Sunday, November 8, 2009

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Last Sunday we started ward choir again after my break to recover from having a baby. We got off to a bit of a rough start. We didn't have a lot of people and it was just kind of a tough rehearsal- I didn't feel like we accomplished a whole lot or like people enjoyed it. Today it was Sunday and again, the time had rolled around for choir. While ward choir director is one of my favorite jobs in the world and I LOVE it when things are going well, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with choir. I LOVE choosing music, directing the music, having rehearsals, the friends I make at rehearsals, putting together performances, teaching people about singing, and so on. But trying to recruit and get people to come is the bane of my existence. I HATE recruiting for choir. Mormons are notoriously busy with multiple callings, small children, extended family, community activities and such. Trying to convince people that they can find time for one more thing, especially on Sundays, can seem like an impossible task. All along my hope with choir has been that if I try and work hard enough and long enough, eventually we will get a consistent group of people to come and we will be able to not just sing a song or two for church, but progress as a group and get better... that we will be able to make beautiful music that expresses our love for the Lord, brings the Spirit into the meeting and touches people's hearts. But whenever we start to take steps toward that, it seems like things fall apart and we go back to having a "choir" of 6 or 7 people. I try not to take it personally when people don't come, but it is hard not to....

For a while I have been getting discouraged with choir because it seems like we have had more steps backward than forward and choir has been getting smaller, not bigger. Today I decided that I needed to at least make an effort to recruit for the Christmas program and call to remind people. (Note: I would rather get teeth pulled than have to call and try to get people to come to choir. It makes me extremely uncomfortable and nervous. And I take it personally when they say no.) I started calling people and the very first person I called said, "You know I love choir but I just need to spend that time with my family right now." What are you supposed to say to that? The next two people that I called were also "no"s. At that point I was about ready to just ask to be released from this calling. Why do they have me do this if all I am doing is torturing people, tearing them away from their families and making them suffer through one more Sunday meeting?

Regardless of my inauspicious start, I kept calling people and got a few "yes" responses. I quit calling people when Dave called me to eat lunch. He had cooked bacon, toast and omelets for lunch. (Did I mention that I love this man?) After filling my stomach with delicious, salty, greasy food I felt much better about life.     

By the time we finished eating it was almost time for choir, so I started getting chairs out and getting the music ready. At a typical choir practice, two or three people arrive by 2:05, with another couple coming by 2:10 and a few more at 2:15. Today we had 6 people here by 2:00. By 2:05 there were 14 people. And more and more people kept coming. We had 25 people at choir today, including some brand new people who I didn't even call! We had a great rehearsal, working on a piece to sing later this month and a couple of songs for Christmas. The choir sounded great! We had fun! We made progress! I love this calling! Someone from the choir had volunteered to bring treats so people stayed for a few minutes afterward to socialize and eat treats. It was an all-around great rehearsal and great day.

I always worry that when we have a good turnout like this people will assume that this means that they aren't needed and will stop coming (this has happened to me several times). But if they keep coming, think how awesome it would be...

4 comments:

Kelly(M&M) said...

Congrats on a successful practice. I know how much it means to you. I love your writing!

Emily Laing said...

So glad! I made Patrick stay home today, although he felt guilty, but I had a migraine. I never get them. But I wasn't about to get the house ready for company when I couldn't even see... mark my words, he knows that he is an important part of choir and will be there next week with bells on his toes! :)

Emily Laing said...

So glad! I made Patrick stay home today, although he felt guilty, but I had a migraine. I never get them. But I wasn't about to get the house ready for company when I couldn't even see... mark my words, he knows that he is an important part of choir and will be there next week with bells on his toes! :)

Ranell said...

Yay!