The Symphonic Band at Union had our first concert last night with our new band director, Mr. Micheal Mann (who just happens to be a percussionist!). I knew from the moment I met him that I liked him. I didn’t know how far he would take our instrumental program in just two and a half short months.
Our band program has taken off on a journey like no other since he came to town. I look forward to going to band EVERY Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And you know what? I’m not even enrolled in the class! Dr. David McClune, a professor of music, told us that Mr. Mann has completely turned this instrumental program around. And what did Mr. Mann do? He took no glory, but bragged on God.
He gave us 8 songs to play in this concert, quite a bit more than the band has had in the past. We also had several guest performers with us: Dan Oxley on trumpet, Christian Wallen on bagpipes, MaryAnn McClendon on piano/synth, Sam Ritter on piano/clarinet, Dr. Ron Boud on organ and a host of others. And I’ve never worshiped so much in my entire life.
We played some standard band pieces like Second Suite in F (Holst), Ride (Hazo), and Windsprints (Saucedo). But we also played several sacred pieces such as Amazing Grace (arr. Dawson), Doxology (arr. Mann), Lux Arumque Shine On Us, and Great is Thy Faithfulness/Thousand Tongues. And after the night was over, there was absolutely NO DOUBT that the presence of the Lord was there in that chapel.
For one thing, the power on the stage went out before the concert and came back on JUST IN TIME for our sacred songs and guest performers, some of which played electronic instruments. I heard over a dozen people telling of how they felt the Spirit of the Lord moving about while we played these songs and I know they are right. Why? Because I felt it too!
The department of music here at UU is more than blessed to have Mr. Mann here as our new band director. And the quicker they move the word “visiting” from his title, the better. He’s such a humble man and takes no glory upon himself, but gives it all to God. He constantly reminds us that “we play for an audience of One.”