Sound of Music
Some of you may know that I have produced 2 CDs to raise money for Through the Roof. To record a Cd was a long-held dream of mine.
I grew up loving to sing. From a young age I sang the songs in Sunday school, and was about 5 or 6 years old when I did my first solo for our local church’s carol service.
I tried to learn the piano, and used to have endless hours of fun just playing tunes with 1 hand, and later on trying to do a very basic harmony. Most of them were tunes that I heard and picked up by ear. I am though, in no way a pianist! I leave that to the professionals. When I was in middle school I had lessons for a while, and took them up again later, but singing has always been my main instrument.
When I went to my last school, I took up singing lessons. I started taking graded exams and later went to Junior Trinity music college on saturdays for 3 years. Here I had singing lessons, piano, and trombone. I ended by passing my Piano grade 1, and my singing grade 5.
I will always remember the sounds at music college. I would always know I was nearly there when I heard music floating from somewhere ahead of me. Sounds of brass, woodwind, pianos, guitars, drums, and singing all mixed together creating something that might have sounded terrible, but actually sounded really nice.
When I left school and Junior Trinity I took up singing locally again and passed my grade 6 7 and 8.
Throughout this time, I had great pleasure in singing for my church on lots of occasions, and singing in various concerts for charity and carol services, including in St George’s chapel Windsor. This was a real privilege for me.
I loved singing songs from the shows such as “I could have danced all night”, “just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins” “these are a few of my favorite things”...you get the idea! But what I really lived to sing were the hymns. Anything that could sing of my love of my saviour, or of his love for me, or could tell the gospel was a true honor to sing!
I was supported by many people who were a great inspiration to me. One in particular was the professor of harpsichord at senior Trinity college. We met on a course to learn how to use Sibelius Speaking (the composition software my school were using for music GCSE). He is blind himself and we emailed for many years!
Singing is a great part of my testimony and I love to sing the hymn “Some day the silver chord will break” by blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby. The chorus says “and I shall see him face to face, and tell the story saved by grace”, which sums up that the first thing I will ever see is Jesus. How wonderful is that?
This hymn is the title track of my first CD, “I shall see him face to face”. This was recorded using my Mac, in my parent’s garden shed! I won’t go into the technical details of the program, or the simplicity of the whole experience of recording on the mac or we will be here for hours. What I will say though, is that I never thought I would be recording my CD, as studios were far too expensive for me, and the ones I contacted were not interested in recording hymns. The Mac enabled me to just press a button, pick up a mic, and go! Ok, so I might have had to do some editing (particularly the time when dad forgot I was in the shed and started to mow the grass!) but at least I could do it myself and I really enjoyed it.
Its funny how tense you feel when you hit record. Out of nowhere comes an urge to take my hand off the braille page and scratch my nose! Or suddenly I desperately needed to sneeze! I remember recording 1 hymn 4 times, because each time I couldn’t manage to turn the page quick enough!
The next CD “A few of My Christmas Favorites”, was recorded when it was slightly colder. I didn’t venture out into the shed, but instead converted my bedroom into my studio. This was fine and worked just as well. Except when, half way through “calypso carol”, one of my mum’s chickens started squawking for all it was worth! At the time, I thought nothing of it, assuming the mic would not pick this up, it was so far away. However, when I played it my parents, half way through there was a definite “cluck! Cluck!” so it was back to the drawing board (or possibly sound board) for that song.
The last of my CDs was released just after my wedding in September. Its called “Philippa’s Sunday School Favorites” and is full of songs that are not heard much these days. Songs I grew up with such as “Come Listen To My Tale of Jonah and the Whale”, “Only a boy called David” and "Wide Wide as the Ocean”. So I am hoping it will be a trip down memory lane for some, and a chance for children to learn different choruses.
All these cds are available for £5 from www.throughtheroof.org/shop2
All the proceeds go to Through the Roof.
Will is on the playing rota for our church now. Some of our hymns are strange to him so if there is a hymn that he doesn’t know I sing it while he plays along! I love to sing the hymns and sometimes find it easier to remember a hymn than a Bible verse. Must be something to do with it being set to music. But now I’m looking forward to carol singing! Its always one of my favorite parts of Christmas, singing the carols in the open, in houses, in church! I might even blow the dust off my trombone and attempt to play jingle bells! So if you hear a horrible noise, that’s probably what it is!