening service, and the choir was “scattered” around the sanctuary, in our “Sunday-go-to-meetin’” best clothes.  After all the preliminary church stuff was completed, one of our choir members took one of our handbells – the large, deep-voiced one – and began “tolling” for church members.  So we began rising from wherever we were sitting, and made our way to the choir loft (we had about 80 choir members).  That “picture” has stayed with me, all these years later.  It was a wonderful performance, with all the glory going to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Only one other musical event from Travis Avenue  that I/we remember was the year we performed The Seven Last Words of Christ by Joseph Haydn.  I don’t remember a lot of “acting” during that performance, but I do remember that we had an actor portraying Christ, and he was actually “hanging” on the cross, set up in the baptistry.  He “sang” the seven last words of Christ on the cross.  It was an extremely moving presentation.

Credit Google Search and synaxis

While it wasn’t at the church, I was able to join with some from the community to sing with the Seminary choir (Southwestern Baptist Seminary – Fort Worth, Texas) performing  Messiah by Handel.  The rehearsals were in the evening, and after working all day long, then heading to Seminary for rehearsals…well, I only participated in one performance.  I was just too tired to do justice to the music.  But it is a magnificent piece of music.

The Rotunda  – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Credit Google Search and SWBTS website


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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