April 2006

Personal06 Apr 2006 10:22 pm

I have been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time. It’s Gospel Echoes Auction time! Remember how I posted about the wonderful time I had last year.

(Link to Auction Brochure pdf)

Friday is the haystack dinner, I may be roped into helping serve this time. Which is ok in a way, because maybe then I can eat for free. Is it wrong to think that way for a charitable event? I think it’s ok, because that leaves me more to spend on the auction!

Financial&Personal05 Apr 2006 03:50 pm

It seems that lately each month brings a new financial low here at ITF headquarters. Let me clarify, a new low in income that is, but a new high in expenses. It has been just unbelievable.

Due to this unfortunate phenomenon as well as some other circumstances, I’ve had the occasion recently to revisit the old budget. Some things need to be tightened down and readjusted. And one cut in particular pains my heart at its deepest levels.

A category which had been spiraling out of control was eating out. So no more. Slash. Cut.

I’m going to be in denial for quite some time, I think.

The last while I have really been wanting to go to Cracker Barrel. And Ryans. And that place in Bristol that Bill told me about. Not to mention going back to the Blue Gate for more ham. And what about grabbing a hamburger now and then?! It’s almost too much to fathom.

If you call us up and propose visiting a restaurant, we’re going to say no. Regretfully. Certainly not because we don’t want to.

Unless you’re buying!!!

So Morgan, nope. Not anymore.

You know what though, if I pay with a credit card. . .!!!

Music03 Apr 2006 03:08 pm
The following is an email interview I conducted with Glen Zehr (Random Pitches) of Voice of Praise. I used the event of their recent release, Deliverance, as a reason to ask him a few things I was curious about.

One might deduce from “Deliverance” that VOP has ventured into a little new territory as far as musical arrangements (e.g. Down By the Riverside, I’m Going to Let it Shine). Is this shift premeditated and intentional? If so, why?

As far as Riverside we really liked the song and found it a lot of fun to sing. So this was a premeditated change. However, there were some songs on our last album, Resting In His Grace, that were somewhat of a switch for the group. As far as the children’s medley, we asked Rumsey to do an arrangement of children’s songs for us and this was what he sent us. So, we did it. I guess that would be premeditated also.

How did you happen to have Marcus Yoder contribute liner notes?

Besides the fact that Marcus and I are really good friends, we wanted someone who had some recognition in Mennonite circles. We also wanted someone who appreciated what we are trying to do musically. More importantly he understands the struggle we have in finding Deliverance. He understood the message of these songs.

The last few recordings, you used John McVey to record/co-produce. What would you say are the unique qualities he brings to a VOP project?

Mcvey is the reason the group has improved. He has pushed us to be more rhythmically correct. Learn how the chord sounds when it “snaps” or “locks.” Realize what this sound is and learn to get it all the time.

How did you happen to become acquainted or start working with him?

He was working at Alive when we went to do the “What A Friend” album. He worked us over so well we decided that we really could not live without him. He brings so many things to the table. Ideas about what to do with songs, etc.

What is the status of your commission to Tim Rumsey for O for a Thousand Tongues?

Well, we are scheduled to record this song on our “Reunion” album this summer. This is another wonderful arrangement of an old hymn. I love the way he makes the words fit the music. His music brings the words to life.

What do you have in the works for “Reunion?”

Well, we are planning on doing an album this summer and going on a 2 week tour in ’07. At this point everyone (all former and current group members) is planning on going so we will have group of ten.

How did your relationship with Rumsey begin?

This is interesting. Rumsey did a Christmas work “Emmanuel” that was recorded at Alive. McVey was the engineer. Anyway, we got him to play some of the stuff for us. I really liked it and ordered the album. Later (six months) I visited Rumsey’s website and looked at all his sheet music. I noticed there was none listed for male voices so I emailed him and asked him if he had any. He replied and said no. I emailed him back and asked him if he wanted to do any for us. He said sure and wanted us to give him some song titles to choose from. So we did.

Misc02 Apr 2006 03:29 pm

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