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And then the audience shows up.

On Saturday night, October 7th, after a pretty dreary day of rain, one hundred and seventy two people found their way into the sanctuary at Jesse Lee Memorial Methodist Church in Ridgefield, CT. The gathering had begun.

Our concert started as Sarah Fox, music director and producer of the concert, welcomed our audience and asked them to hold their applause for the first cycle of songs called Prophets and Prophecies. That meant that they needed to refrain from their all too common purpose as applauders for nearly thirteen minutes. More than a few times I thought that starting this way could be a mistake. Were we asking too much of this audience, especially as the third song in the cycle was sung by a trio of children, the youngest of which was eight years old? But I think audiences like challenges, like to be asked to participate in ways that make their presence special. And since the program notes made it clear that each of the songs was meant to portray a singular way that the prophetic voice makes itself known, they had a context for the challenge they were being asked to meet. As the last a cappella notes were sung to the text of a poem by Dana Gioia called Prophecy, the audience energy exploded with purpose and gratitude- at least it felt like gratitude from where I was sitting. A very satisfying moment.

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