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Singing in the Choir

My mother is a member of the choir at her church. When she said they were performing twice on Christmas Eve, I asked if I could sing along. She was very excited that I wanted to share this with her. She called her choir director, and he was eager to assimilate me. I asked what part he needed most and he answered soprano. Apparently the little old ladies in the soprano section have somewhat tiny voices.

I used to sing soprano--but it has been 20 years. In more recent singing experiments I have sung lower parts: mezzo, alto, and tenor. When I try for the highest notes, sometimes my voice cracks. I can sing them loudly alright, but singing high notes softly is very difficult. The vocal cords, like any muscle, loose tone with disuse, and weaken with age. Singing high notes requires that the cords be tight.

My mother sings tenor. Tenor is supposed to be the highest male part. However often choirs lack in men, and older ladies whose voices have deepened can sing the part quite well.

The night before our Christmas Eve morning performance, the choir director met my mother and she brought me the music. I picked out the songs on her piano, playing my part, her part, and all the parts together to practice. By the time I was done repeating each of the six carols a few times, my voice was rough. All six carols were new to me, so even though I was singing the melody, I had to learn it from scratch.

We did a couple warmups before the service on Christmas Eve morning, then got up on the stage to sing our six carols. We did OK. My eyes were fixed to the music because I didn't know the tunes yet and was still "sight singing". It's hard to watch the director when you're reading the music. I often wasn't singing on the first note, because I wasn't sure when or where we were starting. Turns out the others were waiting also, so with each verse we gained strength and confidence and always sounded best on the last verse of each carol.

The midnight service saw our best performance, and Jeff was in the audience. The songs were fresh in my mind. It had been over 24 hours since I had first heard them and I actually remembered the melodies enough to watch the director more. I looked over the shoulder of the ladies in front of me to read their music and words.

It was enjoyable, even though I openly admit that I am not a Christian. This embarasses my mother, and she wishes I wouldn't tell anyone. I like her church, though, because the pastor is a thinker and admits to not being Christian himself. I find that interesting that he can lead a nondenominational church which SEEMS very Christian when he himself doesn't claim to be one. But I join him in that irony, because I sing in the choir and am not a joiner.

In spite of disclaiming Christianity, I am a follower of Jesus. I like to celebrate his life and teachings, as do the Muslims who claim him as a prophet. As Mahatma Gandhi said, I like your Christ but I do not like your Christians. He studied Christ but kept to his Hinduism. If more Christians were Christlike, perhaps I'd claim membership. As it is, I am a woman who believes in love and who loves to sing.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
neptunia67
Jan. 9th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Hey, I didn't see this post before. Sounds like fun, I'd love to sing with a group (or without) someday too!
liveonearth
Jan. 9th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
Want to sing with me? Sing me a song! I've been thinking about joining the Flagstaff Master Chorale....
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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