ith all the energy that music can convey, the musicians honored the King of Kings through music at the Forest Lake Church on October 10, 2015. The concert was presented as the final movement in a three part symphony of the Divine. Last year was movement two, "The Fount of Blessing." Last year's program symbolized God the Holy Spirit, the Omnipresent, the Spirit of all creation, and the Still, Small Voice of the Comforter. This year's program, part three, symbolized God the Son. In this concert was shown God our Savior, Shield, and King.

The program was structured into thee thematic sections, each focusing on an aspect of Christ our Redeemer.

 

Movement 1 - Christ our Savior

Beginning with a musical telling of the events that took place in heaven prior to Eden falling, the orchestra began the program with the somber tones of a growing war. Then the battle itself was heard as war broke out in heaven. Pieces of the Doxology were interwoven in war like rhythms and phrases, culminating in Satan being cast out of heaven. It is then the music shifts to a joyous tone as Christ emerges as the victor, with a full statement of the Doxology. "Praise Him all creatures here below..."

The next piece on the program saw all the musicians performing an original work by Mack Wilberg entitled "Hymn of Praise." This piece represented the joy of saved humanity upon recognizing the gift of life that Christ offers.

Continuing this theme of praise, the next piece featured Forest Lake Academy's Contabilé singing "Alleluia" by Randall Thompson.

Finally, this first section of the program was concluded by Contabilé singing the prayer of people everywhere, "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come," by Paul Manz.

Movement 2 - Christ our Shield

The middle section of the program showed the protective side of Christ, fittingly starting with a Bruce Greer orchestral arrangement of Martin Luther King's "A Mighty Fortress is Our Good." Greer's arrangement set the familiar tune to a new energy that was well received.

The next piece featured an organ solo by Linda van Niekerk, Eugène Gigout's "Toccata in B Minor." It was a masterful performance, with the continuous building of the organ's sound representing the harsh reality of life we must often face.

This was then immediately contrasted by the following work, whose words and style epitomize the very essence of how we are able to get through each day, Mack Wilberg's setting of "My Song in the Night." The beautiful music of the strings, horns, and harp, with the soothing words sung by the choir, provided the hinge on which the program moved; although we may be in the darkest hour of our personal battle, from it we emerge victorious because Jesus is our Song in the Night.

Movement 3 - Christ our King

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow..."

And the reason is simple: the Cross represents the single greatest act of love every witnessed. Gilbert Martin's "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" is the perfect musical statement to that fact. Featured in the program was an orchestral arrangement which greatly expanded the color palette of this famous and well loved piece.

This was followed by Beethoven's "Hallelujah" from his Opus "Christ on the Mount of Olives." The work of a master, the piece stood tall with orchestra, organ and choir loudly proclaiming, "...declare His grace and glory!"

The penultimate piece on the program was a very special showing. The program was the official premier of the brass, percussion, organ, and choir version of Kevin Kaska's "Gloria In Excelsis Deo." The piece was a thunderous conclusion to the program's section of Christ as our King.

Christ IS our king. He is the King of Kings. We have this simple truth: When we survey the wondrous cross, we are left with only this to say: "Hallelujah!" "Gloria In Excelsis Deo!"

Epilogue

Savior; Shield; King; these are titles we freely and gladly give to Christ because of who He is and what He has done. But Christ is more than these grand titles alone. He is our Friend, our Companion, and our Brother. We do not rejoice that Christ was killed, we rejoice because He lives! We have life because He has given us life.

"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings..." Revelation 17:14

The concert, and the concert series itself, was ended by a rendition of Peter J. Wilhousky's, "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The audience joined in on the final chorus, and the concert, and concert series, was ended with the entire building making joyous music. "Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on."

About the Program

The music program presented October 10 was the final movement of a three part symphony of the Divine. In 2014 was presented "The Fount of Blessing: A Musical Offering". This second movement recognized God the Spirit, the ever present Comforter. This year, part 3 presents "The King of Kings", focusing on Christ, who is God the Son. With this presentation we show Christ out Savior, our Shield, and our King.

We are constantly bombarded with news of bad things happening; on the local level, on the national level, on the global level. Music offers a break from that. Specifically, this music program exists for two reasons: to return a musical offering to the Lord, and to provide a brief respite from the constant bombardment of bad things in the world around us.

It may be noticed that there are no holidays near the program date. This was by design. The goal was to provide a musical oasis, no matter how brief, without the emotional ties to a holiday. The program was altruistic in nature; it existed because music and musical opportunities are good as well as fun.

The Directors

Mark Becker

Mark is currently in his thirty-fourth year of teaching at Forest Lake Academy.  A 1977 graduate of Union College, he completed a Masters of Music program at Boise State University in 1991.  Becker’s professional experiences include music teacher at Mile High Academy (Denver, CO), Gem State Academy (Caldwell, ID), and Andrews Academy (Berrien Springs, MI) and Minister of Music at Denver First Seventh-day Adventist Church and Zion United Church of Christ (Baroda, MI)

Leon Hauck

Leon Hauck brings with him 40 years of music performance and directing. He was the choir director at the Denver First Seventh-day Adventist Church and is currently the director of Restoration, a vocal octet. He studied piano under Virginia Gene Rittenhouse for several years, and at the age of 17 placed 1st in the New England Piano Teachers Association competition. He is an active trombone player, as well as an active singer with Restoration.

The Music

Mack Wilberg

Mack Wilberg is a composer, arranger, conductor, choral clinician and the current music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His compositions and arrangements are performed and recorded by choral organizations throughout the world. In addition to the many compositions he has written for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, his works have been performed by such artists as Renée Fleming, Frederica von Stade, Bryn Terfel, the King’s Singers, narrators Walter Cronkite and Claire Bloom.

Works Performed

  • Hymn of Praise
  • My Song in the Night

Randall Thompson

No work of Thompson's earned in equal measure the incredible celebrity accorded to his Alleluia (1940). It was written in four days at the request of maestro Sergey Koussevitzky for a work to celebrate the opening of the new Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. It was an immediate success and has been performed countless times by choruses large and small, professional and amateur.

Works Performed

  • Alleluia

Paul Manz

The esteem and respect with which Paul Manz is regarded can be seen in the many honors he received. He was twice named one of the “Ten Most Influential Lutherans,” served as National Councilor of the American Guild of Organists and is listed as one of the "101 Most Notable Organists of the 20th Century." His most famous choral work is the Advent motet "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come."

Works Performed

  • E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come

Gilbert Martin

For more than 30 years, organists, pianists, schools and churches have performed and enjoyed Gilbert M. Martin's many and varied original compositions and arrangements. He often travels throughout the country to teach and conduct musical ensembles. He was recently honored at Westminster as a distinguished composer and graduate. He has received 21 yearly ASCAP Awards.

Works Performed

  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist, and a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music. Christus am Ölberge (in English, Christ on the Mount of Olives), Op. 85, features the "Welten singen..."  This finale chorus has enjoyed some popularity on its own, usually being rendered as a "Hallelujah", frequently performed by church, high school and college choirs.

Works Performed

  • Hallelujah

Kevin Kaska

Kevin Kaska is an American composer, arranger, record producer, and conductor. Mr. Kaska's music has been performed all over the world by major orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and with John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra, to name a few. His piece presented here, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," is an original composition that the October brass players have the privilege of premiering.

Works Performed

  • Gloira In Excelsis Deo

Eugène Gigout

A pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns, Eugène Gigout served as the organist of the French capital's Saint-Augustin Church for 62 years. He became widely known as a teacher and his output as a composer was considerable. Renowned as an expert improviser, he also founded his own music school. The Toccata in B minor is Gigout's best-known creation, and is frequently heard at organ recitals around the world.

Works Performed

  • Toccata in B Minor

Peter Wilhousky

Peter J. Wilhousky was a popular American composer, educator, and choral conductor of Ukrainian ethnic extraction. During his childhood he was part of New York's Rusyn Cathedral Boys Choir, and gave a performance at the White House to President Woodrow Wilson. His arrangement of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for Chorus, Band, and Orchestra, is probably the most famous arrangement of the hymn before the 1940s in the United States.

Works Performed

  • Battle Hymn
 

 

Bruce Greer

Bruce Greer is the Creative Director for Word Records. In 1999 Bruce was awarded a Dove Award for Musical of the Year for his musical, titled "Mary, Did You Know." His orchestral arrangement of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" brings a vibrant energy to the familiar tune.

Works Performed

  • A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Mark Babienko

Mark is the producer of "The Power and Glory of God Through Music" concert series. In addition, he is the series' graphic artist, music librarian, website builder, sound engineer, video editor, print designer, and orchestral trumpet player. This year, he's adding one more hat to the collection by composing a piece for the program.

Works Performed

  • Proelium - War In Heaven

The Musicians

We wish to extend a very special thank you to our orchestral and vocal performers tonight that have come together with us to make music. They join us from many locations, both here in Orlando and from places outside of Florida. Without their help and talent, tonight would not be possible.

Orchestra - In the orchestra for this performance are members of Advent Brass from Markham Woods Church, members of Sabbath Strings, students from Forest Lake Academy, members of the First United Methodist of Orlando orchestra, members of the Kress Memorial Church, students from Lake Highland Academy, and friends from the Orlando community and surrounding areas.

Choir - The choir is composed of Cantabilé from Forest Lake Academy, members from the Forest Lake Church Choir directed by Evan Chesney, members of the Men of Markham Woods chorus, the vocal octet Restoration, and numerous friends from the Orlando community and surrounding areas.

The Concert Series Completed

With this years concert,"The King of Kings," the three part symphony of the Divine will be completed. With a concert dedicated specifically to each member of the Godhead, the global idea has been achieved.