Music changes and challenges
I never thought of myself as being a musician - but I played the piano and organ so I guess makes me sort of one.
I practiced my first lessons on an old pump organ until my dad found a used piano in Cavalier, ND. I finished grade 8 in piano lessons and grade 3 in theory. At a young age (probably 13) I would be asked to play for a male quartet upon arrival at the NeuBergthal EMM Church. I was pretty good at sight reading and must have been ok because they always asked me again.
After we were married we attended the Morrow Gospel Church in Winnipeg. They needed another organist so I volunteered. Playing organ was never my favorite thing to do. After moving to Altona, I was asked to play at many funerals. I still play at funerals when requested.
In the early 1970s, the Fruit of the Spirit quartet also asked me to play for them. One disadvantage I have is I need notes to play. I am envious of those who can play by ear.
I am not able to play at our Sunday morning worship services anymore with the contemporary songs. I do, however, love to sing them.
I will be forever grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to learn to play the piano. I'm sure they did not know how many times I would have the opportunity to serve the Lord through music.
Ray grew up with a family who liked to play guitar and sing together. He has played guitar at youth groups, with friends and family. Ray never had a guitar lesson and played everything by ear.
In the early 70's Ray became part of a men's quartet which was later called Fruit of the Spirit. This quartet travelled to many places in Canada, US, Mexico and Belize where they held services in machine sheds, outdoors and in churches. Music always drew people to attend and many were blessed in ways we will not know in this life. To this day, we will meet someone and they will remember the quartet that came to their village or town.
Fruit of the Spirit had some changes in members for different reasons, and for a number of years sang together as a trio. Ray sang with a mixed quartet in the Altona EMMC. This too was a ministry that blessed many people. But with times and worship style changes in the church music world, this too has become a thing of the past.
We are thankful for the opportunities we had to serve through music!
Ray and Dolores are members of Altona EMMC, Manitoba
______________________________ This article was originally published in The EMMC Recorder Vol 59, No. 4