Do you like music? Listen to it a lot? What kind of music do you like to listen to?
“Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints” (Psalm 149:1, KJV).
I so enjoy church hymns, especially when accompanied by a full live orchestra. I’ve attended small and big churches with varying sizes of orchestras. Some smaller churches have ensembles if they don’t have enough musicians to recruit from their congregation. Regardless of whether it’s a small duo, trio, or quartet, or a half orchestra, live classical instruments add to the scope of church music, in my humble opinion.
I also love classical music, and enjoy attending concerts whenever I have the opportunity here in the metro area where I live, and also at my son’s college campus in years past when he attended music camps. God has made so many talented musicians who can play so well, with precision and musicality, and from such early ages.
Do you or someone in your family play a musical instrument?
My family is somewhat musical. Our son competed in high school piano competitions. In university now, he still plays the piano in ministry. My husband used to play the French Horn, and for years was in a church orchestra. I myself also played the piano for many years, until I went to college and was too busy studying. After graduating, I worked and had no time to learn new songs or spend time at the piano.
Since I have been unable to schedule time to practice on the piano in my real life, I decided to write what could have been into my novels. I combined my love of church hymns and classical music into a whole collection of books in my Seaside Chapel series. And yes, I make my musicians practice! Haha. I can because I invented my characters and they do whatever I tell them to do, including practicing and rehearsing for the next performance!
My Seaside Chapel series has an undertone of music, featuring a local area classical orchestra and a small church orchestra. While these two entities are a figment of my imagination, I chose a real life setting by the Atlantic Ocean. One of my most favorite beaches is St. Simon’s Island on the coast of Georgia, USA. Superimposing my imagined story world into a real world setting has been the most delightful and fun thing ever that this author can do.
I’m going to share some little tidbits from the first two novels in the Seaside Chapel series, but only from the perspective of incorporating music into these contemporary Christian small-town beach romances. I’ve written so much more than these into my novels, of course, but the purpose of this blog post, I shall only focus on certain musical instruments.
In Share with Me (Seaside Chapel Book 1), Ivan McMillan is a crossover violinist with a concert career in front of him until his grandfather dies and he goes home to St. Simon’s Island to take care of his elderly Grandma Yun.
For the next six years, Ivan busies himself teaching violin in a studio, playing first violin in the local symphony orchestra, and serving as a violinist at Seaside Chapel’s sanctuary orchestra. Every now and then he dreams of touring the world again, but those concert days are pretty much over for him.
Does anyone here play the violin? Feel free to comment on what violin you play. If you don’t play the violin but love the music, do comment on your favorite pieces played on the violin. How about the Flight of the Bumblebee? My character, Ivan, tries to play that too.
In the same novel but only playing the piano occasionally, billionaire heiress Brinley Brooks has inherited quite a collection of musical instruments from her now-deceased Grandpa Brooks. She keeps those expensive violins in a vault that is rarely opened. The violins are precious to her because they once belonged to her grandfather. She cannot imagine anyone playing them… Except maybe one particular musician…
Do you play the piano? Or have taken lessons when you were little? I started somewhat late in middle school, but my son started playing the piano when he was four years old (also when he gave his first concert performance at the music academy he was in).
Feel free to comment on your favorite piano music. In Share with Me, Brinley gets embarrassed a little bit when she tries to play a classical piece she hasn’t practiced, but she knows that her parents won’t mind her mistakes at the keyboard because they love her anyway.
“I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto Thee” (Psalm 144:9, KJV)).
The next novel in the series, Step with Me (Seaside Chapel Book 2), has more orchestral music. This time, I feature the pedal harp, another lovely string instrument found in orchestras. While my musician character, Emmeline O’Hanlon, can play several types of harps, including the Irish and lap harps, her preference is for the pedal harp. Her father taught her and her older brother to play the harp. The two siblings also compose music. Actually, her brother will get his own book, but that’s another story I will tell soon.
Do you play the harp or know someone who does? Which types of harps? Lap or pedal? I have never played either one. However, I do enjoy the music of the harp, and once attended a concert of ten harps, called a harp choir. It was amazing and unforgettable. I recall that the hymns they played sounded spectacular, like “the voice of many waters.”
Well, thank you for letting me share about the music I have incorporated into my Seaside Chapel series. I’ve published the first two novels in this series. The rest are coming soon. I take my time to write this series. I know I will not be able to cover every single classical musical instrument in the orchestra. So, if you play the contrabass clarinet… Well, hmm, yes, I do mention the contrabass clarinet in Share with Me, actually!
“Sing unto Him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise” (Psalm 33:3, KJV).
One random commenter will be given one free ebook, either Share with Me (Seaside Chapel Book 1) or Step with Me (Seaside Chapel Book 2). The next novel, Sing with Me (Seaside Chapel Book 3), is coming soon. It’s available for preorder on Amazon.
Praising the Lord and singing unto Him new songs,