Sunday, May 24, 2009

Verse 3

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

link - America the Beautiful - lyrics)

This is my favorite verse, and you don't hear it all too often. My love for this song was only slightly diminshed today by one of our new choir members, who I call the Merry Wailer. She's too loud, she doesn't blend equally with the other voice parts, and she holds her notes by trilling like a cheesy german opera singer named Helga. I'm only half kidding. Know the expression "sticks out like a sore thumb?" Exhibit A.

The thing is, we don't HAVE stars in this choir. We are treated as equals. In our songs there are no solos - the entire section will sing, not just one person. We do sing the responsorial psalm individually, but we all take turns doing that. There is no paid Cantor who is singled out above the others.

I can fully appreciate the irony of hating someone when we are in a church choir together. I really can. It's just honestly THAT bad. When we finished God Bless America she belted out that last note at the top of her voice and then proudly said to the person next to her "did I shake the rafters?" - I was pretty happy when Patty said gently "well, you shook my eardrums...." because that last note was NOT pretty. It was too loud and too shrill. Not good, do you hear me? Not.

I know my place. I'm usually on the right notes, and can sing a psalm, often with some degree of an attack of nervousness, and I make my share of mistakes. This girl seems to think she is a much better singer than she is. I sooo long to correct her, but that is NOT my place.

We have a small phrase that appears on our programs at Christmas and Easter as a gentle reminder - Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone give glory). I wish she understood.

Busy week ahead. Let's see. Today, family cookout. Tomorrow, adventure (postponed from yesterday). Tuesday, Cheesecake Tuesday. Wednesday, MANHATTAN, BABY! (class trip), Thursday, much less exciting class trip with Other Child, (what was I thinking??? I am chaperoning A FIELD TRIP????????? ) then a baseball game and race to choir rehearsal, Friday, this that and the other thing to catch up and the yearbooks might come any time now, Saturday, a farewell cookout for my sister, and Sunday we have a choir portrait (after singing together for the last time until fall) then I head on down to Pitt again for a couple of days. Got that? Quiz mid week. Updates via Crackberry.
Peace out. Kiss a soldier today.

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