Musicians – age 14 to 74 – are saying:
Mr. Smith does an excellent job with the hymn arrangements, balancing the different instruments very well. He does a great job including everyone, no matter how great a musician they are, knowing that it is not about our abilities but our desire to glorify God in playing.
(Violin - Tolland, CT)
These orchestrations made it easy for our orchestra to flex and adapt to the skills of each available musician. I am excited to hear that this benefit is to be shared, so the blessings can multiply to many more people!
(Trombone - West Hartford, CT)
The orchestra was one of many things that attracted my husband and me to this church. It has been a nice way to meet some of my fellow church members. The time commitment is very reasonable, as we are able to prepare during a 15-minute rehearsal before Sunday service.
(Bassoon - Glastonbury, CT)
We had a wide range of abilities – from beginner to professional – and he always had a part for everyone to play. One of the nice things about Brad's arrangements is that they're not all the same style, but are always elegant and beautiful.
(Viola & Cello couple - Greensboro, NC)
Brad is an attentive and complete music director. He is attentive to tuning, the balance of the ensemble, and the ability of the individual instrumentalists to maximize the sound. I enjoy his energy and caring attitude for the musicians involved in the ensemble. His joy makes being part of the ensemble uplifting.
(Clarinet – Vernon, CT)
Brad was excited to let me play in our orchestra, even though I had never played a drum before! What a grand opportunity to learn and play and grow as a musician and in Christ!
(Percussion - Granby, CT)
I have played the piano with the orchestra once or twice a month for 8 years. Each week the orchestra is a different combination of musicians, depending on each one’s availability – but the ‘orchestra’ concept is, I feel, most honoring to God in the weekly worship service.
(Piano - Suffield, CT)
I've enjoyed playing with a group of musicians who have a desire to worship God and benefit His church with our gifts. The arrangements provided by Brad Smith have always been well thought-out and highly musical.
(Guitar - Philadelphia, PA)
Having the younger and older musicians serve side-by-side brings the congregation closer together – not only because the musicians get to appreciate and mentor one another, but also because a greater share of the congregation is helping to lead in worship.
(Recorder & Guitar - Louisville, KY)
Performing in Reformation Day and Christmas orchestras under Brad's leadership truly brings out my love for music and performance. He makes us "greater as a whole" with his enthusiasm and encouragement.
(Trumpet - Gales Ferry, CT)
Playing with the worship orchestra during the service has been another form of communion among us as believers. The music that we make and how it glorifies God is an amazing experience to be a part of.
(Clarinet - Winsted, CT)
Playing the piano as part of the group Brad led on Sunday mornings was a beautiful experience. Brad does an excellent job of arranging scriptural music in a thoughtful and worshipful way.
(Piano - Greenville, SC)
We unify as a small group in love by producing a "product" that is greater than the group of individuals or any individual's particular gift. Others might compliment the group on our playing, but it usually feels undeserved – since we feel as blessed to be able to participate as those who have been able to sing with us in the congregation.
(Guitar - Plainville, CT)
I really enjoy playing in the orchestra. It has encouraged me to pick up my flute again. Hymns are just the right pace for me, as I do not have a lot of time to practice. Brad arranges the music nicely so that it sounds lovely, regardless of who shows up and so that you do not miss out on all of the singing. It is a great way to encourage God-given musical talent, bless the congregation with beauty, and glorify our Father in heaven.
(Flute - Torrington, CT)
My family and I have great respect and admiration for Brad Smith, a man who has inspired many to worship God with what they can bring to the worship service through an orchestra of musicians. Because of all the other musicians, I was more willing to try playing the piano for church... being part of something larger in the worship of God with the orchestra.
(Piano - East Hartford, CT)
And their parents are saying:
As a parent, I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity that Brad provides for our young people to play worship music with an orchestra. His method is doable for a busy family, as he leads them through practice an hour before the service. He writes the music at a user-friendly level, too. (And it sounds so beautiful!) This is a valuable experience for player and worshiper alike, and I am sure glad that Brad can share this music ministry opportunity with many other churches!
Every time we get together with Brad and the Church, we feel honored and privileged to partake in the worship and praising of our Lord. The orchestra is pulled together time and time again with various levels of talent. Brad has the ability to make all those involved feel important and special. His amazing ability makes the orchestra sound like it's been playing for years, when in actuality only minutes! Our daughter looks forward to the challenge and the mentoring/sharing between the other violinists.
It has been a privilege to have my children be led and trained by this amazing Music Director, Brad Smith. Not only because of his professionalism and high-quality teaching, but mostly his heart for excellence in music, seeking to glorify our Lord. All of his gifts and talents are used to help all the musicians (super-talented or not) to blossom in their own musical gifts.