Summer Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting Listening Summer Session, August 7, 2020.
View the presentation Powerpoint
View the video recording Zoom

According to You
Guitar & composition Joe Kim
Arrangement & other instruments Peitor Angell

Lyrics by Mary Trachsel
Performed by Sam Raiche

Lyrics by Shane Kendrick
Music and performance by J Knight

Peace with My Beasts
Lyrics by Shane Kendrick
Lyrics adapted and music and piano by Mary Cohen
Sung by Bridget Toomey

Say Their Names
Lyrics by A Rhodd
Music and performance by J Knight

Finding Forgiveness, Kindness, Peace, and Gratitude Inside the Fences: A Summary of Writing Reflections


20th Season of the Oakdale Community Choir – April, 2018


-Prison confines prevent many from enjoying the gifts from God. One can only imagine the soft sand squishing under our toes as the waves come in with spray of saltwater. The quiet beauty from the top of a mountain peak can’t be appreciated from pictures of the views. Some can only dream to see the stars and moon with the coolness of a silent night. The light of the world, Christ, is one of the few peaceful gifts which can be practiced within the confines. It would be a shame if we couldn’t sing and praise God within these walls.

-Peace can be hard to find when we have stress in our life. Sometimes taking on one thing at a time is all we can do. Being around people with the opposite calming energy can help but many times it is easier just to take a few moments for ourselves. In these moments we can remind ourselves what we are capable of.

-The peace that we share is a shining star of light and hope. I do wish one day that things will be ok, a deep wave of peace. I hope one day my mother will have that relief. I wish every day she will feel the flowing air of light in this world.

Continue reading “Finding Forgiveness, Kindness, Peace, and Gratitude Inside the Fences: A Summary of Writing Reflections”

May I See Beauty Too


19thSeason IMCC Community Choir Concert – December, 2017

Call and Response:
We may know call and response best as a form of some African American songs. In our choir it is a way for all singers, experienced and new, to learn new music. We repeat the pitches and the words of our director. Call and response is the base of our singing together but also our relationships with one another. We listen to one another’s original songs, ideas about the meanings of the songs we sing together, and plans for our performances and the future of our choir, and we respond.

The writing component of our choir is part of this practice of call and response. John Schondelmeyer, assisted by Mary Trachsel, has provided us writing prompts this fall. Inside and outside singers have answered those prompts and shared their responses. This newsletter provides just a few excerpts from that call and response that enriches our communal choir experience. We hope you can feel the rhythm of our community conversation in these bits and pieces of our writing life together.
Consider how the interaction of insiders and outsiders sheds a new light on the prospect of people returning to communities. Continue reading “May I See Beauty Too”