Window into a Composer

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Advent – Day #11   A Window into a Composer

Art has long been associated with churches. As I sat in the Holy Name Catholic Church last Friday listening to the beautiful composition The Messiah from composer George Frederick Handel,  I was reminded of how so much music has lasted through the ages.

In “My Beloved,” chapter 16 in my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, I  kept the legacy of Frederick N. Crouch alive. This ballad was written in 1837 and the family connection is explained in the chapter.

kathleen mavorneenFor more information on ordering the award-winning memoir by Sue Batton Leonard, please go to these links.

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Fulfilling Sounds of the Season

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A child is God’s opinion that life should go on.” ~ Unknown 

Last weekend I listened to the singing of one of the most beautiful musical compositions ever composed that, to me, signifies the arrival of the holiday season. Quintessence, Choral Artists of the Southwest, joined by amateurs nearly filled the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque,New Mexico to usher in the beginning of the Christmas Season. They sang selections from Handel’s Messiah. 

Not realizing singers were in standing sections based on voice types, my family and I went into the nave and sat between the bass and sopranos of the choral group. Once others began to file into the church, choral director Matthew Greer explained that people were welcome to sit “shotgun style”, at their own risk, or in the organized sections for bass, alto, tenors and sopranos. 

We had come only to listen. We stayed seated just where we were. Seated far from the tenors and altos, it was interesting to be amid two very different sections of sound found on the musical scale. It was challenging to hear the blend. Our position within the church demanded that we be alert and very present in the moment to fully appreciate the blocks of tone and volume differences emanating from places all over the church. 

For me, the highlight of the afternoon, was hearing the selections For unto Us a Child is Born and Hallelujah! My husband and I often think that these verses were written just for us! Are there better words to describe the feelings that come with God’s awesome gift to mankind and to couples who wish to bear a child? To a mother, the arrival of a child is the most perfect embodiment of love there is. 

Quintessence will be presenting the holiday choral event, It is a Gift to Be Simple, this coming Saturday, December 3rd at 5pm, again at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church. For more information, please visit

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