This Month's Newsletter

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob, 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 to subscribe.

July 2024 Newsletter (Year B)

PLAY THE TEXT
Guest Column from Andrew Jacob

I’m thrilled that I get to write this month’s newsletter article! Before I begin, I want to thank you all for the kind and encouraging letters Alexandra and I have received from you since taking on the roles of SFJ program host and music director. We have loved hearing from you and learning more about what this program means to each of you. What a blessing to be in community via the airwaves!


As you know, Sing For Joy follows the scripture lessons assigned by the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle of readings that churches of various denominations around the world follow. Therefore, the number-one criterion for selecting the anthems and hymns for each week’s program is their text.


One of my mentors in high school was the longtime organist at my home church, Jack Swanson. From my early days of taking organ lessons and learning how to lead a worshiping congregation in song, Jack would say, “play the text!” As a young organist, I was so concerned about making sure that each chord was correct, my feet were in the right place, I was using proper “legato” technique, that I often overlooked the words of each stanza. How do I have time to look at each word when there’s SO MUCH music to focus on?


Jack’s gentle yet insistent advice helped me realize early on that the music is there to serve the text, not the other way around. Sure, the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah is good music, but imagine it without the repetitive “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” It doesn’t have the same effect. William Bradbury’s tune for Jesus Loves Me would not be as well-known or beloved without the deceptively simple text of Anna Bartlett Warner.


Lest you’re thinking to yourself that the Sing For Joy music director is saying that music isn’t necessary, let me say: of course it is! I continue to marvel and give thanks for the infinite variety of ways composers throughout the generations have interpreted the texts of great Christian poets. On the program for July 14th are two very different musical settings of the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Each one colors the text in a different way. As you listen, notice which words or phrases stick out to you. You may hear something different in one version than you did in the other.


At its best, the marriage of text and tune allows each to highlight the beauty of the other. When this happens, these unions allow us to know God in a variety of ways; from triumphant and majestic hymns, to the most prayerful a cappella anthems we are given the gift of stretching our own understandings of the Divine.

Andrew Jacob

Music Director, Sing For Joy

Support Sing For Joy

Sing For Joy is supported by listeners like you. All gifts go directly towards our operating budget that makes Sing For Joy possible. To become a sustaining supporter, check the "recurring gift" option on our online giving form.

July Playlists and Programs

Interested in reading hymn lyrics as you listen? We recommend hymnary.org, where you can search by hymn name, composer, and more.

Lanterns in Boe Chapel

Memorials and Honorariums

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

IN MEMORY OF:

My Husband, Mark R. Buckner

Dennis C. Clapp

Albert and Norma Eickmann

Charles and Sybil Eurey

Michael Fisher

Rev. Thomas A. Herbon

Lorn Kleiboeker

Kyria Madany-Klein

BJ and Alice Muus

Dortha Polovina

Mrs. Thelma Price

Arthur and Erna Raap

Sara B. Ruona

Dave Starks

Bob Sylwester

IN HONOR OF:

John Ferguson

Alexandra & Andy Jacob

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, as well as who should receive an acknowledgement letter and their street or email address. Due to editorial lead times, Honorariums and Memorials will appear in the Sing For Joy newsletter two months following our receipt of the gift. 

Sing For Joy is sponsored by:

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