12.22.2008

Ward Choir Xmas Program: the rest of the story

Twas the Sunday before Christmas and with the sound of the alarm, I awoke to a beautiful clear Sunday morn. Granted it was -10 degrees and the last thing I wanted to do was get out of my fleece sheets;But alas, it was the annual ward Christmas Program and I was due at the church in 28 minutes. I hastily schlepped from my fleeced cocoon, threw on some clothes, washed my hair [it had been a few days] and decided that indeed today would be a mascara day. I grabbed...

  • the two Cupcake Christmas trees for my visiting teachees
  • all of the props for learning the monthly primary song
  • the 15 extra large chocolate chip cookies i'd made for the senior primary
  • the music the senior primary was singing and
  • the kitchen sink

I raced out the door only to be welcomed by a blast of cold air and wind. Truth be told, I'm no big or even remotely small fan of winter.

I arrived at the church at 8:37 am for the 8:30 am choir rehearsal, sacrament starts at 9 am. One fourth of the choir members were seated and keep in mind that there had been no Saturday dress rehearsal. Our new choir director is the first I've had that recognizes that LDS ward choirs aren't cut out for Handel's Messiah or heavy 4 part Great Musical Works. We sing simple straightforward songs [the 3 S's] and practice is never more than 35 minutes. Yep, I love this guy. Anyway, we "talked" through the program which we had never actually ran through and then the prelude began. I was a little nervous especially since he had asked that the senior primary sing a song which we practiced last week for exactly 4 minutes and that was it.

As the congregation began the final verse of the opening hymn, suddenly the organ accompaniment changed drastically and a very high voice heavily laced with vibrato could be heard singing some sort of descant [emphasis on the some and the sort]. The congregation looked shocked and so did the choir director. The 'soloist', also a member of the choir who will remain nameless, had gotten to church late and unbeknown st to anyone, had been asked by the organist to sing said solo. Liz Strong's husband had to hold a book up to cover his face as he cried with tears of laughter. The conducting member of the bishopric started giving announcements. He asked two members of the ward to stand, one of which was his wife. She didn't immediately stand and he said "hmm, not here yet". He then noticed her standing and amended with "oh, she threw me off by not sitting on the regular family bench. I haven't recognized her since she started straightening her hair". She looked like the cat that swallowed the 4 calling canaries. It was hilarious.

When it was time for the program to begin, all the choir members [8 of which hadn't been to choir in weeks] filed to the choir seats and the antics began. Things surprisingly went pretty smoothly. I asked the senior primary to come forward and they miraculously sang the song with music in hand. Later in primary one of the boys who hadn't been here last week said "were we supposed to know that song?". Half way through the program during one of the speaking parts I noticed that a member of the ward who is handicapped and in a wheelchair had wheeled herself up to the front and was apparently participating in the choir. She had NEVER been to a practice but what the heck, the more the merrier.

All in all it was yet another testimony that the church is both true and very forgiving.

4 comments:

Mom said...

Yes it was quite the program, uplifting, and actually very nice. The scriptures were not traditional and the singing sounded good.

I'll have to admit that as I climbed in bed, I chuckled about the descant and the member of the Bishopric not seeing his wife standing as he was sustaining her into a new calling.

I love that the Church is such a diverse melting pot of all kinds of people.

Pepper said...

Wow. So many of my questions have just been answered.

carrie said...

I wish I had been there, sounds hilarious.

liz said...

Sure, leave the soloist nameless, BUT call Jim out by name. The whole ward (at least those behind us) knew he was losing it, but there may have been a few that didn't...now they know.