« Home | I've Got the Chutzpah...But Not the Talent » | that's why they call it money » | These are the yokes, folks » | Do The Math » | Your 10% Tithe at Work » | To Tithe or Not to Tithe... » | Why can’t I be you? » | The Tool » | Yet Another Post Where I Talk About My Children...... » | "Different" isn't "Christlike" » 

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 

Sing It Loud, Sing It Strong

I am my ward's choir director. I say that with a fair amount of shame and a healthy dose of embarressment. When I was given the calling, I looked at the bishopric member who was asking me and actally said out loud "Do you WANT me to go inactive?" Nonetheless, I accepted the calling and led the choir. The bishopric requested we have a song prepared for ward conference and since the theme was missionary work I chose "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" as our hymn of choice. It's a pretty simple straight forward hymn. Nothing that any normal singer couldn't handel. I wasn't looking for this to be a mini-MoTab's, I was just looking for us to not skwak out the tune. I had faith in my singers. But what shocked me the most was that my singers who VOLENTEERED to be in the choir had no faith in themselves or thier singing ability. They were a rather disheartening lot, let me just tell you. I had arranged the hymn so some of the lines would be sung as a solo in the various foreign languages the peeps in my ward are fluent in. Getting people to committ to singing a solo was similar to getting people to give up their first born child. It was nearly impossible. I asked what the deal was, and finally one of the hesitant choir members said, "Well... it's embarrassing." I was flabbergasted. You are IN a CHOIR. You are singing IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CONGRAGATION ANYWAY! What the heck is the big deal? But apparently, it IS a big deal. So I came up with a motto for my choir... a motto that I told them to live by. IF YOU CAN'T SING GOOD - SING LOUD.

I've threatened to make t-shirts that say this very thing, but I doubt that will come to fruition. Nonetheless, it's something I believe in. I believe in singing, I believe that a song really is a prayer of the heart, I belive that it doesn't matter one bit if you're the worlds greatest singer or squak like Skuttle, what matters is that you allow your heart to be touched, and allow others to be touched. There are times I'm sitting in sacrament meeting, having had a horrible morning, a horrible week, a horrible month and the words of the hymn that was randomly chosen by someone will move me, touch me so deeply that I can't help but weep. My advise to any and all is to forget what you sound like, stop worrying if you're hitting the right note or not, and just sing... sing and MEAN IT. It can change you. I know it has changed me.

clearly too many members of my ward have adopted your philosophy. one girl sits in the front and sings LOUDLY with a tremendous vibrato in her voice. It's so loud, the first time she did it, the rest of the congregation acutally kind of trailed off and looked up sharply in surprise. to this day, the area of seats around her is pretty sparsely filled, bc everyone is afraid of having their ears blasted out.

as a girl who sounds like a man while speaking, not to mention a burly caveman while singing, I go for the motto, if you are so terribly off-tune that the choir director from school pointed you out and asked you to just mouth the words for the program, then it's best if you sing just enough for you to hear and no one else. I think HF appreciates my thinking of others.

Sarah, my dear, some of us don't do as well in front of a crowd. It's quite overwhelming, whether we can hit the notes or not. In my case not.

To add to adrianne's comment...when I was recently attending my parent's ward, someone was not only loud and off key, but singing in French. The foreign language would have been a fabulous and welcome treat if it had been in tune and the same volume as the rest of the congregation.

you crack me up...you are correct. Loud is better than good. My word sings SO quietly and SO slowly! It makes me want to jump and run out screaming. SING PEOPLE...SING!

P.S. What's a Skuttle?

CA- Skuttle is the seagull from Little Mermaid.

Adrianne - You crack me up. There was a lady in my home ward growing up that had a similar singing style. It frightened the primary children very often, so that was fun.

And Jess... girl... it's just singing... it's not open heart surgery, what are you so afraid of? ;)

I am afraid that the walls would collapse.

I was called as choir director twice in my singles ward. Up to that point, I had never lead music... it was hard, but it was fantastic.

Im not so sure about the LOUD part though. We had quite a few "generous" singers in our ward..and they pretty much out numbered those who were blessed vocally. It was really hard to keep those who could sing, to stay when the overall sound was a bit too pitchy(to say politely)....

"Nothing that any normal singer couldn't handel."

Interesting slip

I flunked music in middle school and sort of gave up for a long time. I am tone deaf, but I love to sing and I enjoy singing in a choir. I did have a good choir director who taught us to blend, when I first became active in the church.

I like to sing unusual songs, like oh, A Balm in Gilead, or you know, not the usual ones, that are pretty and involve emotions.

Our ward, when we split, was left without a lot of talent, but we've struggled along. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I was asked by my friend, who was the ward music director to sing in the choir that sang for the dedication of the Mountain Meadow thing, the prophet came, I think. I did it just to humor my friend, but I walked in and heard all those voices, I was hooked. We sang beautiful songs.

The spirit of the director is key, not the talent of the director, although that helps.

I flunked music in middle school and sort of gave up for a long time. I am tone deaf, but I love to sing and I enjoy singing in a choir. I did have a good choir director who taught us to blend, when I first became active in the church.

I like to sing unusual songs, like oh, A Balm in Gilead, or you know, not the usual ones, that are pretty and involve emotions.

Our ward, when we split, was left without a lot of talent, but we've struggled along. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I was asked by my friend, who was the ward music director to sing in the choir that sang for the dedication of the Mountain Meadow thing, the prophet came, I think. I did it just to humor my friend, but I walked in and heard all those voices, I was hooked. We sang beautiful songs.

The spirit of the director is key, not the talent of the director, although that helps.

Post a Comment

This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

Various Links

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates