Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter Vol 2, No 5
May 2006


A new month (or, for that matter, a new day) brings with it new possibilities and opportunities, and sometimes, a change in circumstances. This is the case for me. After 3 1/2 years as Worship Arts Director for the Chestertown Church of the Nazarene, I am stepping aside as of the 14th of this month. This is a time of transition for the church, and, in many ways, for me. My very full-time focus will be (remain) my performing career, and record label. For now, this is what I am called to do. Thank you for your interest in what I do. Now, about this month...

in this issue
  • In Focus
  • Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts
  • Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts
  • Radio News
  • From the Weblog

  • Jazz Performances and Piano Entertainment Concerts

    This month is loaded with performances, both public and private (a large part of the reason that I was late getting this newsletter out, having over a dozen engagements in the first week. Now it calms down - a little). Apart from the variety of local (interpret that broadly) gigs, the big news of the month is my trip to the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee with the Midiri Brothers. This festival is huge! Link to the festival site from my performance page and you'll know why I'm wondering if I have unwittingly joined in a coup to take over the city. Check it out...

    Church Sponsored and Christian Music Concerts

    There are two church concerts this month. First, and coincidentally, I have a solo concert (as part of the Second Sunday Concert Series) at the Chestertown Church of the Nazarene on 5/14 - my final Sunday on staff - at 5pm. The following Sunday morning Brian Whitaker and I travel to Dover, De. for a He's Steppin' Out Concert. Click on the link for more details..

    Radio News

    The radio show marches on, and has become a part of my routine. I enjoy this a lot, but am realizing that I need (an increasing pool of) listeners to sustain this. If you listen to, and enjoy the show (it's funny, I actually like listening to it), then tell a friend. Along these lines, I will begin (likely this week) sending out weekly programming announcements to all mailing list subscribers (that includes you). This, in addition to announcing the program contents, will make it easy to tell a friend about Joe Holt's Notes on the Radio.

    From the Weblog

    The past days have been emotionally occupied with the finalizing of my resignation as Worship Arts Director of the Chestertown Church of the Nazarene. What a roller coaster (since the departure of Jonathan Mills last October)! A portion of my letter (nothing confidential here) will suffice: " As I have worn many emotions and feelings/opinions "on my sleeve", you all know how difficult this decision has been for me. Honestly though, for the past couple of months I have been under a personal conviction that God has other plans for me now. Stepping out in faith can be difficult when there are many things about the status quo that you don't want to give up or lose. Working here, in God's church in Chestertown has been an amazing privilege, and a big part of me doesn't want it to end. It, however, is no longer possible to juggle responsibilities here against my career. I do not feel a release (necessarily) from the calling outlined in my job description, I do , however, believe that I have fulfilled God's purposes for me here, now." Having a sense of calling, and of a higher power and purpose is indeed a blessing. posted by Joe Holt | Friday, April 14, 2006

    In Focus

    In Focus this month is the unique jazz trio, comedy, Christian, children's, for all ages CD: "He's Steppin' Out". This recording features 11 original compositions and one jazz standard (listed as a bonus track). The material for this recording began with a collection of songs that I wrote for a children's choir at the church in which I served in the early 1980's. This music has been "reborn" in this collection, and joined to new original songs that I wrote specifically for this project, and for individual singers: Jimmy Lawlor (I've Got A Toothache), and my daughter Charie (Come As A Child). This recording represents much of the material contained in the live "He's Steppin' Out" concerts that you have (potentially) read about in this newsletter.The songs are all taken from, or directly related to specific Bible passages, and are written to get the meaning across in a fresh new way. Now, when is a children's CD not a children's CD? When it's "He's Steppin" Out", which truly has something for everyone, even the mature listener. An attempt, some years ago, to place this recording on consignment in a Christian bookstore resulted in a rejection on the following grounds; "It's too sophisticated" (!). I'm proud of that one ("lowering the bar" is not what I'm about). My inspiration for how I desire this recording to communicate is the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles Schultz. In the strip, he uses a children's medium (with direct appeal to them) to relay deep and often sophisticated meaning. Adults and children both have something to take away. I hope that I have accomplished this also. You can be the judge

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