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Singing songs of the good news
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    About four years ago, comedian Steve Martin, who is also one great banjo player, wrote an interesting piece of music, “Atheists don’t have no songs.” Yes, I know that’s a double negative. According to Martin, their hymnbook is only one page and if the name of God is there, it’s spelled with a lower case “g.” Go figure.
    Last Sunday evening, Julie and I sat with four special friends in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church and I had my socks blown off by the SEB Advanced Chorus and the Southern Chorale of GSU. Many of you most likely know that SEB has been awarded an invitation to travel to New York and sing at Carnegie Hall. For those who might have missed the announcement, it only took about two measures of their first selection “Ave Maria” to convince them that they were listening to one of our Country’s finest high school choruses.
    Their choice and presentation of “The Conversion of Saul” was outstanding! “Baba Yetu” made me smile and the four-legged critter in “Lambscapes” made me laugh.
    Hats off and a standing ovation to Brent Whitaker, who is not only a superb choral director but a man who loves his singers, and they love him in return. He knows the ability of each and every member of the chorus and they respond accordingly. The performance speaks volumes about the practice, dedication and discipline necessary to sing so beautifully. Thanks.
    Southern Chorale displayed the maturity of wonderfully blended voices who truly blessed us with a program of praise, affirmation and reassurance.
    Unlike those “who have no songs,” Shannon Jeffreys declared that these outstanding university singers were ready to sing the Good News of God and we were blessed. “Exsultate, O magnum mysterium" and "O lux beata Trinitas” were performed at such a level that they took our breath away, but the words from “Nada Te Turbe” touched my heart. “Let nothing disturb you; let nothing frighten you; everything passes; God never changes, patience obtains all things. Whoever has God, lacks nothing.”
    Dr. Jeffreys, you and the Southern Chorale gave us a worship service that we will cherish and remember for a very long time.
    Oh, and how could I forget that 14-member quartet who sang the best barbershop music since “The Music Man!” Guys! Would it have been too much to have you come back for at least one encore and a rendition of one of my old favorites, “Lida Rose?”
    By the way, I never did find my socks.

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