"I have no pre-choir memories."
So begins a marvelous college admissions essay by Annabel La Riva recently published by the New York Times.
We seem to live in an age when parents (and, yes, I'm a rookie parent myself, so I feel like I have a new, budding qualification to speak about this) over-program their children with multiple sports and other extracurricular activities. But at the same time, commitment to these same activities is not stressed, and when the going gets tough, the parents simply find "something else" for the child to do. Often commitment is not stressed, but busyness is.
Ms. Riva's tale sings the glories of sticking with something. In particular, sticking with something as good as a chorister training program. Many of these programs are associated with the Royal School of Church Music in America. St. James' Church on Madison Avenue in New York, where Ms. Riva is a chorister, is one such program.
I begged and pleaded with my mom to let me follow the path of my friends and retire my choir robe, but she persisted, always replying with a curt “no”. She believed that in the long run, going to choir would benefit me both educationally and socially.
One of Ms. Riva's discomfort with the ritzy St. James' Church in Manhattan was that her peers seemed to universally hold a higher socioeconomic status. But the beauty of music ministry of this type is that those kinds of differences really fade away with the work of singing and in finding meaning in things that are older, bigger, and deeper than yourself.
When I was younger, I had always followed the older, more experienced singers. I would wait for the right pitch, or follow the pros to figure out when to come in, but little by little, letting go of my reticence, I began to trust myself: starting the pitch and coming in when I knew we were supposed to sing. Eventually, other singers began to follow my lead. Parishioners started to acknowledge me for my voice rather than my address. I began to appreciate this music that I had heard throughout my youth, yet had always dismissed as boring and religious. Soon enough, my habitual complaints about choir completely stopped.
We commend the entire essay to your reading. Published here.
(h/t J.S. for alerting us to this story)
As we pondered last Eastertide, is there a way to celebrate Easter in "creative new ways"?
From the Temple Church, London comes this Sequence for Easter. (Just a few days left to listen. Hurry!)
The Sequence is
centered centred around the music of Vaughan Williams. It leaves me a little cold, but that often happens when I hear too much Vaughan Williams in one sitting.
What do you think? Comment below.
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the goldenrod (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.