This Month's Newsletter

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Pastor Bruce Benson, along with a listing of music selections for each program and the corresponding scripture readings. If you'd like to receive a complimentary subscription, fill out our online request form for either the print newsletter or the electronic newsletter.

May 2017 Newsletter (Year A)
Pastor Bruce Benson
Where Music is Made, by Pastor Bruce Benson

Sing For Joy is offering a CD this month as a “thank you” (or incentive) for your financial contribution to the program.

I need to begin my letter with that straightforward remark so that you don’t think I am trying to sneak up on you with a surprise fund-raising appeal when I write about the architecture of a chapel in Texas. You see, the CD features sacred music from Saint Basil’s Chapel in Houston, Texas, and the architecture of that chapel is rather remarkable. What’s that you say? So is the 60+ year history of Sing For Joy? Well, we’re glad you feel that way, and certainly we hope you will feel motivated to join the Sukup Manufacturing Company of Iowa, and a host of other supporters of this program, by making your own financial contribution. But our communications coordinator, Carolyn Pierson, has written you a separate letter about that, so I don’t need to say any more about it here.

Not often during a Sing For Joy program do I mention the acoustical or architectural setting in which a recording has been made, and that is not an oversight. The room in which music is made is less important than the “room” it creates in the listener. Besides, much of what one notices about a room — be it auditorium, chapel or cathedral — is visual, and Sing For Joy can’t communicate visual environments. Sometimes, of course, you will hear a particular performance in which the sound itself helps you imagine something about the recording venue. The reverberation time of a large cathedral, for example, is easy to hear even on recordings. And if the music being sung in that setting is, say, chant music, the acoustical environment becomes one of the performers. It is as if the room sings along.

The visual impact of performance spaces is something else entirely. It doesn’t need to be mentioned on
Sing For Joy. As a listener, you don’t need to know if there is stained glass around the singers as they perform, or whether there is carved wood, rustic wood or no wood at all in the performance space. You are listening, not looking. And yet ... sometimes we like knowing how a room looks as we listen to music.

The appearance of St. Basil’s Chapel in Houston is not at all like St. Basil’s in Moscow. It is designed with very basic unadorned geometry: a cube, a sphere and a plane. If one thinks music and architecture should be similar, this is probably not the place for Bach or Mozart. Maybe Arvo Pärt. But the rooms in which music can be “at home” vary, and that is true of both performance and reception. We human beings are not all alike either. Sometimes we ourselves vary from one season to the next. At Sing For Joy, the room in which music is made matters only a little; the room in you where it finds a home is what matters. May that home be full of peace and joy this Easter Season.

Peace be with you,

Pastor Bruce Benson

Support Sing For Joy
Sing For Joy is supported by listeners like you. When you give to Sing For Joy you are saying yes to great sacred choral music. Have questions or want to donate by phone? Call us at 507-786-2600.
Show your support and donate today!
May Playlists and Programs

Playlists are ready now, and each show will become available to stream on the Friday before the week begins. 

May 7, 2017: Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

May 14, 2017: Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

May 21, 2017: Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

May 28, 2017: Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Connect with Sing For Joy!

We love hearing from listeners! Share with us how Sing For Joy plays a role in your life and we'll print responses in future newsletters. Join in the Sing For Joy conversation on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Write to us at singforjoy@stolaf.edu.

Listener Letters

I notice every so often church musicians will refer to consulting the Sing For Joy playlist when planning preludes, etc. I can certainly understand why!” -Kalispell, Montana

I have said before that your program is a veritable life-line for me in that the Scripture and music take me back to a treasured past and, at the same time, bring me forward with new hymns and reconsiderations of treasured scriptural passages.” -Chapel Hill, North Carolina

“I like to listen both Friday and Saturday to Sunday’s program [online]. It enriches my worship so much. Thanks so much for such a wonderful program and selection of hymns.” -North Bend, Nebraska

Sing For Joy Memorials
Memorials and Honorariums

Thank you for your gifts in memory and honor of those close to your heart.

IN MEMORY OF:
Harold Elliott
Pastor Chuck Jacobson
Robert T. Pickett III
Gladys Wilkie

IN HONOR OF:
Ms. Becky Bumpus
Bells of the Bay Ringers
Ruth Schoeller (my sister)

To include an honorarium or memorial when you give to Sing For Joy, simply include the name(s) and occasion(s) in the comment box. Donations can celebrate a personal milestone such as an anniversary or birthday, or honor a loved one who perhaps also enjoyed music, all while furthering the Sing For Joy mission to bring sacred choral music to listeners around the world. 

Sing For Joy® is sponsored by:

Sing For Joy Sponsor Logos

Sukup Manufacturing Co., St. Olaf College and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)