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. For church members, it provides a chance to enjoy and celebrate the gift of music God gives us through dedicated choir members.

But as I have spent more time as a church musician, there’s one more important reason that keeps making me do this annual concert: the pleasure of getting to know new people and bring old friends. I have met many musicians and music lovers through many concerts here and there throughout the last six years in the Cedar Valley.

Especially this year, I have been blessed to have a larger orchestra with a community choir. We will have another wonderful Spring Concert thanks to strong support from Pastor Amy and other leaders and all church members at First Presbyterian Church. The orchestra members include many excellent musicians I have worked with before and many more people whom I will work with for the first time. The vocal soloists will include three vocal faculty of the University of Northern Iowa School of Music, and the guest pianist Dmitry Vorobiev also is an Associate Professor of Piano at UNI. The orchestra and community chorus will include five church pastors in the Cedar Valley, including our own pastor.

I feel so happy and honored to have this great opportunity to offer this concert with these gifted musicians to our community and towards our God. The concert will be successful not only for the dedication of participating local musicians, but also for all the people who support and give their time to come, and most importantly for our God who guides us and encourages us to share the beauty of music with all His people. Thanks be to God!

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!