Monday, December 20, 2010

Music and the Written Word

So right now I am our ward's choir director. This is my third Christmas, and I still feel like a total newbie. We performed today. I had some serious pre-performance anxiety during the sacrament, as we'd had to unexpectedly cancel last Sunday's rehearsal, and then had to have two rehearsals this weekend, one Saturday and the other Sunday morning, at 7:45 am, with only about 1/2 of the choir in attendance. (Yeah, we have early church.) Even during the Sunday morning rehearsal, we had issues with our opening song and had to stop and start several times. I had 3 men (of my already tiny men's section) bail on me this year, leaving me with 5, and I had to make my poor hubby (who's wonderfully musical and versatile) switch between tenor and bass, depending on which part needed help. I was nervous. We kept joking about the angel choirs that would join us ('cause don't they always when it comes to praising God?), but I was doing some serious praying.

On top of the music, however, I had written the Christmas program. I'd done some narration with scriptures between the songs, but because I had to leave it up to the bishop to choose who would say it, I didn't find out until this morning when he announced the couple from the pulpit. I'd had no time to work with them, or point out things I thought were important to emphasize. I'd had to leave it up to their interpretation.

My point in all this is that I had control over only so much of the program today. It was hard to let go of my baby and hope she'd fly. I'd done all I could do, I'd prepped and prepared with the pieces I had. I had to trust that I'd done enough.

Of course everything went wonderful. It wasn't even close to perfect, but those imperfections added to the character of the overall program. I think my favorite part was when the primary kids (all 130 of them) came up to sing "Away in a Manger", the version in the Primary hymn book that has the "Asleep, asleep" echo in it. The primary choristers had given a few kids chimes to hit along with the first "Asleep" in the echo during the chorus. They all followed directions except for one child, who hit his chime during the whole chorus. All three times.
I hope you can draw some parallels here. Sometimes we just have to let those written words loose into the publishing world. We've done all the prep and all the preparation we possibly can, and it's time to see if it will fly. There will be that one "kid" in your story, hitting his chime out of sync with the rest, but that imperfection is what makes it unique and memorable. In a good way.

So be brave, my writing friends. Make a resolution that this year, you will sent something out. You will let your darlings learn to fly, and get over "perfectionitis".

(Here's a little Christmas present from me to you. One of the pieces performed today was this piano solo of 'The First Noel' done by a very talented young lady in my ward. This isn't her playing, but she was even better.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad your program turned out well. They always do, don't they? My husband is our choir director, but we have this great tradition in our ward where each organization prepares two songs to sing. Everyone gets to participate, the choir only has to do 2-3 songs, and there's no stress on anyone. I love it! Have a Merry Christmas!



Related Posts with Thumbnails