Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a wandering minstrel, I - part 2

So when the opportunity arose to sing with the church choir, I took it. It wasn't like they had auditions or anything, so there would be no one screaming at me that I walked funny (or even sang funny). I'd listened to the choir on a few different Sundays and thought, "Wow, they're pretty good," and then one day took action when the pastor reminded us to talk to the music director if we wanted to sing. Rehearsals were held every Wednesday night, I was told. Here I should mention that church music and I have somewhat of an uneasy relationship. When I first tiptoed around the shocking (for me) idea that I might just want to investigate this whole Christianity thing a bit further, I quickly found that my decision to return to a particular church after the first visit was heavily influenced by the music encountered therein. Piano accompaniment? Fine. Drums and electric guitar? Not in this lifetime. Canned, pre-recorded background music? I was outta there. I don't know where my initial aversion to instrumental worship music originated (since I rarely set foot in church as a child or young adult), but I was the Hymn Nazi: "No further consideration for you!" This wasn't a problem during the years when our family attended a church where the hymns were always sung a cappella for doctrinal reasons. I loved it, especially if there was a strong alto standing somewhere nearby when it was time to sing. The few times we made the long trip to visit my husband's grandparents and attend church with them I nearly swooned at the sound of Grandma's voice - a strong, clear, womanly alto with no hesitation or atonal notes. So, fast forward six years and I'm a non-Baptist in a Baptist choir. And I love it. I love most things about this particular church (which has been welcoming to me from the start and is full of joyful people), but choir takes the cake. The music director is multi-talented, I'm flanked by strong altos on either side, and the sopranos sing the way I imagine angels do. There's even a violinist among us who's recently come out with her own CD. Now I find myself ready to say goodbye to all of them, and it bums me out. Before I do, though, we'll sing the Christmas Cantata together this weekend. It's about the burden of sin and the life ring of grace, sung in melodies that alternate between Gregorian chant and classic carols. I can't think of a more fitting way to say a temporary goodbye to this thing that has been brought unexpectedly back into my life - the joy of voices raised together, all of us practicing this arrangement for months and now here we are...ready to show it to the world.

3 comments:

  1. Marla3:51 PM

    I'm sorry I can't be there, but I know you guys will be great. Maybe I'll take your place in another year or two. I like singing too, though my voice is nothing special. I hope you are able to find a church where you feel at home when you're back in AZ.

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  2. Marla, I find it hard to imagine that we'll find one as special, but you never know. We'll miss you Sunday.

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  3. Lorelei2:24 PM

    I'm SO bummed that I missed this. I left you a message on the home phone. Todd's mom & dad came over to give the kids their gifts since Jackie will be in NY/CT for Christmas. They were like 3 hours late. I'm on a schedule here, people!!!

    How was the concert?

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