Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Operation Christmas Child 2007

The busy season is in full swing, with Operation Christmas Child 2007 presentations running around the country-side. See the following post for more details of our part in the jog. Our territory is from Pahiatua to Waipawa, and our aim is for 400 boxes. Last year Dannevirke alone managed 80. Here's a photo of Dad and me with those 80 before we shipped them off to the Auckland warehouse.

If you'd like to fill a shoebox or volunteer at a packing station, check out www.SamaritansPurse.org or if you're in New Zealand, freephone 0800 684 300.


A report on the results of the 2007 mission in this region may be found at www.NarelleWorboys.blogspot.com. Look for Mount Shoebox. Ed.

My Child in a Shoebox

My Dad and I have done two Operation Christmas Child (2007) presentations this month, with other bookings to local churches/schools/clubs flooding in. I am so enjoying working with my Dad. Due to my chronic illness, it's been more than decade since I was involved in any family ministry. There's just me at home now (I have 4 siblings) and it's really important to me to be involved in what my parents are doing, particularly my Dad.

Sunday morning we did a double-service marathon at a local church. Dad did the early service and Mum and I joined him for the 2nd, at which Dad and I alternated speaking, and I gave the closing comments and sang "My Child," accompanied by Mum. It appears that that song, combined with OCC's Good Samaritan approach to helping impoverished children, moves folk to tears every time. We gave out around 40 empty shoeboxes to be filled, and the minister's wife took a pile of extras in anticipation of further interest.

When we got home, I collapsed on the couch while Mum and Dad ate lunch and we all decompressed. I was on sensory overload! -- so many people, so many conversations, so much happening, so much noise -- the hardest part was the youth group being permitted carte blanche with the music equipment in the 'sanctuary' after the service, competing with each other to see who could make the most noise, even playing different songs at the same time. Talk about a rock party. There's a speaker in the foyer, so despite the soundproof glass doors, it wasn't possible to get away from the noise.

I treasure a comment Dad made as we wound down. He said that as he got to the end of his 1st service speel, he realized he hadn't figured out how to draw it to a conclusion because I usually do that. He missed me! And he said he really likes the way I sing. It means a huge amount to know that he values me, that I'm useful to him. The joy of working together in harmony is a blessing without price.

I'm always astonished at how I can produce a nice sound during performance/under pressure even though my rehearsals may be less than marvellous. Do microphones enhance the voice? I had the benefit of excellent accoustics at the Town Hall, but I'm not sure you could say that for the church. Sorry, I didn't get that videoed -- although there's sure to be a tape of the service. I did record my final rehearsal with Mum on Saturday night. Here's the video link:


Dad's been invited to do his OCC presentation for the Youth Group on Friday night. I'm not invited because the youth group leaders don't think the teenagers will appreciate my music. That's okay -- I deserve a rest. = ) Ironically, song leader Moala Withey, of rock band "mana3" fame, liked what I did so much that she invited me to take the lead microphone for the closing hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness".

Later, after the crowds around our OCC booth had dissipated somewhat and I had a chance to sit down and eat some breakfast (at 12 noon!), I met youth group member Sarah, whom I'm guessing is about 14 years old. She came to sit beside me for a chat. Her reason was a bright orange notebook in her hand. She gave this to me, confiding that she'd written a song. I read through this and offered encouragement to find a way to persevere with her music studies (she quit piano after a year because she didn't get on with the teacher...I understood perfectly, having had the same teacher) and figure out a melody to put to the lyrics. Sarah was delighted when she heard that I'm doing the OCC presentation for the Girls Brigade this Wednesday, saying her sister and friends would also be very happy to hear that news.

I was specifically invited to do the whole GB presentation, "because you're a girl", they said, but I asked that Dad come along, because he's as much part of this as I am. We're a team, we work well together, and I like us working well together. = ) So I get two days rest, then a wind up to perform again, hopefully not complicated by a visit to the dentist a few hours beforehand!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Music Week with Tessa and Emma McGeorge

August 12th to 18th, 2007

The McGeorges describe the week with numerous adjectives...productive, wonderful, brimming with fun, fellowship, laughter, tutoring, recording, downloading, and of course singing.

I add a few more to that: intense, stimulating, exhausting. But I enjoyed every minute of it. It was a challenge to retain my prestige as the "real" singer when I was so busy focusing on them that I didn't warm up or rehearse my part properly. It was a great learning experience for me as a teacher. Not knowing what skill level the girls had, I'd decided to wing it rather than plan all the lessons, which to my surprise worked well (it takes some effort to smother my perfectionist nature ;). It was also a great preparation for my performance on Sunday, seeing as other commitments had diverted me from my music for a few weeks.

We used both audio and video recordings to study our progress. The girls weren't at all happy about viewing themselves, but quickly saw what a valuable asset it was. We had a huge amount of ground to cover, as they needed the basics of support, breathing, projection, stage presence, etc. I pushed them fairly steadily, using "Dona Nobis Pacem" as a training tool and each of them working on one of Carolyn Ballinger's songs. We're all pleased with the progress they made. Here's the link to a video of our best effort:


The three of us producing a smooth end note to each verse is quite significant, and I am so proud of Tessa for keeping her eyes from flitting to window and ceiling and a multitude of other places and remembering to smile.

We didn't have any lessons on Friday, using the day to just hang out together, going shopping (I believe 4 music disks were purchased!) and watching a movie (guest favourite, "A Walk to Remember").

That evening I took the opportunity to do some serious study with Mum on our presentation of "My Child". I did record a few takes of that which turned out to be a bit of a giggle, but I decided you'd think better of me if I uploaded a 'correct' version. = ) See MY CHILD IN A SHOEBOX post.
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