Merry is not necessarily musical

By Mir
December 9, 2007

I am home just briefly inbetween church services—this is the morning the choir is doing our cantata at church, and in addition to the service for which we usually sing (the NORMAL PEOPLE service), I had to go sing at the early service (the BUTTCRACK OF DAWN service).

Part of my problem really embracing this church has been that I am terribly homesick for the choir I sang in at my old church, for various reasons. I had thought it was mostly because I miss my friends, but there’s more to it than that.

Like today, for instance. We’ve performed the cantata once and we’re about to go do it again… and I have to say, I think that with a month or two more of rehearsal, we’ll really have that puppy nailed.

Yeah. (“Dear Jesus, Sorry for making your birthday tuneless. We tried. Love, The Choir.”)


  1. Daisy

    Tiny Baby Jesus loves music in all its forms, quality and less so. Trust me — former music teacher and youth choir director.

  2. Deputy's Wife

    I leave in a half hour for rehearsal for the children’s program at our church. We got the program last week. Two rehearsals. That’s all we got. While I am all about the kids having fun, let’s give them a little more time to prepare.

    Ugh. Happy Holidays.

  3. Jess

    Haha. Okay, I can really relate. I was in an extremely professional, church-based, volunteer choir when I was in high school, and no other choir can compare.

  4. All Adither

    Oh, do I have some high school choir horror stories. We were the worst darn choir west of the Atlantic Ocean.

  5. Another Dawn

    I feel your pain. I’m in a rather professional choir (both in terms of musical and administrative quality – with sufficient rehearsals and such) now, but have in the past been in the kind of choir for which you feel you should start each performance with an apology for what you are about to do to the music.

    “The songwriter has given us all these lovely notes. Unfortunately, only half of them will be sung here tonight.”

    But I agree with Daisy. I think Baby Jesus gives point for intention and the attempt. At least I hope so, or I may be in big trouble.

    And they named a service after me. How thoughtful.

  6. Heather

    I’m lucky in that our music pastor, when he arrived a few years ago, really started making inroads with the choir. It sounds about a thousand times better, and everyone has learned so much! Not that we don’t still have a few tremulous old lady sopranos, or toneless tenors ;-) But for the most part, everyone does great!

  7. Cele

    Sing with love and joy in your hearts and when someone complains, make them join the choir too. enough said.

  8. Mandee

    We, too did the butt crack and the normal service this morning. However, we are very smart and bring breakfast to eat in between the two services. This is so that we can get away with making something easy (like sausage balls) and still have “Miss” Gwen’s homemade cinnamon rolls.

    To top it off, I have to return this evening for the church wide music event. Every choir in the church–from the 3 year olds to the “swingin singin seniors” (except us)–will sing 2 or 3 songs. Then, for the grand finale, we all sing a lovely arrangement of O Holy Night together. It’s very nice, but makes for a LONG day.

    Making the adjustment to a new choir is always hard. May the Baby Jesus bless your fellow choir members with some musicality very soon.

  9. Megan

    Reminds me of a lovely quote from one of the Anne books where Captain Jim responds to a firm comment about God loving the music ANYWAY: “I have a little higher opinion of the Lord’s ear for music than THAT.”

  10. Katie

    This is one of the very few instances when I’m glad I can’t carry a tune. I’m sure you all were fabulous anyways!

  11. jessica

    This evening, we’re singing our Christmas Cantata as well. I’ve been the music director at our church for 5 years now, and this is the first Cantata we’ve done. We performed a selection from it this morning, and I’m just killing time until tonight’s performance. Needless to say, I’m just a weensy bit terrified.

  12. paige

    Hey. The Bible says “joyful NOISE” not “tuneful noise”. I find that extremely comforting, myself. My husband and kids are all tuneful but I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

  13. Otto

    FYI, the second run through was excellent. I’m just sayin’.


  14. D

    After going to over 40 live sporting events and hearing very bad singers sing our National Anthem, I’m willing to bet that your group sounded a LOT better. All y’all can’t be worse than the guy who was flat on the highs and high on the flats and who, in the middle of the song, and sipped from his beer when he forgot words and didn’t make up the words … it was bloody awful.

  15. carrien

    ugh, I know the feeling. Once you’ve been in an excellent choir, or at least on in which by the time you perform every member knows their part and can sing it cold at a minutes notice and rehearsals are filled with comments like, “I think the altos are just a touch flat on that one a at the end of the bridge,” anything else kind of feels like running in sand, or swimming up hill, or drinking three day old coffee, or…, anyway, it sucks. I love being in an excellent choir, not so much the other kind.

    I guess I’m kind of an asshole about these kinds of things. Once I joined a church choir and at the very first rehearsal sat through 10 painful minutes of the pianist trying to play parts. She could barely play individual parts let alone all of them together. After 10 minutes I couldn’t stand it anymore and stood up and announced, “I can play parts let me do it.” Well, that earned me lots of friends let me tell you. But they let me, and every one learned their parts that day.

    Music is the one place that I allow my perfectionism free reign, at least when I’m the one performing. A trait that was useful as a music major, and hasn’t been much since then.

    I feel your pain.

  16. Melissa

    I can relate, too. I’m not in my church choir, but I do a lot of intsrumental parts with them (I play the cello). Our church is in the middle of a massive growth spurt, so we’re getting a lot of really great voices. Unfor-tune-ately, no one has the heart to tell some of the more joyful noises to leave. Or at least sing quietly…

    I also play in a community orchestra. The talent level varies widely. We’re starting to be a little pickier about who joins, but there are some people who were there at the beginning who no one has the heart to dismiss. I think I will use the apology someone posted at our next concert. At least in my head :).

  17. Aimee

    Heh. Another Dawn’s comment made me remember how I felt before every single high school band concert. Our conductor? Was mostly deaf. ‘Nuff said.

  18. el-e-e

    I love all the comments! I recently changed a blog category of mine from “those who sing pray twice,” to “those who sing (right) pray twice.” I’m a choir snob, too. ;) I’m sure your cantata was actually lovely.

  19. Leah

    I was in the top choir at college and my current church doesn’t even have one, except at Christmas and Easter, and it’s really just 4 or 5 people “singing” the “melody.”

  20. Hula Doula

    The Bible talks about making a joyful noise. Notice the word noise. My grandmother (who could not sing worth a lick) use to tell me that even her toneless noise was music to His ears because she was praising Him. That was all that mattered.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest