Nathan Gunn brings 'unmistakable star power' to Christmas concerts
“It always surprises me that the choir is all volunteer. Because they are so professional in the way they behave,” Gunn says. “Actually, that’s an insult. The choir is better than professional. They are super-professional.
“The choir is very disciplined in their work, but they really love what they do, too. That really goes a long way.”
Gunn recognizes the unique power that vocal music has to praise, worship and communicate that spoken words alone cannot convey.
“Every musical instrument that is made out there is trying to imitate what the human voice can do. Not only is voice an instrument that can convey emotion by these beautiful sounds that we can create, but our ears are tuned into it,” he explains. “When you hear a baby cry, you hear it from far away. It’s not because it’s really loud, but it’s because of that particular sound we understand really quickly.
“What we do when we sing is harness that.”
Julie Gunn, also a University of Illinois music professor, often accompanies her husband on piano for recitals, “but she will be in the audience, enjoying the concerts with as many of my children who will be able to travel with us. I think the oldest two have some important tests at the time.”
Seeing their father perform on stage is “normal,” he explains.
“Music is a big part of their life, but they are also a bit confused,” Gunn says. “Like, my youngest son, Nicholas, says, ‘Dad, I really like money, so I think I’ll become a banker. But I’ll play the violin to make money.’ So you can see they are a bit confused about which does which.”
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