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Showing category "Take Note - FPC, Waterloo" (Show all posts)

Take Note - June 2017

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, May 25, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Doing our best to make our life worth each day and every day should be our goal.  After a while, though, we should also have a pause and look back, to remind us where we are from, and look forward, where we will walk onward. This will help us see the big picture so that we will not lose our identity and can set the right direction to keep going in our long life journey.

I had a great chance to review the history and the current situation of Korean Christian churches at First Congregational ...


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Take Note - May 2017

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, May 1, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:16—NIV)

On a Friday afternoon after finishing my work, I was leaving the church using our new elevator. Right before opening the door going outside, I suddenly wanted to recall the old building structure around the current entrance doors and the elevator. I walked around the fire doors and looked around the stairs going to the kitchen area. I tried harder to picture the ...


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Take Note - April 2017

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, March 30, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The day I am writing this article is the first official day of spring on the calendar.  During the last Spring Concert in May, I proudly announced that we were going to have a new elevator to welcome more people to this church.  Now we have it and our musical groups with some guest musicians are preparing our 6th Annual Spring Concert on Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m.

The concert will be performed by both Celebration Ringers and Sanctuary Choir with some guest vocalists with brass, percussion, d...


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Take Note - March 2017

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, March 4, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

With witnessing the ongoing struggles and debates among people around the presidential campaign of 2016, I have been thinking about how hard it is to understand other people’s thoughts and to be in their shoes to see the world.

As a musician, my efforts to understand others has involved pursuing a variety of music for our services and concerts. For the last several years since 2012, our choir has sung repertories from the time of the Renaissance to contemporary music. Language-wise, we ha...


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Take Note - February 2017

Posted by Taemin Han on Sunday, February 5, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The year of 2017 should be a memorable point in my life in many ways. I started my 50’s this year in January, this is my 20th year since I came to the USA, and I am almost completely sure that I will become an American citizen this year. Whether others recognize it or not, many things have changed inside and outside of me. But, there are things that will not change; God and me, and the relationship between us and God.

There is a movie, among many, that I will remember my entire life: “C...


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Take Note - January 2017

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

A few days ago, I found an interesting YouTube page provided by a young American man who is currently teaching English in Korea. His name is Oliver and first of all, his amazingly fluent Korean was so impressive. His many fun clips should be very helpful to many Koreans who want to learn English and more about America. While enjoying them, one video stood out to me strongly.

It was about the reality of America (literally interpreted as “the real face [without makeup] of America”), and h...


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Take Note - December 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

I am writing this article after watching a movie with some of our church children within our choir and chaperones. I showed a picture of our group I took there to one of my sisters in Korea. She said, “Wow, various races are in this picture!” Yes, we all may be different in color, but we are all the same as children of God. We had a fun time together that evening.

Now we are going to have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. During this wonderful time of year, I again think ab...


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Take Note - November 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Miah and I had another “Miah and Friends” concert last Sunday, October 23. It has been five years since 2012, and we have had lots of fun with many musician friends through these annual events. After this exciting concert, I thought I was going to get some rest for at least a few days.

On Monday morning, though, I realized that I couldn’t do so. Just look at all the fallen leaves in front and back yard! To make things worse, the weather forecast said we were going to have some rain fr...


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Take Note - September 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

This summer, I spent many more days traveling than I have any other year. It’s been three years since I visited Korea with my family in 2013, and I spent time with my family again because my father passed away pretty suddenly and unexpectedly. Since then I got to see my old church families in Ann Arbor, Michigan again after 15 years and in Mt. Clemens after six years.

I still appreciated the precious moments I had when I saw old friends and my own family after so many years, and that’s ...


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Take Note - August 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, August 15, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Last week, I drove about 2,000 miles for a four-night, 5 day-vacation with my family. Our first destination was Niagara Falls, and we went through the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. On the road coming back home we visited two locations, Ann Arbor and Mt. Clements in Michigan, to meet our Hope Korean Church family and our First Presbyterian Church family. As time goes, relationships with people in the past become more and more precious and the desire to go back and visit them w...


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Take Note - July 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, August 15, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

What a month I have had in June! On June 2, I took a quick trip to Korea for my family, who mourned and comforted each other after my father passed away after 10 days in a hospital with two surgeries. He went back to heaven without too much pain or worry, and I believe that he had a pretty enjoyable life too. On the second day of my return from Korea, I had a last rehearsal with our ringers before the Handbell Festival in Sioux Falls and they left for the event two days later without me due t...


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Take Note - May 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The annual Spring Concert this year in May at First Presbyterian Church will be the fifth one since 2012. In my own history of music ministry in the USA, it has been 16 years. I started this annual concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church of Westland, Michigan in 2000, and I have not skipped a single year. I believe it benefits church music ministry in various ways. First of all, it gives us an opportunity to maintain and develop our musical skills, and also shows us musical goals to achieve....


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Take Note - April 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
There is a great movie that reminds me about the importance of the dreams of young people. “Cinema Paradiso” is a story about a young boy who develops a friendship with the fatherly projectionist in a small town in Italy. Eventually, he became a famous film director, and there’s no doubt that the time he spent in the movie theater with the projectionist affected his success as a film maker.

When I recall my life’s path, the first person who gave me the dream of becoming a musician w...

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Take Note - March 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Recently I have witnessed so many musical events that have been taking place in our community. Among them, the Cedar Valley chapter of the American Guild of Organists hosted “January Jubilee” last month.  The event was mainly to encourage and support part-time church musicians, including our local musicians.  Over 40 people, including some people from nearby cities and other states, participated.  The organization will have another big event, “Pipe Organ Encounter”, in June.  This tim...


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Take Note - February 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, February 1, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

If you have ever spent time on the phone, answering numerous recorded questions, and finally get the chance to hear a real human voice to talk with, you know how important it is for us to spend time with real people instead of machines.

One day, I made a mistake and responded to a suspicious email message regarding one of my bank accounts.  I recognized that it was a scam email right away and I called the number on the back of my bank card.  After spending a long time with the recorded voice, ...


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Take Note - January 2016

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, January 9, 2016, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

When the time of letting the old year go and opening a new year came around, I spent some time thinking about what really matters in our lives.  What can really make our lives fruitful, enjoyable, and meaningful to ourselves and to others as well?

Right after the Christmas eve service, which was the last service I prepared this year,  I enjoyed several days of vacation.  During these days, I could have my favorite kind of time, which was to explore potential music for next year.  While doing...


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Take Note - December 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, December 11, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

"I am not lost. I am exploring." 
 
This is from a bump sticker message I saw this morning on someone's car. This car was in the parking lot of Creighton University in Omaha, so the car was probably a student's.  Grace is applying to a couple of pharmacy schools, so they are pretty good words she needs to keep in mind too. 
 
In the journey of life, we sometimes have no clear idea where we are or what step we should take next. During that kind of situation, people's advice or our trust on God...


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Take Note - November 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, October 31, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

In 8th century Korea, there was a monk who wrote "Song in Memory of a Deceased Sister."  The poem starts with this sentence, "Here are the ways of life and death, and you happened to leave even without being able to say 'I am leaving.'  Like leaves, falling down here and there from the wind in early Autumn , we don't know where we go even though we were born on the same branch...."   He was a Buddhist monk, so he might see life after death a little differently to our beliefs  as Christians.  ...


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Take Note - October 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

In Korea, there are two big holidays when families get together to celebrate:  the beginning of Fall (super moon day)and lunar new year.  As an immigrant family from Korea, my family and I happen to enjoy these holidays along with Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.  It depends on how  Miah and I take these holidays.  It can be double the excitement or double the loneliness for us because we don't have our parents and siblings here in the USA. 

This evening Miah talked with her parents over the p...


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Take Note - August 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

A couple of weeks ago, I started driving lessons with Solomon. It reminded me of the early years of my driving. I remember that small differences between each car seemed huge, such as size of the cars and the sensitivity of brake and engine. After some years of driving, I recognized that those differences do not affect my driving that much.

During the American Guild of Organists convention in Indianapolis I attended with Miah in July, I enjoyed many concerts performed by excellent organists w...


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Take Note - July 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, July 25, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

From late spring to early summer, I usually see many houses open their yards for garage sales.  Warm weather conditions may make people want to clean their houses and get more space to relax and breathe more air.  Cleaning up and organizing are activities we should never stop throughout our lives, but this is the season when we do them more.

I think this is the season we need to clean up our minds and spirits too.  This is the time when we reflect on our past and reconnect our relationships wi...


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Take Note - June 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, July 25, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The season of sowing has come back, and I put some seeds of my favorite vegetable, green perilla, in a pot.  It is not a well-known vegetable to most Americans but is a necessity on Koreans’ dining tables, especially for pork dishes.  Its smell is so attractive and also helps get rid of the bad smell of pork.  Because it’s available only at Korean grocery stores and the nearest town I can go to is Iowa City, I decided to grow it myself.  Last year, I tried and got only weeds. This year, I...


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Take Note - May 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

May is the last month of the church choir year.  After our annual Spring Concert on May 3, we will start to get ready to close this choir year.  As I recall our year of 2014-2015, many good memories make me smile. Among them, I especially feel happy about our children’s choir group, Praise Ringers. The children have sung and played bells regularly throughout this year.  On Sunday, April 12, they played bells and showed us the signs of important words of the song, while Sanctuary Choir suppo...


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Take Note - March 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, March 2, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

If someone asked me what the most important task and consistent challenge for my work as a music conductor is, I would say "listening" during each rehearsal and performance.  There are many things to learn and equip myself with to be a better music director, such as working hard on copies of music, developing communication skills, and finding more and more repertories of fine music.  But, if there's one most important fact, which distinguishes ordinary music directors from excellent ones, it'...


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Take Note - February 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, February 2, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

I once read a report saying that elderly people were more optimistic about the future than younger people were.  Maybe part of the reason is there will be less time left for old people than for younger.  But that does not explain it fully.  I believe that experiences we have throughout our lives prove that most of the difficulties we have in our lives are not that bad compared to what  we usually predict beforehand, and there have been ways to overcome those troubles beyond our expectations.
...


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Take Note - January 2015

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, January 16, 2015, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

During the Christmas holidays, I watched a movie, "A Christmas without Snow" on cable. These days I watch movies mostly on Netflix and Amazon. This way, I can more effectively search and find movies according to my interests. So, finding and watching this movie on television felt a bit old-fashioned.

The setting of this movie was a church and its choir. One of the most memorable scenes happened right after the audition to select soloists for the Handel's Messiah concert.  One soprano, who th...


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Take Note - December 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, November 29, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The last month of the year 2014 is coming soon .  Around Thanksgiving and Christmas it's the time to remind ourselves of the importance of family because of the fact that we will gather with our families during this season more than any other time of the year.  Why is family so important to us? 

Good relationships with people, especially with our families, give us confidence and courage in challenging times and comfort in difficult times, and they generally allow us to be ourselves in most s...


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Take Note - November 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, November 3, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

When I see falling leaves around this time of year, I can't avoid thinking about the span of our lives.  We have a few steps or elements in our lives; birth, learning, working, marriage (skipping this stage has became more common these days though), and death.  

The season of fall reminds us about death.  And even though fall itself can be categorized as a harvest, full of grace and thanksgiving, and the peak of happiness in our lives, falling leaves and cooling temperature give us the idea ...


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Take Note - October 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, September 27, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

"Praise the Lord.  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! - Pslam 147:1 NIV) "

In the year of 1997, I came to the United States in April, 7 months earlier than Grace and Miah for Miah's remaining classes and final exam to achieve her master's degree in organ performance.  During those 7 months I missed them a lot, especially it made me feel so painful not to witness the quick growing up moments of 3 year old Grace at the time.

One day, she left h...


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Take Note - September 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, September 27, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them.'" - Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NIV) 

When I was young, I mean I was in my 20's I thought the word "youth" in this context meant people in their teens and 20's at least.  Now in this 21st century, the concept of young has been expanded dramatically. If we consider youth as not only biologically but also spiritual, the concept of youth can seen in even ...

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Take Note - June 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

After Sunday morning service on May 25, many people approached me and said my piano offertory was so touching.  Among them, three ladies had said the same comment, "It was my mother's favorite!"  That was "Whispering Hope", arranged by Kohlmann.  I got his music book of arrangement collections for the piano, printed in 1944, while digging in a bunch of old music books that a retiring music professor put beside his office for students.  I have played these old hymn tunes for our senior church ...


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Take Note - May 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, May 8, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

I am wring this article on the evening of Easter.  We had a great Easter morning service with  guest organist Dr. Karen Black of Wartburg college.  Before the Easter service, I had good experiences and many thoughts throughout holy week morning services at 7:30 a.m.  With a few people who attended, I had chances to talk with them after each service and we shared our own life stories, issues about our education to the immigration system and many other things happening around us.  I have not ha...


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Take Note - April 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, April 7, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice" - Philippians 4:4: (KJV)

In a way of participating in the church's endeavor as staff through new vision planning, we are having book discussions on Tuesdays with a book, titled "Memories, Hopes, and Conversations" by Mark Lau Branson.  This week we are reading the 3rd chapter, and it's about our thanksgiving and gratitude of what God has given us.  Many writers in the Bible such as David and Paul show us that they thanked God and praised ...


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Take Note - March 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, March 7, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

When preparing musical concerts, music directors usually spend a significant portion of preparation time in finding good copies of music for the program.  Especially if it is old, historical music, finding a good edition for an authentic interpretation will be important.  An accurate copy of music without errors also saves a lot of rehearsal time and performers' energy too.

English Baroque composer Henry Purcell's anthem, "Rejoice in the Lord alway" is one of the pieces for the upcoming Spring...


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Take Note - January 2014

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, January 24, 2014, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

During the last Christmas Eve service, we again fully enjoyed graceful music with many talented musicians.  Especially during the pre-service music, our beginner's bell choir group, Praise Ringers, played two Christmas pieces, and our young singer Megan Wheelock sang "Gentle Mary, Tender Mary." beautifully.  Grace Han and Alix Wimberley played their instruments wonderfully too. 

When I plan to include these young musicians for musical events, it usually needs much more preparation time than...


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Take Note - December 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, December 19, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
It is time to close the year of 2013. Around this time of year, many people will try to recall what they have achieved and what they have lost. There are things that can be measured easily, like changes in someone’s financial situation or social status. In contrast, there are subtle things in our lives that can’t be recognized clearly. Are you happier this year than last year? This kind of question should be answered with various standards and concepts of measurement. 

When I recall the mu...

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Take Note - November 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, November 4, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The talent show we had on Sunday, October 13, was successful.  We enjoyed many people's talents in music, dance, and many jokes our children and youth group presented made the whole show go smoothly.  So, I would like to start my "Take Note" with some jokes for this month.

A man was complaining to God, "Oh my God. I have kept praying to give myself a chance to win the lottery. Why didn't you give me that luck?"  God's answer, "Son, why don't you buy a ticket yourself first and pray?"  Here'...


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Take Note - October 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

There’s an interesting and unique piece written by American experimental composer John Cage (1912-1992). The title is 4’33” (four minutes, thirty-three seconds). It’s for any instrument or combination of instruments, but the performers will not play anything during the total duration of the piece. John Cage said that, in his opinion, it is his most important work. I think the  composer’s idea of this piece shows us one of the many aspects of live performances.

In regard to convenie...


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Take Note - September 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, August 30, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

During one of the days when Grace was in her early years of elementary school, Miah and I found her doing an interesting job around a potted plant. She held a radio and played some music for the plant. When we asked what she was doing, she explained that this music would help the plant grow well. We didn’t know where she got the idea, but it seemed quite impressive. Music is also recommended for our pets. Many veterinarians recommend music for our dogs when they get stressed or too excite...


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Take Note - August 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, August 1, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
On Sunday, July 21, our Summer Choir sang an anthem, “Bind Us Together” for service, and I added the flute and trombone parts for Grace and Solomon to join us. During the rehearsal before the service, one of the choir members told me that the sound of the flute was not noticeable because of its low range. I told her that you will hear more towards the end of the piece. I arranged the flute part to play the melody line in the beginning, some counter-melody (descant) for the middle, and the...

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Take Note - July 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, July 6, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

“Big boys don’t cry.” It seems like an old-fashioned statement meaning that to control your emotions in public is a virtue. The equivalent for girls may be “Big girls don’t frown.”

After 16 years in the USA, my family had a good time with our family in Korea. Most of them met Solomon for the first time and Grace was three years old when they last saw her. Even with this circumstance, we saw only laughter and smiles we shared together.

When the time came to say our last good-bye ...


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Take Note - June 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, June 17, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Summer is a season when we get out of closed spaces to a widely open world. We enjoy catching up with our neighbors and friends and making new friends during the summer. Busy school and church schedules get more relaxed and we can take a deep breath until Fall.

Around the time you are reading this article, I will be in Korea with my family. There’s a Korean proverb, that says, “The time of a decade can change even the shape of mountains and rivers.” I want to check how much sense thi...


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Take Note - May 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

During the winter of 2009, three days before New Year’s eve, my family and I moved to Waterloo from Michigan where we spent 12 years.  One of the choir members I shared six years with gave us a bowl as a farewell gift. The bowl had a line of words printed which read “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”  That short sentence comforted me amazingly.

The first time I stepped on the land of the USA, New York and New Jersey area, for visiting my friend for a week, I felt like Alice in Wonderland.  ...


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Take Note - April 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, April 12, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
Can you think of our lives without music? Music is everywhere around us. When we celebrate our birthdays and when we send off our beloved ones at their funerals, there is music. We need music when we are happy, and music will comfort us when we are sad.
I read an article about a cellist, Vedran Smailović, who played his cello in unusual places during the siege of Sarajevo. He played mostly Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor in ruined buildings. In his honor, composer David Wilde wrote a solo piec...

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Take Note - March 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Friday, April 12, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
Sometimes we spend time finding out how we can be the best person to our important people. Making more money looks like one of the many ways to make this wish come true. Spending more time with them will be another way. These two ways, however, don’t go along with each other easily. There may be some more answers we can think of, but I would like to say that my answer for this question is being where we should be for them.

There was a conversation with a mother, who lost her daughter to an a...

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Take Note - February 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, February 9, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Missions-Impractical: that was the title of the devotion, based on the story of five loaves and two fish in Mat-thew 14:16-17, I read to our Sanctuary Choir members during our second Wednesday rehearsal this year. The question I had after reading it was who will determine whether God’s a mission is impractical. If we determine some mission and try to figure out if it’s impractical or practical, will that decision be reliable? If the mission is given by God and led by His plan and will, it...


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Take Note - January 2013

Posted by Taemin Han on Sunday, January 6, 2013, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

The Messiah concert on Sunday, December 9, that First Presbyterian and First Congregational presented in our church sanctuary was well received and successful. More than 400 people sat in the pews and about 50 people on the stage made a beautiful atmosphere while we glorified God in unison.  The power of music is really a gift from God! 

After the concert, I started thinking of the many other ways we can serve the people around us.  Music is one of many tools we can use to lead people to Chr...


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Take Note - December 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

If someone asks you which is more important,  the beginning or the end of each year, what would be your answer?  You might answer that the beginning is more important because a good start will more likely lead you to good results.  Or, you will say that the end is more important, because good results are your final goal even if you start badly.

However, it is not easy to identify the clear points of beginning and ending in our life.  The concept of the beginning and ending of each year is on...


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Take Note - November 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, October 29, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Many people make resolutions for the New Year, in preparation for what’s to come.  But how often do we take the time to review the previous year in order to see how far we’ve come?  It’s good to look back over our past to see what we have accomplished and examine how we can build in the future.

When the temperature gets cooler and the leaves begin to change color, I start thinking back to the early days of each year.  At the beginning of 2012, I was so appreciative of my new calling at...


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Take Note - October 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, October 6, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

I heard a story of a farmer who had a winery from his ancestors.  Someone asked him why he was working so hard to make new wine even when he was so old and might not get a bottle good enough to sell in his lifetime.  The answer from him was that it was because he had gotten those good old wines that his father and grandfather put in storage a long time ago.  When we work hard, sometimes it's not just for ourselves but for the future of our children and grandchildren.  Without those efforts of...


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Take Note - September 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, September 6, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

My daughter, Grace, left home for college last Wednesday.  I thank God for this opportunity and the new chapter of life for her.  While getting back from Iowa City after dropping her off at the University of Iowa, I recalled all 18 years that I have shared with Grace.  The question that returned to me again and again was "What would be the most helpful thing I can give her as a parent for her life?"

As church musicians and an immigrant family, we have not enjoyed a financially rich life.  But,...


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Take Note - August 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Monday, August 13, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

In the middle of summer, I had a good chance to refresh my body and spirit by attending a conference for church musicians at St. Olaf College. It was a heart-touching moment to see Dr. John Ferguson playing the organ during the worship service for the last time in his tenure at the college. Everyone gave him respect by clapping for a long time. He was a well-known organist, composer and music educator. Dr. Anton Armstrong, choral director at St. Olaf College, also gave us many thing...


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Take Note - July 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

One word that can have very opposite meanings in different situations is "contagious."  If it is used with the name of a disease, it will mean making the situation more serious, and we want to prevent it from happening.  But sometimes it can mean passing our emotions and feelings to other people.  In this case, contagious can make either positive or negative results depending on what is conveyed. 

The second Sunday of June was the first day our Summer Choir sang for service during this summ...


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Take Note - June 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Sunday, June 10, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Whoa! This choir year is almost over! When I started serving in the middle of the church choir year here at First Presbyterian, I started without much preparation. My previous experiences as a church musician helped me out a bit. Without the patience and warm-hearted team spirit of our choir members, and encouragement from church members, however, I couldn't have survived up to this point. I thank the God for you! (This was the anthem we sang on Mother's Day Sunday.)

Now we enjoy the outdoors ...


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Take Note - April 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Sunday, April 1, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Throughout about 20 years of my music ministry at many churches, I have insisted that my church choirs  have at least one or two public concerts during a church year.  There are two important reasons: one is we should have experience to some suitable degree of difficult projects regularly to maintain our interest in music and develop our musical skills further.  It might be similar to the case that students need to take exams on a regular basis to check if their learning process has been succ...


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Take Note - March 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Sunday, March 18, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Two weeks ago, my whole family and I visited Michigan State University for Grace, who was participating in the MSU alumni distinguished scholarship competition.  Regardless of the results which will come later, we decided to focus the value of the time we enjoyed on visiting our old home town and finding fond memories at the campus during the stay in East Lansing. 

While participating in the events, I could not hide my pride as an alumni of the school because of how organized they were in p...


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Take Note - February 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Saturday, February 4, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
Someone said that there are three things that the longer you have kept them, the better they will be : those are the violin, wine and friend.  I am not able to explain the reason for violin and wine well enough even though I am sure that's true.  But I would like to think more about the friendships we want to achieve through our lives.

True friendships are like a tree with deep roots that have stood the test of time.  Good friends don't need to get together that often to make sure their relat...

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Take Note - January 2012

Posted by Taemin Han on Thursday, January 5, 2012, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 
What a year I have spent in 2011! It has been one of most challenging years for me and it has been another blessed year in return indeed with God's guidance.  Around the time of closing this year of 2011, I try to recall all the memories and experiences, and I recognize that  the most important blessing among all others I should thank God for is my family. 

If I had not had my wife and my children, who did not lose trust in me and kept living their lives without missing a beat, I would have g...

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Take Note - December 2011

Posted by Taemin Han on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

Do you have a role model ? If we find a good one, our lives can be in better shape.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is considered to be one of the greatest composers in western music history.  He was more popular as an organist than a composer in his time.  After then, many historical composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin admired his keyboard works.  After  F. Mendelssohn discovered a copy of Bach's St. Matthew Passion in his family library and reintroduced this piece to th...


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Take Note - First Article at FPC, Waterloo

Posted by Taemin Han on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, In : Take Note - FPC, Waterloo 

It is my honor to serve First Presbyterian Church as an Interim Music Director/Organist. The rich history of this church and equally extended history of strong music ministry at First Presbyterian Church have contributed tremendously to the life of church members as well as this community. I have enjoyed the concert program and special musical events at this church during the last two years since I moved to Waterloo with my family in December 2009.

Even with my short time of serving as subst...


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