Sunday, March 03, 2013

Tour of a Lifetime

I have a soft spot in my heart for composer and musician Ron Klusmeier. When I was ordained the United Church sent me from downtown Toronto to outport Newfoundland. I had five preaching points, and there wasn't much time for culture. Well, there wasn't much culture. We loved Newfoundland in many respects but we also pined for aspects of the city we had left behind. We watched reruns of King of Kensington to get a Toronto fix. How is that for desperate!

One snowy evening we drove the sixty kilometres to Gander for a concert with Ron and Kris Klusmeier (they are no longer together.) There were a handful of us at the event but it didn't seem to matter to them. We listened to them make excellent music as well as singing some of their new compositions which eventually made it into Voices United, the latest United Church hymnbook.

Fast forward eight years to Sudbury where I served a large downtown congregation. The Klusmeiers came to St. Andrew's as part of a Christian arts festival. More great music. Actually Ron's collaborations with a number of other composers total seventeen in Voices United, more than just about any other hymn writer. In More Voices, the music supplement there are another ten. Impressive.

Tomorrow and Tuesday Ron will be at St. Paul's for a workshop and concert as part of a farewell tour. He isn't ancient at 62 but touring takes its toll. I'm not so sure that our folk and others appreciate that this guy is a denominational treasure. We have been singing at least a hymn each week for a month, but today it is "all Ron, all the time" a total of four hymns. We have plenty to choose from.

Do you know Ron's music? Are your coming?


willowjakmom said...

The music we hear and sing on Sundays is often setting the tone for the rest of my day. It's quite a legacy for a single person to leave behind, and to know how deeply his gift can affect a person's spirit.

I am unfamiliar with Ron's talent and in my absolute ignorance of all things church-related, probably just assumed that the music from Voices United was just written by Moses, Luke and Joseph (obviously intended to be cheeky).

I realize that a lot of work has gone into putting this treat together, to have Ron in St. Paul's, so I hope to at least make it to Tuesday's concert. Hoping for a great turnout!!

roger said...

I am going to try to come on Monday. I don't know his music, but anyone who watched King of Kensington on a regular basis has good judgment in my books.