Michael and I purchased an electric piano last weekend.  It is pictured on the left with the anthem by Ralph Vaughan Williams that the choir at Grace Covenant Presbyterian (GCPC)  is going to sing on Sunday morning.  It’s a wonderful piece and I can’t wait to hear it.  New choir members must wait three weeks before singing in the choir on Sundays so I won’t be able to sing with them yet.

I remember when the choir sung it in the past and I loved it.  I’m sort of glad I’m not singing since my voice is really rough.  My break to head voice tends to crack and I was concerned about this last night.  We had a sectional of the altos where we practiced the Vaughan Williams.  In order to feel better before we sang, I asked folks not to laugh when my voice cracked.  Everyone sort of rolled their eyes when I said this for everyone knows this is why we practice.

As we practiced I realized there are two paid section leaders in the section who have beautiful voices and they helped me with my technique so I could keep from cracking. Everyone else is just like me.  Some of us have had some training but most everyone is in the choir to serve and worship God.  They care about doing a good job but they do it for fun and service – not to show off their great voices!  My old performance anxiety is hitting me.  I really must stop worrying so much about how well I do!   

When I was a student at Columbia Seminary, I wrote a paper called “Should Bad Singers be Allowed in the Choir?”  I worked individually with the preaching/worship professor since I needed some worship credits but I didn’t need to take the basic class.  I hope I can find it upstairs in the attic because I want to look at it again.  I remember the professor thought it was great.  I think I came down on the side of saying “yes” but I do believe the choir director at GCPC would disagree with me.  If I can find it I may give it to him and ask for his comments. 

I struggle with this issue because Grace puts a whole lot of money into the music program.  I love the music and the director is great.  One of the reasons I decided to sing in the choir is because of him.  He’s a wonderful musician and his music for the choir is to serve God and not himself, yet, I’m still uncomfortable with having paid folks in a choir.  I know this is standard practice at large churches but I still don’t feel too good about it especially since we’re not a large church.  I believe everyone leading worship should be there to serve God and not for some performance need.  Yet, ministers are paid and the director is truly a music minister.  That is his title.  I’ll need to think some more about this.  First, I must find that paper I wrote.  Well actually, first I must practice singing so I even out my break!  

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