though not quite as at-home as the cranes walking the edges, we know this pond. we knew it as a marsh. we knew it as dry dirt. we knew it with mulch strewn throughout as they eradicated invasive species. we watched as the rains began to fill it. we listened to the quiet wind ripple across its surface. and then, one day, we heard the first frogs. though we cannot see them, the orchestra pit is filled with frogs in chorus. the static becomes a symphony.
such is the way of a choir. for well over three decades, i conducted groups of people who chose to sing – in choir. they gathered, sitting in folding chairs cold with mid-week evening thermostat dips. they gathered, weary from their days at work or home, filled with activities of responsibility, of life. they gathered, to become a symphony.
the thing about choir rehearsals is that – with good leadership – they go from a meeting of a group of individuals to a collaboration of musicians, from quiet chatter to boisterous song, from people who possibly feel ill-at-ease to people whose voices are heard, whose hearts are seen. choir rehearsals are community events and – led with joy – become places that are generative, places that are accepting not competitive, places of great learnings and tremendous laughter, places that are spaces filled with concern for the other, lifting up of each other, a place with a mission of goodness, a mission of symphony.
i’ve missed being a choir director. it’s been over two years now and the lack of vocal choirs, ukuleles, handbells, worship bands is palpable for me. directing was always about the community – building it, reinforcing it – life-giving, loving. my resume shows seven churches along the way. seven communities in which i offered all i could give, responding to their individual needs, their particular circumstances, their strengths and their weaknesses. seven fluid rivers of music-making.
seven ponds with symphonies. rippling out.
quietly static to extraordinarily alive.
read DAVID’s thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY