Ken Reynolds on "Michael W. Smith: The Spirit of Christmas"

On December 8, the Grand Rapids Pops joins with the ResLife Choir and contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith for an evening of inspiring music. Lead Worship Pastor at Resurrection Life Church, Ken Reynolds, shared with us his unique insight on this special program. 

What is it like having the opportunity to work with Michael W. Smith? What are you most excited about?  

Working on this particular program has been surreal. I’ve been a fan of Michael W. Smith for many years. I actually pattern some of what I do around what he does as an artist. What I respect most about Michael is his integrity to his music, his longevity in the industry, and his commitment to his family. I’m most excited to work with him on some of his original music.        

What sort of preparation goes into an event like this for a choir? How does performing with a symphony impact your preparation?  

Preparing for this type of an event can be tricky because we have to balance what we do for services on a weekend with the material for this event. So I usually start quite early so we can spread it out and take a more laid back approach. Working with the symphony is awesome! But there’s a lot less room for flexibility in the music because we’re just a part of the entire picture. We have to be a lot more precise with the symphony involved, but I welcome the challenge and the choir loves it.    

How many members are involved in the Resurrection Life Choir? Are they all church members or volunteers? How often do you meet?

There are about 100 members in the choir and they are all from this church. We rehearse once a week throughout the year. We kept that schedule for this event also. The choir sings 3 weekends per month and is vital part of our entire music program at ResLife church. We consider it a strength; especially since we’re involving the youth more.  

How did this collaboration happen? What did the process look like to bring Michael W. Smith to Grand Rapids? 

Roger Nelson of the Grand Rapids Symphony and I talked about it after our first collaboration two years ago. He asked if I’d be interested in working together on a Michael W. Smith concert. I immediately said "yes." I knew that his Michael’s fan base coupled with his Christmas music would be a winning combination.  

What can audience members expect from this concert? Any suggestions for them? 

Anyone who loves Christmas music must come to this concert. It will feature traditional Christmas songs as well as some of Michael’s original pieces. I suggest coming with an expectation of one the of the best Christmas concerts anyone can experience!

Posted by Sam Napolitan at 6:00 AM

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