All posts by Tom Sharman

Marcia Anderson Debuts Christmas Recording

Marcia Anderson "Christmas Memories" CD‘Tis the Season for listening to Christmas songs, and so in the early part of this month I received a referral from a referral to make such a recording (appreciate the referrals!). I got in touch with Marcia and we agreed on a day to record several songs on piano and keyboard with vocals. The tunes were all recorded in one day, and although I know she had a late arrival back home, we had everything we needed to make a nice Christmas release. Christmas Memories had less than two weeks to be finished. We worked closely together to create the graphics for the disc and case, ordered the artwork printing, arranged song licensing and made the first 50 copies. The first weekend the discs were available to her church and family they were quickly disappearing, and so 50 more were ordered in time for Christmas itself.
This was Marcia’s first recording, although she has sung most of her life. Her husband Gary was a big part in this being done, and what a wonderful gift to her and those who get to enjoy this Christmas music. He even was a hands-on part of the second order as we all three collaborated assembling the discs into their cases. There are twelve songs on this CD with a blend of traditional and relatively recent tracks. I hope many were blessed and encouraged to take a fresh focus on why Christmas really exists in the first place. As the final song expresses, “Christmas isn’t Christmas, ’til it happens in your heart.”

“Christmas In Our Hearts” Presented Once Again

An annual Christmas tradition originating from Community 360 (Desert Ministries in the beginning) was presented once again in December. The musical numbers and a recitation showcased from the The Salvation Army KROC Center in SE Omaha. Community 360 serves many seniors and their care providers in this area, and the event is held for all of them to enjoy. A number of area care centers brought vans of folks who for some this is all the Christmas they were going to experience. Mr. & Mrs. Clause greet guests at Christmas in our Hearts. Not only has Santa disappeared from their imagination (Mr. & Mrs. Claus greeted them none the less), their daily life has little to envision either.
With a close family member having spent the past year in a care facility, I have a new understanding of what it can be like. When visiting there it was always amazing to see how a smile, a kind word, or even just an acknowledgement a person existed could have such an uplifting impact on their demeanor. On occasion I would walk to the dining area during meal times, go to the keyboard and play some old hymns, seasonal songs or tunes they knew and requested (when I could remember them or find the music). The serving staff and residents seemed to find some additional spice for their spirit that day.
And so the lights dimmed, the stage was lit, the music played and the snow fell (yes, inside) as Christmas once again rang out for our elders. While the audience waited for their return transportation, Kyle Knapp and John Rogers entertained with their guitars and vocals in the seating area. I met someone during that time I hadn’t seen for a number of years, and although she no longer remembered who I was, I hope she was blessed and encouraged in a celebration of her Saviour’s birth.

Kyle Knapp & John Rogers entertain at Christmas in our Hearts
Kyle & JR post-entertainment

Omaha Concert Supports Our National Monuments and Parks

Early this month a collage of musicians and speakers were assembled in continued solidarity for our National Monuments and Parks. Kyle Knapp organized the evening as an extension of a concert held in Cleveland, OH by our friend Jon Guggenheim. Other events were held around the country on this same weekend. Jon has been one of many, many people concerned about the move on the part of some government persons from the highest level down to state and local officials who are seeking to at least reduce the size or minimize some of our National Monuments. In June I joined Jon on the last leg of a video/interview gathering trip in multiple states documenting a few of the parks and monuments in those states (story here). The editing is ongoing and when finished will be one more voice in raising the banner to inform and alert us to what we have in these public lands, and what is at stake if we lose them. There are certainly varied interests, concerns and rationales pertaining to these areas, but one thing we should all be united in is that fact that we have only one chance to preserve these areas for us and future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Wise thought should be exercised in their use and care, which hopefully will result in not abusing these resources. Once gone, they can never be fully restored – if at all.

Kyle & Rick  perform
Kyle & Rick perform