I finished up my whirlwind tour on Sunday in nearby Hellertown at 9:30 am. I was asked to lead a summer service, focusing on ‘Community Singing’, so I had a chance to play for a few kids, some families and elder folks in the congregation. I’ve done these before and I enjoy, once again, trying to mix in the children’s stuff with the adult. There were only a few kids today, so I didn’t bring in the bag and went with All God’s Critters for the children’s section.

I did get to play “Bird of Paradise” and “Branching Out” as a prelude, offered a few comments and the service launched. I was warned not to go beyond one hour, seeing how it was a summer service, and I obliged. I was glad to offer another new tune “We Are Welcomed” that I’ve recently worked up. It’s still in developmental stage, but this was the perfect place to drag it out in the public ear. It worked quite well, and I thank Claudia Schmidt for introducing it to me through my radio show two weeks ago. It’s now up and running.

I was asked to do “the message” about community singing, and decided to do it on the fly and finish it up with “Lessons From Pete”. I found myself talking about singing in church as a child, standing next to my dad (who was a really good singer), and feeling proud that I could raise my voice and sing with my family and the congregation. I surprised myself with that observation. I seldom credit my father’s place in my musical heritage, and today, this brought it back home, so to speak.

I followed with “Lessons from Pete” which I didn’t quite nail down. Drat.

Due to a snafu in the program, I had a chance to fill a slot and I did “I Can See Clearly Now”, again another opportunity to work this fine song out in public. I’m still working on finding the best way to get the audience to sing the ‘Bright’s’ back to me. If I can work this out, this will be a keeper.

I wrapped up the service with “Magic Penny” getting the folks to sing their parts (women, men, kids, all, all a capella… a nice community celebration of voice). I followed with the postlude with some mandolin tunes.

As it turned out, it was about 45 minutes, well under the fore-warned hour limit, and I thought everyone got something out of it. I got several compliments, waves, smiles, etc. as folks left, sold a few CD’s and did a good job for local congregation’s summer service.

Three gigs in less than 24 hours. I got paid well and I was out in the community doing my craft. That’s pretty cool.