Two church choirs from Wake Forest will be on stage at the Lincoln Center in New York City for the premiere of a cantata by Raleigh composer Pepper Choplin.
The Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir and singers from the Wake Forest United Methodist choir are among the 21 ensembles that will perform Choplin’s “Psalm 23: A Journey with the Shepherd” at 7 p.m. Monday, May 29.
The choirs come from churches, schools and colleges and cover a geographic spread from Oregon to Florida.
The concert is titled “With Strength and Joy” and is presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York. The performers will sing Vivaldi’s “Gloria” under the direction of William Powell, professor and director of choral activities at Auburn University, in addition to “Psalm 23.”
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“Psalm 23” was composed by and will be conducted by Choplin. He is a full-time composer, conductor and humorist who has published more than 280 anthems for church and school choirs and has been commissioned by more than 100 groups to compose custom musical pieces.
Since 1991, several million copies of his choral music have been sold around the world. Choplin has been the music minister of Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh for 22 years. On his website, pepperchoplin.com, the composer described why he was drawn to create a cantata around this Psalm, which is one of the best known Bible verses that begins with, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
“‘Psalm 23’ holds a special place in the lives of believers,” Choplin wrote. “We often read or say it from memory at significant services and times of challenge. The few verses are so profound and express so much. Beside the still waters, through the valley of the shadow of death, through all the days of our lives, the psalm helps us describe the journey we travel as the sheep of His pasture.”
Musicians say Choplin’s composition takes the audience on both a musical and spiritual journey. For anyone traveling to New York City during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, tickets to the concert are available at lincolncenter.org with pricing beginning at $20.
Summertime and good books go hand-in-hand and one area church has suggestions for faith-based books for your beach bag.
At Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, the pastors have posted a suggested summer reading list of books that supplement Bible reading. The list ranges from books about faith-based parenting to spreading the gospel.
The suggestions can all be found on the church’s blog portion of the website pray.org.