The song of the slacker

Welcome to the new blog design! This was whipped up in, like, a day by the marvelous and talented Jeri of Jerilyn Photography. The best part is that the idea I gave her for a header was completely different and probably sort of lame. She gave it a go, and then said, "Hey, just in case you're interested here's this OTHER idea I had which you are absolutely free to hate." And of course it was perfect so I just shut up and let her work her awesomeness. So much, much, much props and love and thanks to Jeri--if anyone is craving a new look you should definitely get in touch with her.

Now I will speak of ward choirs, which is what I'm sure you were really waiting for. My sweet ward choir performed today in church. I need to say here that I went to most of the rehearsals and the typical body count ranged from about 15 people on a good day to 5 on a poor one. I turned up at the start of sacrament meeting today and the choir seats were packed. No idea where all these people came from. They must've just turned up that morning, picked up the music and thought, "Huh. I bet I can sing that. Or not, whichever. But this way I get to be cool and in the choir but didn't actually have to waste any time, you know, rehearsing." And of course because I was that over-achieving high-strung anal student in school (and college, and life) that just blows my mind and makes my eye twitch.

Thing is, though, we really needed the extra voices, whether they could sing or not. And I've decided that for the average LDS choir director in an average ward, keeping your sanity is probably all about lowering your expectations and just dealing with what you get.

How did your ward choirs do today?


Janssen said... [reply]

My parents' ward choir was actually quite good, except for that one time where the guys sang the first part of We Three Kings. But it was over quickly and I'm attempting to put it out of my mind.

HAH said... [reply]

As the choir director, I've been emailing weekly choir rehearsal reminders to all potential choir members since we started working on Christmas music. When we had 2 rehearsals to go, I sent out a decree that all who wanted to sing must attend both rehearsals. One potential member stopped me in the hall to say the next rehearsal would be missed, and I replied, "I guess we'll catch you NEXT Christmas then". I don't mind the last-minute performers if we are doing something like a hymn, but prefer they not join us on the pieces we rehearse for several weeks.

Anonymous said... [reply]

I've been the choir president for six months maybe, and I was told by the first (?) counselor in the bishopric that the current choir is the best they've had in 10 years. We sounded far better today than before I was called, when their numbers were in the 6-7 range (we're up to 26 members now). We've gone from cringeworthy to pretty decent, I think!

Roxie said... [reply]

I've been frustrated by the slacker singers too. Ours today wasn't that bad. There was only one real noticeable mess up when the loudest bass sang the wrong verse for a word or two.

Scully said... [reply]

Love the makeover - it is just so you. Um, as choirs go, I am sure our music major choir director had something wonderful planned, but our church has been cancelled two weeks in a row because of snow. As a veteran of Utah winters (and Eastern Washington ones as well), I don't understand it. But that is apparently how things are done in here in Western Washington. Everyone hibernates. Even when there is less than 6 inches of snow.

Azúcar said... [reply]

I have no idea. I was too busy DESPISING the ward choir for stealing my husband and making him sit with them the entire meeting--thus condemning me to 70 minutes of child-wrangling that made me grow chest hair.

Hope it was worth it.

Nookleerman said... [reply]

You should have try-outs to get into the choir. Then it will feel more exclusive and might get people to turn out for more practices. Not to mention having a legitimate excuse for kicking people out of your seat come performance day.

Not to say you should ever deny someone entry into a church choir, cuz that would be un-Christian. Maybe you could find a couple of people who didn't want to be in the choir anyway and get them to say they got rejected to give yourselves some authenticity. Of course, lying has been viewed by some as a no-no as well, so that might not work.

Crazy Walker said... [reply]

I'm coming out of lurkerville to comment on the ward choir biz.

We had such a beautiful program today, and our ward has so many talented individuals. We had so many great voices & solos, as well as people playing the flute, cello, and violin. It was the best I've ever heard out of just a regular ward choir. I wouldn't be surprised if our ward did have auditions, it just seemed that good!

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

Ooh! So glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about people who show up the day of. This year, we had a girl, talented as she may be, show up to our day of rehearsal and then proceed to request parts be played and fixed that we'd been working on for two months. She was correcting us (though they were mostly her) more than the choir director. Drove me crazy.

But, having been the choir director, taking what you can get is sometimes the most you can do. At least our program this year was really good.

alishka babushka said... [reply]

LOVE the new look! the ward in virginia (first time attending) had the congregation sing like 4 songs, the choir sang 2 with narration in between and the bishop closed with some remarks. it was...interesting.

Flashlight Girl said... [reply]

We don't even have a choir due to "lack of interest." Bunch of slackers. . .

Natalie said... [reply]

Our choir did well - my new friend hit all the high notes, and the director had gold curling ribbon in her hair - whih made it fun to watch her from behind.

We also had two of the young men perform - O' Holy Night on the piano, and Silent Night on the violin. Both tremendous!

The best part, in my unbiased opinion, though, was the primary kids singing about Samuel the Lamanite prophesying the birth of Christ. "Hosannah, Hosannah. Oh let us gladly sing How blessed that our Lord was born. Let earth receive her king!" They REALLY got into it!

Love the new look! You are adorable as a cartoon.

N.F. said... [reply]

Ours is coming up...and, considering the amount of Primary kids we had singing yesterday (3!) I imagine our choir will be sad. Oh so sad. Plus, I was in a meeting Sunday morning and they just brainstormed yesterday that they wanted to have one. So. There you go.

Pie said... [reply]

Our ward has an "instant choir" where they announce at church a few weeks beforehand what hymn they are going to sing for everyone, then anyone who wants to participate practices at home and then shows up to sing in sacrament meeting. Then everyone is a slacker and has wasted no time and dedicated folks like you don't get irritated. Win-Win-Win.
Sadly, we had no sacrament meeting program at all because of snow and -30 degree weather :)

april said... [reply]

funny thing is that ours didn't perform at all. didn't realize that until you asked. we did have three musical numbers - all nicely done (although the primary choir only had 10 kids due to snowstorm - they canceled the last two hours of church). next week our ward choir and primary choir will sing the "hallelujah chorus" from Handel's Messiah. it's a fun tradition that we do every year. although i don't think even that gets last minute attendees. in the northeast, people are pretty honest about their singing abilities. i remember being stunned at how good my BYU ward sounded while singing the opening song in sacrament meeting. no one sounded that way where i grew up in new york. since we're being honest, i did watch the satellite broadcast of the palmyra temple dedication. when the choir sang, i couldn't help but think, yeah, that's a choir from the northeast. that said; i do have an amazing ward music director whose 85 + years old, studied at juliard and does the most amazing stuff with minimal talent (we do have some musically gifted in my ward - just not many). but she is quite ill this year, so no choir. but still beautiful musical numbers.

april said... [reply]

oh, forgot to say that i love the new look!!! and i'm excited for a button (although the last time i tried to put one on my blog it didn't work - but thinking good thoughts here).

EmAndTrev said... [reply]

My ward choir did the Christmas program last week, which was a little disappointing (in my opinion). We had a missionary homecoming on the 21st, which was nice, but there really was no mention of Christmas, other than the opening and closing hymn. My hubby stands by his assertion that our ward has very little Christmas cheer. :)

Love your new blog layout. Very nice!

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