Dr. Shana Mashego Performance

Classic Hymns in a Classical Setting

Yesterday I had the privileged of performing with Dr. Shana Mashego and the Sacred Ensemble. This is a classical chamber music ensemble dedicated mostly to performing hymns. The video above is the last part of our service for Bear Creek United Methodist Church.

James Williams III

The other trumpet player in the ensemble was James Williams III. I always enjoy working with James. This was our first time to play classical music together. And that was nice. James is an active trumpet player in the Houston area.

He is very much involved with Conrad Johnson’s professional big band. I was in “The Big Blue Sound” for two stints long before Conrad Johnson passed away. It’s nice to see that the young people are keeping the band alive.

You Know How I Feel About Hymns

While I am not as disheartened today as I used to be, I still think that too many people have turned their backs on the traditional hymns. I have recently discovered that there are more people interested in hymns than I thought. So that’s good news. However, it’s nice to see that Dr. Mashego is doing her part to place the hymns back to the public’s attention.

There is a huge difference between hymns and songs. To me, singing hymns is far more than just a tradition. Hymns should have never been deemed as being “old-fashioned”. They never should have been replaced by songs. It’s not about old verses new, or about what’s popular or exciting.

I don’t want to get into it in too much detail here beyond just saying that it’s nice to see more signs every day that there is still a place for traditional music in the church. And for that reason, yesterday’s performance was much more than just a gig for me. I am already part of a movement to reawaken people’s love for the hymns. So yesterday’s gig was another way of doing that.


You can learn more about the Sacred Ensemble and it’s leader, Dr. Shana Mashego, at Mashego-Ensemble.com. The website includes video, photos, sound clips and information about their CDs.

About Eddie Lewis

Eddie Lewis is primarily known as a Christian free-lance trumpet player in Houston, TX. Eddie makes a living playing trumpet, teaching trumpet and jazz improvisation, writing trumpet music and authoring trumpet books. His second book, Daily Routines for Trumpet, is used regularly by thousands of trumpet players around the world. If you would like to purchase some of his CD's, feel free to visit our online music store at http://www.TigerMusicStore.com.
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