Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shout Out Sunday

Today's shout out goes to a person who made a huge impact on my life--Suzanne Cate (sorry I stole your facebook pic. My scanner isn't working for my high school pics!) Mrs. Cate was the Youth Choir Director while I was at Noel UMC in Shreveport. She gave me the love of choral music and of singing music with the message of God's word--one that is now written on my heart. (I'm not very good at memorizing Bible verses, but I can remember it when it is set to music.) She also was the first person (other than family) to take time out to reassure me that I was a good singer/musician.

At one point in high school I decided that choral music was my calling. I went to her and told her that she was my inspiration and to ask for help in exploring the options. I can't truly remember her comments as they were overshadowed by my Dad's response--"You don't want to do that. You have to give up your family and weekends." He was speaking from experience of having a father that was in the ministry.

But, I was still led blindly, I might add, to choral music. After 5 years I received a degree in instrumental music education only to teach choir in a middle school. I did my stint of 8 year in the public schools and dabbled in church choirs.

For the past 3 years I have had a small part in helping out with the Youth Choir at our church. What an opportunity! To find people like Mrs. Cate and Sid Davis who have such a love for Church Youth Choirs is rare and an experience that very few youth have. I have been so privilaged and fortunate to work with these people. I wish that these youth knew right now how important this time is. I made some of the best friends and went on some amazing trips.

This next Sunday I get to direct the St. Luke's UMC Pure Sound Youth Choir at both the 8:30 and 11:00 services while the adult choir is on retreat. What an honor and such a fantastic, talented group. I would venture to say that it is THE best Youth Choir in all of Houston. Who else is able to pull off singing Vivaldi's Gloria with orchestra on Christmas Eve? I digress, but the most touching part of the story is that I am directing a piece that I learned in Mrs. Cate's choir, "The Lord is My Shepherd" written by Allen Pote. I feel the Lord's power and presence everytime they follow every nuance that is in the piece.

So, thank you Mrs. Cate for teaching, guiding, metoring, reassuring, and ministering to me. And, thank you Sid for giving me the opportunity to reciprocate. I am blessed by you both.


Falcone Family said...

I Love it when I hear of someone paying homage to another. I love to know how people touch each other's lives. Great post!
You so make me want to go hear the choir this week. I bet it will be beautiful!
We are kind of on a Catholic church kick. Checking out congregations of schools that I am researching for Bela. But, I am so temppted to go see you guys this tempted!

Candace Chaney said...

Love that Ms. Cate!

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Especailly that part about her telling me that I really was good at something! I never will forget getting to be Mary in the Christmas play even though I was only in the little kids choir!

Anonymous said...

And since I benefit from all the influence of Suzanne Cate and Sid Davis by working with Jennifer in music at SLUMC, let me say thanks to them, too...and to all those who encouraged and nurtured all of us. See you tomorrow , Jen, at 8:30 and 11:00....great photos of the boys, by the way.

carol said...

You and the choir did an excellent job last Sunday! They really respond to you... you've been well trained in your field and have that "touch" that holds the kids' attention and earns their respect. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute; I've put the link on the Pure Sound page!