Music from a Safe Distance

Posted by Monica Hoel

Sharon Wiley Wright (E&H Class of ’94) shares insight about how church music goes on despite social distancing.

 Rev. Sharon Wright, Emory & Henry Associate Chaplain,  was recently spotted heading into Memorial Chapel alone…with a handful of sheet music. “I’m off to record my part of the music for Sunday.”

Sharon Wiley Wright playing piano for a very small audience.Sharon Wiley Wright playing piano for a very small audience.In this unusual time of social distance, musicians are having to find creative ways to blend their talents for a full-bodied musical experience. The folks at Emory United Methodist Church are finding ways to make beautiful music – even if they can’t be in the same space. Sharon is working with E&H students like Lori Labbe and Amber Blevins, and also the church’s choral director, Dave Carroll. (You might recognize Dave for his recent series of 20-second songs to help you wash you hands.)

Sharon says she is in charge of the piano parts. “I’m recording piano preludes and offertories.  I’m playing the hymns and sending them to Dave Carroll, who has fancy software that enables him to record his voice over the track I send him.  For Easter Sunday he also sent our tracks along to Lori Labbe for vocals and Amber Blevins for trumpet.” 

Eventually they hand the reigns over to the EUMC pastor, Rev. David Jackson (E&H Class of 1993) who records his sermon on a platform called Vidgrid. “Dave Carroll then puts it all together in a very nice format for congregants to view.”

They also bring in guest musicians. “For Holy Week services, Dave & Ann Rich (E&H Class of 1980) Ledgerwood provided special music, as well as David & Molly Stanley.  We’re hoping other students and congregants will add their voices and talents to our new worship collaborations.” 

Windows at Memorial Chapel at Emory & Henry.Windows at Memorial Chapel at Emory & Henry.It should come as no surprise to E&H people that Sharon says she often has to stop her recording because of the training rolling through Emory.

Enjoy a quick snippet of Sharon practicing in Memorial Chapel.

And here is a link to their Easter collaboration.

  • Sharon Wiley Wright at the Smith piano at Memorial Chapel
“ We’re hoping other students and congregants will add their voices and talents to our new worship collaborations.” 
Rev.  Sharon Wiley Wright
E&H Class of 1994

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