On our way to the last tour stops in Tennessee, the Claflin University Concert Choir stopped in Nashville for a special treat. The song “In Remembrance” had been a part of the performance repertoire thoughout the tour. In Nashville, the choir met and sang for the composer of that song, Dr. Jeffery L. Ames. Dr. Ames is the director of choral studies at Belmont University in Nashville. He listened intently as the choir sang, and afterward gave the choir members pointers on performing the song.
He then told the choir members the story behind the song. When he lived in Florida, two of his students were killed in a car accident. He told the choir members how he struggled to cope with the pain of that experience, ultimately turning to his music as a way of expression. The song moves from despair to hope and ultimately sends a message that even at our lowest point, God is with us and joy will return.
He told the choir to always sing that song from the heart, because that is where it was born. The choir took his instruction well and sang the song the best it had done the entire tour. We moved on to Knoxville with new impressions of “In Remembrance.” Below is video from the performance in Knoxville where the choir sang Dr. Ames’ song later that day. I think he would be proud — Charlene Slaughter