Friday, May 06, 2005

singing together

Some choir members from other participating parishes joined us last night, and that was a good experience. It's fun to meet other singers and make music along side them. This caused a scheduling problem for Hugh's parish -- I agree with him that choir rehearsals are sacrosanct, particularly between Advent and Pentecost.

I never thought of our choir as Walmart, and hope that we are not coming across that way. We have gotten more intentional about singing outside of our parish, particularly in the Diocese. We take our trips to England (second one coming up this summer) as pilgrimages, and I think that is an apt description. Instead of moving around each day or so over there, we stay in one place for up to a week and get into a rhythm of daily evensong. That experience in 2002 has had a profound impact on our understanding of our Anglican musical tradition and worship and we want to share it. I hope that we will have more opportunities to also sing with other choirs within the Diocese.

Within the parish, the choir is a community. We spend on average four hours or more a week together in rehearsal. For many of us, it is an opportunity to learn music or share musical skills combined with our worship and participation in the parish. The trips require us to fundraise, which has the effect of focusing on a group effort in addition to the extra rehearsals that it requires.

For years, we've sang together with St. Paul, a parish not far from ours in an annual two-choir festival. An outside Epicopal music conductor is brought in for an intensive period of rehearsal between the two choirs, and we sing a Sunday Eucharist service at one parish and choral evensong at the other, rotating back and forth. This year's festival will be Sunday, May 22, with the morning service at Trinity and the choral evensong at St. Paul's. The conductor will be Gerre Hancock, who recently retired from several years as director at St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, in NYC.

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