The third and final public presentation of “The Applause of Heaven” concert by the Singing Churchmen and Singing ChurchWomen of Oklahoma takes place at 7 p.m., Feb. 12 at Edmond, First.
“This is the last in a series of concerts for the roll-out of the Applause of Heaven CD,” said Randy Lind, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma worship/music ministries specialist and director of both singing groups. “It’s the last chance to hear The Applause of Heaven live.”
The CD has been immensely popular, Lind said.
“We have sold more than 4,000 copies of the CD to date,” he revealed. “We keep ordering and ordering and ordering. It’s been very popular, so we’re pretty thrilled with that.”
Proceeds from the sale of the CDs will be split between the two groups. A portion of the funds will go to a new, exciting project this year, the director said.
“We will use some of this money to help fund a recording that is the first Christmas music project I know of for the Singing Churchmen and Singing ChurchWomen,” Lind said. “The Oklahoma Baptist Symphony has done Christmas music before, but the men and women have not.”
Lind said the music for the new Christmas CD has not been written yet.
“Phil Barfoot, who wrote ‘The Applause of Heaven,’ and a group of writers in Nashville are going to write it early this year, and we will record it at Falls Creek, I believe,” he said. It’s going to be awesome.”
Barfoot wrote “The Applause of Heaven” following the death of his father, Milton, a few years ago, but put the manuscript away before deciding to publish it.
The Singing Churchmen and Singing ChurchWomen first brought it to life Nov. 7, 2013 during a concert at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. A second concert followed on April 10, 2014 at Broken Arrow, First.
“Barfoot has been involved in Christian ministry all of his life,” Lind said. “He has been a minister of music, but is now the owner of CCT, which is based in Nashville and produces recordings and music and provides travel opportunities worldwide for churches. In addition, Phil is a gifted song writer and conductor.”
Barfoot sent a rough draft of “The Applause of Heaven” to Lind and an SCM leadership team who were selecting songs for a new CD to be recorded by the Oklahoma groups.
“The song became the title cut because we felt it deserved to be,” Lind said. “At the time, we had no idea of the history or story of the song. Phil only told me the story after I informed him it was going to be the title cut.
“Phil says the song honors his father’s close walk with the Lord and his life as a faithful servant and follower of Christ. The words to the song include, ‘Well done! Yes, it will be worth it all, when they hear the applause of Heaven surrounded by the saints of all time. The heroes of the faith line the pathway to the throne, cheering them on as they hear the words they’ve waited for so long: Well done!’”
“Another exciting part of this recording is that six of the songs will be released as octavos by LifeWay Worship in its America’s Best Praise and Worship Series for Choir and Congregation and made available to choirs and music ministries throughout the United States and worldwide,” Lind said. “Two of the songs are already available for purchase.”
The two songs on the CD already in print are “The Same Love,” and “Song of Moses.” Both were arranged and orchestrated by Cliff Duren. “The Same Love” was written by Paul Baloche and Michael Rossback. “Song of Moses” was written by Aaron Keyes, Ben Smith, Chris Moerman, Graham Kendrick and Joseph Pat Barret.
Rounding out the play list on the CD—in addition to the title cut—are “O Happy Day,” “In Times Like These,” “Your Awesome Love for Me,” “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name,” “Mercy,” “Mighty God, Loving Savior” and “Open my Eyes.”
“The Applause of Heaven” CD will be available at the Feb. 12 concert for $10, and also is available on iTunes. Search for Singing Churchmen and Singing ChurchWomen of Oklahoma, or “The Applause of Heaven” in the iTunes store.