The Joy of Watching People Thrive

Throughout college, Sam Ross has been leading music during our times of worship at Canterbury House. I recommend having a jazz pianist lead the hymns in your community because they are soon accompanied with colors and blue notes you didn’t know were possible. The music becomes more soulful, more playful. Sam knows how to do that.

He’s also a stellar human being, a considerate leader who is so thoughtful, not only with creative, improvisational riffs, but also with a kind word.

Last night, Sam performed his Senior Recital, all with original music, and I can hardly put into words how incredible this concert was. There’s something so special, of course, in watching a culmination like this come to life. You think about all the study, rehearsal, growth, and artistry that goes into such a concert, all the tinkering of tunes that morph and expand into full performance pieces with energy. That is something to witness.

Then on top of that, the concert was a culmination (and continuation) of celebrated relationships and moments. Every single original piece was connected to a person, something they said or did, or something of who they are. That too was something to witness.

I will never forget the joy of being at this particular concert.

I also felt a lot of gratitude last night for being a campus minister, because goodness (and it really is goodness) I often get a front row seat to watching people thrive. And I get to witness this moving in so many directions. That is a privilege I don’t take for granted. That privilege is a continual joy.

Renee Roederer

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