Monday Musical Moment: A Few of My Favorite Things…

Justin Langham   -  
Happy Monday and happy new year!
I hope all of you had a wonderful and restful holiday season, and that 2023 has already brought you new beginnings and excitement! I enjoyed visiting my family in Tennessee and was fortunate to celebrate the arrival of the new year with old and new friends in Long Beach, California. Despite all flights going through Southwest Airlines, I made it back safely and am ready to hit the ground this year!
Today I want to talk about favorites, of which I often have way too many in any given scenario. Favorite color? It varies. Favorite movie or TV show? Too many to choose from. Favorite of Houston’s fine Mexican establishments? Indecision strikes again…
As someone who has worked, lived, and breathed all things music for my entire life since I was a pre-teen, the most dreaded question is… what’s your favorite song, musician, style of music, instrument, etc.? There is beauty and meaning in all types of music and it’s almost impossible to choose without several qualifiers like time of day, activity, or mood I’m in. I know many of you can relate to that feeling.
In this case, I’m going to ask you that most dreaded question…
So, what is your favorite choral piece?
On May 7th at 6:00pm in the sanctuary, the music ministry at First UMC will present their Spring concert, “Let All the World In Every Corner Sing,” a large portion of which will include a selection of favorite choral pieces submitted by the church-wide community. Is there a song that you’ve heard or sung in the past that is especially meaningful? We’d love to include it on our concert program! Click HERE to submit one, several, or many for consideration!
We’ve already established I have too many favorites, but I will go ahead and choose one from my list.
O Magnum Mysterium (“A Great Mystery”) has historically been part of the Matins of Christmas in the Roman Catholic Church and paints a vivid picture of the “wonderful sacrament” of Jesus’ birth, with the animals gathered around the virgin Mary and her newborn baby. The many musical settings of the text are some of the most tender and beautiful in all of choral literature, including those by Renaissance masters William Byrd, Palestrina, and Tomás Luis de Victoria, but there may be none more beloved today than Morten Lauridsen’s gorgeous setting composed in 1994. This has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember and is no small reason I fell in love with choral music and its power to move people, me included. 
I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do. If you like, you can add it to your own list of favorite songs, if it’s not there already!
Have a great week!