Heidi and I were blessed to attend the YouthCUE Nation’s Capital performance of In His Own Words on June 29th, 2008. This concert featured a chorus comprised of almost 300 teenagers (from seven states and six denominations) accompanied by an full orchestra comprised of members of the National Symphony and Armed Forces Bands.

This is the first live presentation of In His Own Words that Heidi and I have attended. The first performance, given by the University of Sioux Falls Chorale, only included the nine choral pieces accompanied by the piano. The orchestration, underscores and narratives had not yet been written. So the DC festival was a thrilling opportunity for Heidi and me to see this work come to life.

In addition to hearing the performance, Heidi and I were also blessed to meet many of the directors and student choristers involved in this performance. YouthCUE hosted a dinner with their staff and several of the music directors whose students made up the mass choir. This was a wonderfully encouraging time for us and also a great opportunity to listen to feedback and suggestions about how to improve our musical offerings.

Hearing In His Own Words at the National Cathedral was an inspirational moment for Heidi and me. One of the most encouraging things for me (personally) was to see almost 300 young men and women singing the words of Christ from memory. I hope that, beyond the musical enrichment of this concert experience, these words will continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of these young choristers, and the audience, long after the music has faded.