A "watershed" anthem for many of us is the Jerry Kirk's "Ye Shall Be Witnesses;" I still remember the first time I heard it at a Youth Choir Festival in Gadsden, AL, in 1971...it was spellbinding as it effectively delivered the great missions mandate from Matthew 1:8. A couple of Sundays ago Lucy Kirk, Jerry's wife, called our church from California; she did this while watching our streamed worship service. She just called to say she had seen our choir and orchestra on YouTube doing this song, and wanted to thank us. I had posted that song years ago!
It reminded me that "Ye Shall Be Witnesses" was, in fact, one of the first songs we did "folderless" - but not memorized - back in May of 2013. The word ChoirPrompt was not even a thing at that time...I just knew I wanted my choir to not hold folders any more, and so was trying to figure out the best way to pull that off. We've not done that song since, but hearing from Lucy caused me to revisit it, and bring it into the ChoirPrompt era.
Concerning our "2013 Version" below, be reminded that not all great ideas have the details in place at their outset; for me, though, going folderless was a worthy idea to pursue. I also remembered the truth that only a boat in motion can be guided, so we started moving on the idea, depending on God to give us guidance along the way...and he did.
I thought you might like to see the "before and after" versions. For the first version - the one in 2013 - I simply cut the printed anthem into sizes to fit on a 4X3 aspect ratio screen prevalent at that time; I was thinking that would possibly be the quickest and easiest way to accomplish our goal of "no folders." While it worked...kinda...it was far from ideal. But...at least we were moving!
The second version - done to today's ChoirPrompt standards - is the result of many improvements regarding the way we achieve going folderless. Initially, I was looking for the "quick fix" in achieving our goal, but ultimately, there was no quick fix. To do it with consistent success, allowing the choir to have high confidence, I finally realized that each song would need to be re-set in its entirety, and formatted for today's 16X9 screen. While certainly not the quick fix I was hoping for, I still considered the end result worth the time invested. The audio on both of the videos below features my choir and orchestra here at FBCP as they sang it for that May, 2013, worship service.
If you've never done this church music standard, I encourage you teach it to your choir. There is not a more effective missions anthem anywhere! It's published by Lillenas, and is still available (cat. no. LP.AN-1017).
Then, after learning it, you're encouraged to let it be your "very first" ChoirPrompt anthem to share with your church; I believe it will be the first of many. You may order it at the low Introductory Cost of $35.00.
(After reading article, be sure and watch videos below.)
A Missions Masterpiece
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