Millions of people will watch the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra perform tonight in a rousing tradition capped off by spectacular fireworks in remembrance of this nation’s independence.
But for Pops trumpeter Terry Everson, tonight’s celebration on a big, hatch shell-shaped stage is about glorifying God, fulfilling his Holy Spirit-empowered calling and representing his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with a spirit of excellence.
“My musical calling is to do whatever I can to give God glory through the gifts with which He has graced me,” says Everson.
“To that end, I believe He has commissioned me to develop to my fullest what has been entrusted to me according to Matthew 25, and to make myself available for whatever opportunities He provides for me, such as playing with the Boston Pops. There will be a certain extra thrill that tonight’s performance will touch millions.”
Everson equates playing in an orchestra and submitting to the conductor with being part of the body of Christ and submitting to God’s masterpiece orchestration and conducting.
“One of the most valuable lessons to learn as an orchestral player is that it’s not about me,” adds Everson, who has been playing off and on for years with the Pops, one of the country’s pre-eminent orchestras.
“In the Boston Pops, I’m submitting my playing and my will to the greater good in order to create something much bigger than I can do myself,” he continues. “It’s a terrific allegory for the way in which we are to submit our gifts and callings to God’s greater work in the kingdom.”
Throughout the Bible and into modern times, the trumpet has been used for clarion calls and to signify royalty. For Everson, who is also a full-time trumpet professor at Boston University, the sound of the trumpet is like a majestic voice heralding a move of God to impact people.
“My prayer before each performance is that those who hear me will receive a better glimpse of God through what they see and hear,” he says.
For his most recent classical music CD “In the Style of…” Everson recorded a special version of the classic song “Amazing Grace” to inspire a new generation to go on a musical journey that the listener experiences as the harmonization travels through dark times of struggle and grief before finally finding peace in Christ.
Everson finds satisfaction in the message of the music: God’s grace being sufficient in all circumstances.
As a teacher as well as a stand-out performer, this highly accomplished musician conveys the heart of a mentor. He is quick to tell young, Christian musicians to realize that it is important to honor the God-given gift of musical ability with thousands of hours of practice that is required to develop it to its fullest potential.
Even though God is the one who opened doors for Everson to advance his career at the highest echelon of classical music, he admits there are no short cuts to refining his craft of playing his instrument.
“It’s often said that good is the enemy of best. God didn’t give us just something ‘good’ in Jesus; He gave us His best,” Everson says.
“If I’m to represent Him in any way on this earth in what I do, it has to be the absolute best I can do, and I constantly push myself and my students to go beyond what we’ve done to date, to dare to imagine something greater.”