Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It is official! Our Easter cantata season has begun!

Our first Easter choir rehearsal will be this Tuesday, February 6th at 7:00 PM at Sheridan United Methodist Church.
We are presenting: 'The Sacrifice' by Steve Moore and David T. Clydesdale. We have presented two of their cantatas in the past, and all have been blessed. Go to click on 'The Sacrifice' click on one of the tunes or click on "watch video" to preview the piece.
This piece includes an accompaniment DVD which has the orchestra accompaniment along with interviews of the Biblical characters of the Easter story. There are many points in the cantata where the lyrics of the music appear so the audience can sing along.
Our preliminary plans are to present this piece in Cattaraugus at the Cattaraugus United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 25 in the evening, and on Palm Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 PM at the Sheridan United Methodist Church.
We have 9 weeks left. I will ask you to make as many rehearsals as possible. PracticeTrax will be available.
I am looking forward to working with you again. WE NEED YOU!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 28, 2007

30-40 Years Left

A woman named Shirley lived in Beverly Hills, California. One day, she suffered a heart attack and was taken to Cedars Sinai hospital. While on the operating table, she had a near-death experience. She saw God and asked, "Is this it?" God said, "No, you have another 30 to 40 years to live."

Upon her recovery, she decided to stay in the hospital and have collagen shots, cheek implants, a face-lift and liposuction. She figured that since she had another 30 to 40 years left, she might as well make the most of it. She walked out of Cedars Sinai lobby after the last operation and was immediately killed by an ambulance speeding up to the hospital.

She arrived in front of God and said, "I thought you said I had another 30 to 40 years?"

God replied, "Shirley! I didn't recognize you!"

From the Choir Loft

Before being accepted into the 360 voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir, applicants undergo a rigorous six-month, three-phase audition process. Prospective choir members must be active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, be recommended by the bishop of their local congregation, live within 100 miles of downtown Salt Lake City, and be between the ages of 25 and 55. The first step of the audition process is to submit a recording of an acappella solo selected by Craig Jessop, music director. Jessop and Associate Director Mack Wilberg review the mountain of submitted tapes to decide which singers they will invite to the next phase of the audition process. Candidates must take a written music skills test, which measures musical ability and aptitude. Candidates must score a minimum of 80 % to progress to the third step of the audition — the "in-person" audition. Standing before Jessop and Wilberg, anxious singers perform a hymn of their choice, demonstrate their sight-reading skills and test their vocal range and ability to blend. Final selections are then made at the end of the six-month cycle, and a group of new voices is added to the Choir family. However, the process is not quite complete. The selected singers are brought into the Temple Square Chorale for a three-month period during which they sing with the Chorale and attend musical training classes taught by Jerrold Ottley, former director of the Choir, and his wife, JoAnn. Upon successful completion of the training program, new members "graduate" into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In January 2002, 860 singers requested applications and 350 submitted sample tapes. Of those, 140 were invited to take the musical skills test and 90 were invited for an in-person audition. Finally, only 65 singers, less than 10 percent of the original applicants, were accepted into the Choir.

To sing in our choir…please show-up!

Wit or Wisdom?

"The irony of life is that, by the time you’re old enough to know your way around, you’re not going anywhere."- Anonymous

Today in history

(January 28)

1571 – Martin Luther was declared an "outlaw" by the Roman Catholic Church

1986 – Space Shuttle ‘Challenger’ exploded immediately after takeoff killing all 7 crewmembers

Bud’s History of the Hymns

January 28, 2007

‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God’

(1930) page 110

Words and Music by: Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Translated by Frederick H. Hedge: (1805-1890)

Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in Germany. He was educated at the University of Erfurt, later becoming an Augustinian monk, teaching philosophy and theology at the University of Wittenberg. On October 31, 1517, sometimes called the "July 4th of Protestantism," Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Roman Catholic Church. He was eventually excommunicated from the fellowship of the Roman Catholic Church later that year.

One of the important benefits of the Reformation Movement was the rediscovery of congregational singing inside the Church. Martin Luther had strong convictions about the use and power of sacred music. Luther once said, "the Devil hates music because he cannot stand gaiety, Satan can smirk but he cannot laugh; he can sneer but he cannot sing." This hymn was a tribute to Luther's friend Leonhard Kaiser, who was executed as a Protestant martyr on August 16, 1527. Luther was credited with writing at least 35 hymns.

The single most powerful hymn of the Protestant Reformation Movement was Luther’s ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,’ based on Psalm 46. This hymn became the battle cry of the people, a great source of strength and inspiration even for those who were martyred for their convictions. The first line of this hymn is fittingly inscribed on the tomb of Martin Luther in Wittenberg, Germany. In March of 1969, this hymn was sung during the funeral service of American President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Meanwhile…1930…77 years ago…in the United States…

President: Herbert Hoover…V.P.: Charles Curtis

The song: ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ becomes #1

Best Picture of the Year: ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’

The 1st radio broadcast of ‘Death Valley Days’ on NBC-Radio

George R.D. Braun was pastor of The Sheridan Methodist Church

Ref. TheSheridanSettler Cyberhymnal BuffaloHistory TanBible DmarieCapsule ColonialHall

Church office: (716) 672-2048, Bud: (716) 934-7734, email:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

From behind the baton

How about Tuesday & Thursday evening choir rehearsals?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 21, 2007

Bride and Groom

During a wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the minister with an unusual offer: "Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I’m supposed to promise to love, honor, obey and be faithful to her forever, I'd appreciate it if you’d just leave that part out."
He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied. On the day of the wedding, when it came time for the groom’s vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said: "Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every wish and command, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will never even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?"

The groom gulped, looked around, and said in a tiny voice, "Yes," then leaned toward the pastor and hissed: "I thought we had a deal."

The pastor put a $100 bill into the groom’s hand and whispered: "She made me a better offer."

From the Choir Loft

Our shopping list…

More Choir members, vocal & instrumental soloists, vocal & instrumental ensemble singers/players, Handchime players, sound system help, helpers with lighting, helpers with set-up and tear down for each musical, helpers with promotion, librarian, attendance taker, etc.

Very soon, I'm hoping to begin work on a new Easter musical. I hope you're planning to join us. I can only say this might be one of the most exciting musicals we've done! Mark Sunday, April 8, 2007 at 7:00 PM on your calendars. Invite your friends to join us in the choir.


The Preacher’s Wife…

Gladys was the preacher's wife and accompanied her husband to church each Sunday. One particular Sunday when the sermon seemed to go on forever, many in the congregation fell asleep.

After the service, in order to be sociable, the Preacher’s wife walked up to a very sleepy looking gentleman. In an attempt to revive him from his stupor, she extended her hand in greeting, and said, "Hello, I'm Gladys Dunn."

To which the gentleman replied, "You're not the only one!"

History of the Hymns

January 21, 2007

‘O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing’

(1839) page 57

Words by: Charles Wesley (1707- 1788) Music by: Carl G. Glaser (1784- 1829)

While students at Oxford University, John and Charles Wesley formed a religious‘Holy Club’ because of their dissatisfaction with the spiritual lethargy at the school. As a result of their methodical habits of living and studying, their fellow students jokingly called them "Methodists."

Following a short and unsuccessful ministry in America, the disillusioned Wesleys returned to England. In May, 1738, both brothers had a spiritual heart-warming experience, realizing that though they had been zealous in the Church’s ministry, neither had ever personally accepted Christ as Savior nor had known the joy of their religious faith. From that time on, the Wesleys’ ministry took on a new dimension and power.

Both John and Charles had boundless energy, usually working fifteen to eighteen hours each day. It is estimated that they traveled a quarter of a million miles throughout Great Britain, mostly on horseback, while conducting more than 40,000 public services.

Charles alone wrote no less than 6,500 hymn texts, with hardly a day or an experience passing without its crystallization into verse. Currently there are 64 hymns and poems in our United Methodist Hymnal written by the Wesley brothers.

‘O For a Thousand Tongues’ is thought to have been inspired by a chance remark by Peter Bohler, an influential religious leader, who exclaimed: "Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with all of them." The hymn originally had nineteen stanzas and when published was entitled, ‘For the Anniversary Day of One’s Conversion.’

Meanwhile…1839…168 years ago…in the United States…

President: Martin Van Buren…V.P.: Richard M. Johnson

Congress banned dueling in the District of Columbia

1st baseball game was played in America by Abner Doubleday

Charles Goodyear created the vulcanized rubber process for tire production

Mississippi became the 1st state in the U.S. to grant property rights to women

The 1st public school in New York State was opened in Buffalo on Church Street

The 1st public library in Silver Creek, New York was opened

Oliver Lee established the Bank of Silver Creek

Ref. TheSheridanSettler Cyberhymnal BuffaloHistory TanBible DmarieCapsule ColonialHall

Today in history

(January 21)


– President Jimmy Carter granted blanket pardons to ~ 100,000 Vietnam draft dodgers

1976– The 1st "Concorde" supersonic commercial air flight took place

1944– A total of 447 German bombers attacked London, England

1942– A Bronx judge ruled all public pin ball machines were illegal


– 1st national opera broadcast in U.S. (‘Faust’) from Chicago


– The ‘Wizard of Oz’ premiered in New York City


– Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccination was introduced


– The 1st American novel was published: ‘Power of Sympathy’ by W.H. Brown

Monday, January 22, 2007

From behind the baton

I have tentative plans to present a new Easter musical this year.
To experience the Easter Musical, go to...
under "NEW EASTER RELEASES" click on 'The Sacrifice.'
You can view the "Promo Video" hosted by the composer,
or scroll down and click on 9 separate songs from the musical.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

From behind the baton

Please keep the date open: Sunday, April 1, 2007 @ 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

From behind the baton

Would you like to sing in an Easter musical using the latest in DVD technology to present a powerful interactive Easter worship experience using filmed DVD Biblical characters, live narration, live choir and soloists?
ps less than 12 weeks til Easter

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 14, 2006


10. Rehearsals are every Sunday morning. Which means for that short time, you will significantly reduce your risk of contracting tendentious from nonstop operation of a television remote control or computer mouse.

9. Because we sometimes wear choir robes, you will be liberated from the task many men find quite challenging… finding clothes that match properly.
8. From your special vantagepoint every Sunday, in which you look out at the entire congregation from the choir, you can develop interesting new hobbies. Among these is a little guessing game called "Who's Praying, Who's Sleeping?"

7. On the other hand, standing in full view of the congregation on a weekly basis makes it much less likely that you yourself will give in to a chronic lack of sleep. Although it has been known to happen.

6. If you think your singing in the shower sounds good now, just wait till you've been singing with us for a few weeks.
5. Singing in a choir is one of the few activities for men that does not require electronics equipment or expensive power tools. This could be good for the family budget.

4. For the fitness buffs, singing in the Choir is not only heart healthy, it's soul healthy. Also, there are no monthly membership fees, and it's a lot easier on the knees than jogging.

3. If you think you've done everything there is to do, and there are no great challenges left in life, try singing with us guys and staying on pitch.
2. Choir rehearsal lasts half as long as a professional football game but is at least twice as satisfying. This is especially true if you are a long-suffering fan of the Buffalo Bills. (Don't worry, though, the rehearsals are on Sunday mornings, not Monday Nights.)

And the number 1 reason men should join the choir:
1. When people ask you whether you've been behaving yourself, you can say with the utmost sincerity,
"Hey, I'm a Church Choir Boy."

From the Choir Loft

If you know someone who can sing or thinks they can sing, we would love for them to join our choir. The Bible says: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." (Psalm 98:4) The motto of our choir is: "You bring the ‘noise’, and we’ll make it ‘joyful!’" All are welcome…all are needed!

How much is a sermon worth?

One beautiful Sunday morning, a minister announced to his congregation: "My good people, I have here in my hands three sermons... a $100 sermon that lasts five minutes, a $50 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a $10 sermon that lasts a full hour. We will now take the collection and see which one I'll deliver."

Today in history

1952 – The ‘Today Show’ premiered with Dave Garroway & Jack Lescoulie on NBC – TV

1914 – Henry Ford introduced the "assembly line"

Church office: 672-2048, Bud: 934-7734, email:


History of the Hymns

January 14, 2007

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing’

(1813) page 400

Words by: Robert Robinson (1735 - 1790)

Music: Wyeth’s Book of Sacred Music (1813)

Turning to the young Robert Robinson, the bleary-eyed gypsy fortune-teller pointed a quivering finger and said, "And you, young man, you will live to see your children and your grandchildren." Robert Robinson suddenly paled and said, "You’re right. She’s too drunk to know what she’s saying. Leave her alone. Let’s go." But her words haunted him the rest of the day. "If I’m going to live to see my children and grandchildren," he thought, "I’ll have to change my way of living." That very night, half in fun and half seriously, he took his gang to a nearby open-air revival service where the famous evangelist, George Whitfield, was preaching. "We’ll go down and laugh at the poor deluded Methodist," he explained. Two years and seven months after hearing that sermon, twenty-year-old Robert Robinson made his peace with God, and "found full and free forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus Christ."

Joining the Methodists, and feeling the call to preach, the self-taught Robinson was appointed by John Wesley to the Calvinist Methodist Chapel, Norfolk, England. And there, for the celebration of Pentecost ("Whitsunday"), in 1858, three years after his marvelous conversion, he penned his spiritual autobiography in the words of this hymn.

‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’

is a Christian hymn composed by the 18th century Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson set to an American folk tune. Robinson penned the words at age 22 in the year 1758.

Meanwhile…1813…194 years ago…in the United States…

President: James Madison…V.P.: Elbridge Gerry

Approximately 7 million people lived in the United States
U.S. troops captured York, Canada (at present site of Toronto)

Mary Bosanquet Fletcher became a deaconess in the Methodist Church

The favorite musical instruments were the fiddle, tambourine, and "bones"

The Iroquois battled fellow Mohawks on the Niagara Frontier in War of 1812

In April of 1813, the village of Buffalo is incorporated with a population of 500

In December of 1813, 700 British troops burn the village of Buffalo to the ground


ef. TheSheridanSettler Cyberhymnal BuffaloHistory TanBible DmarieCapsule ColonialHall

Saturday, January 13, 2007

From behind the baton

There are only 10 weeks until Palm Sunday and only 11 weeks until Easter!
Stay tuned for our Easter plans...

Friday, January 12, 2007

From Behind the Baton

How many choir directors does it take to change a light bulb?
No one knows, because no one ever watches the choir director!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

From behind the baton

I'm making preliminary plans for an Easter musical (Easter is early this year...April 8!). I am planning to present an Easter musical on Palm Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 PM.
I would like to do a new Easter musical using DVD technology, which includes orchestra background and accompanying video presentation. The Easter story is told by Biblical characters, who are interviewed in a "60 Minutes" style allowing the audience to experience the Easter story through their eyes.
I need to know the best night for a weekly choir rehearsal. Let me know your #1 - #4 choice of evenings.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From behind the baton

It's already been 3 weeks since our Christmas concerts and the responses have been impressive! I've received so many compliments, it's hard to find a cap to fit my large head. We had a full house and both the choir and drama group did an outstanding job! I thought I'd share just one of the many wonderful (and true) compliments I've received.
Just one of my "special" guests in the audience was Dr. Kate Levy (assistant professor of music education) from the Fredonia School of Music. She wrote:
"We were honored to be there. The group sounded wonderful and looked totally involved. I thought your show came off beautifully, and I enjoyed the opportunity to watch you work..."
I would like to begin preparing for an upcoming Easter musical. Are you ready? I need you!


Sunday, January 7, 2007

January 7, 2007

From Bud's World

You know you’re a real "Western New Yorker" when:

  1. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

  2. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.

  3. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.

  4. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

  5. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

  6. You know all 4 seasons: "almost winter," " winter," "still winter" and "road construction."

  7. "Down South" to you means Erie, Pa.

  8. You find ‘0’ degrees "a little chilly."

  9. You go out to fish fry every Friday, Prime Rib on Saturday and bingo every Wednesday.

  10. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

From the Choir Loft

If you know someone who can sing or thinks they can, we would love for them to join our choir. The Bible says: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." (Psalm 98:4) The motto of our choir is and will always be: "You bring the ‘noise,’ and we’ll make it ‘joyful!’"

All are welcome…all are needed!

Wit or Wisdom?

"You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."

- John Wooden

"True friends are those who really know you but love you anyway."

- Edna Buchanan

"Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light."

- Jennie Jerome Churchill (Mother of Winston Churchill)

"Only the mediocre are always at their best."

- Jean Giraudoux

"Don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened."

- Anonymous

Today in history

(January 7)

1990 – The Tower of Pisa was closed because it "leaned too far."

1985 – The ‘King and I’ opened on Broadway (the 1st of 191 performances)

1967 – The "Newlywed Game" premiered on ABC – TV

1963 – First Class postage was raised from 4 cents to 5 cents

1929 – ‘Buck Rogers’ became the 1st sci-fi comic strip

1927 – The Harlem Globetrotters played their 1st game in Hinckley, Ill.

1890 – W.B. Pervis patented the fountain pen

1830 – The 1st railroad station in the U.S. opened in Baltimore

Church office: 672-2048, Bud: 934-7734, email:


History of the Carols

January 7, 2007

"The Twelve Days of Christmas"


Said to date from the 9th century rule of Alfred the Great is the custom of giving one’s true love a gift every day of the period spanning Christmas Day and

"Epiphany" (January 6). The day of Epiphany is when the Wise Men were said to have arrived at Bethlehem from the east with their offerings to the Holy Child in the manger. (Their gold, frankincense and myrrh originated the whole custom of Christmas presents.) If we attempt to approximate the number of gifts sent each day according to the strict formula the words of the song suggest, there would have to have been a barnyard full of milking maids. For example 40 gold rings, a cotillion of dancing ladies and a flotilla of other tokens – in all a total of 364 valuable gifts, or one for each day of the year.

And if one could not afford all the gifts, one could at least sing this melodic recitation of them. The energetic setting we know is very likely an American imitation of old English carols. Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians made it popular in the 1930’s, first on radio and thereafter by staged performances on television.

The approximate cost of sending the gifts today…

At the end of the 12 days, the carolers in the song have crooned about the 364 presents including 12 partridges in a pear tree, 36 calling birds, 40 maids-a-milking, 22 pipers piping and so on -- the grand total of the song's 12 days of gifts is approximately:


And the legal result of sending these gifts today might be…

December 25th (From the law offices Taeker, Spendar, and Baegar)

Dear Sir:

This is to acknowledge your latest gift of twelve fiddlers fiddling, which you have sent to our client, Miss Sue M. Now. The end result of your 12 consecutive days of daily gifts was devastating to our client. All further correspondence should come to our attention. If you should attempt to reach

Miss Now at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have instructions to shoot you on sight.

With this letter, please find attached a warrant for your arrest.

-Happy Holiday