On Saturday we had the privilege of singing for a special ordination service for deacons at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke. Choirs from the home churches of the ordinands were invited to join the Cathedral Choir, and since one of the four to-be-deacons was from our former church, and one from our present, we were able to do double duty. Alas, only one choir member from our former church was able to participate, so it was not quite the grand reunion we had hoped for, but it was great to sing with her again, anyway. And it was great to sing with the Cathedral Choir.
Although we have attended the Cathedral at times, and every once in a while considered making it our home church, to be part of their choir is not something we've aspired to. There are a number of reasons for that, some better than others. One of the not-so-good ones is that I've been terrified of auditions ever since my junior high chorus teacher attempted to figure out who was singing the wrong note by having each of us sing it individually, in front of the whole class. Junior high is not a time of high confidence for most people, certainly not for me, and not a sound would come from my throat, no matter how much she pushed me. That's still one of my strongest junior high school memories.
I managed to overcome my fear of auditions just once, when in high school I had the opportunity to audition for the Choralaires, the dream of a lifetime. Okay, it was a short lifetime at that point, but still, I had been admiring that group for as long as our family had been enjoying their concerts. (If you click on that link, you'll be able to read an article about the Choralaires, though you'll have cancel out of a print—without the print command the link takes you to where you can only access part of the article.) Anyway, I survived the audition, and when the list of those who had made the elite group was posted, there was my name! Still, such was my self-confidence that I have to this day been unable to shake the suspicion that somehow my parents had convinced the director to accept me, knowing that we were moving out of state that year and I wouldn't be able to accept the position. Crazy, I know—that's not the kind of thing my parents would have done—but how else to explain my success? My experience was not unlike that of children who become terrified of mathematics for life because of a bad school experience. Some teachers have a lot to answer for. Fortunately, there are also people later in our lives who can gently lead us out of our fears, and I've benefitted from some wonderful choir directors. But I still can't imagine joining a choir that requires auditions.
All that long digression aside, it was lovely to be in the great choir loft, singing with the Cathedral choir, under the direction of Ben Lane—even seated where I could watch him in action at the organ. Our choir was well-represented, and our own director had prepared us well. I don't think any of us felt well prepared, as the music was difficult, but as it turned out, it all went well.