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[personal profile] keitanketsueki
Upon arriving in the choir loft at church today, I was greeted by our organist and our Japanese soprano saying we had a bit of a crisis.

Oh, boy, I thought. This'll be fun. Being the singer with the most musical education, I was the leader by default.

Our choir director, who is 75, has been ill the past week or so. We learned fifteen minutes before the mass started that she wasn't coming.  This means that all of her cantored parts have to be sung by one of us. Of course, none of us know her parts, and there are only five singers (two basses and three sopranos) plus a floutist and organist. So we spent a few minutes trying to learn the cantor parts. We didn't completely pick them up, but we had enough of an idea to sing them. Our organist had a list of the hymns and numbers, so at least I was prepared for announcing.

The first song went okay, especially considering that it was a new piece in our repitoire (we've never performed it before) and the rehersal during which we learned it was two weeks ago. Our preist forgot that we don't do the kyrie and spoke it (he remembered not to do the gloria.)

The psalm was the first song with cantor parts to deal with. We got through the refrain and first verse alright (though it's written in a rather strange free rhythm so we weren't together singing, but I digress) but we forgot how we'd decided to do the verses and sort of goofed.  We did figure out that we were going to do the refrain between each verse rather than combining verses. After the second verse.

The alleluia was fairly uneventful, though I'm pretty sure I was flat on the verse my sister and I cantored. During the homily, the organist and I realized we had no idea what cued us in to sing the parts of the mass. This led to five or ten minutes of me frantically searching for a missalette I could look through it to try to find cue phrases.

We found them literally just in time. And though we had one incident of an early start, the parts of the mass went out without incident.

During a later moment of calm, I said to my sister: "You remember that scene in How to Train Your Dragon right after Hiccup comes face-to-face with Toothless for the first time? After he frees Toothless, then goes to walk away, when he does that funny groan and falls over? That's me right now."

My sister enthusiastically agreed that the combination of adrenaline and stress left her in quite the same situation.  None of us actually did fall over or have our knees go out as Hiccup did, but still, we were wobbly.

After that, the mass was uneventful, and it's good to know that if ever our director can't come, we can get through the mass without her.

Still, the sheer stressfulness of it proved to me that I don't want to be a choir director after I graduate.

*Hiccup knee-fail fall and faint*

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keitanketsueki

December 2011

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