Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Beauty and Power of a Joyful Noise

The Arlington Ward Priesthood in Boston in the late 80's - early 90's had an amazing men's chorus. The sisters used to delay starting RS until after the a cappella hymn in PH opening exercises was done, just so they could listen to the men sing. We had every part covered, with 3 or 4 brethren improvising different parts each verse. It was an amazing experience to have the brethren be so much more musically gifted than the sisters, who were quite good in their own right.

My first church solo was at my cousin's missionary farewell; I was six-years-old. It's been probably about 5 years since my last solo in church. That's the worst part of my callings over the last few years. Nobody thinks of asking me to sing other than in the choir. I think they just assume I'm too busy - or that I am at the pulpit enough already.

Otoh, I've been in small branches and groups (and an occasional ward) where I felt like I was singing a solo - and my kids have mentioned numerous times that they also feel like I am singing a solo. I don't do quiet singing.

With all of that background, my favorite musical experiences at church have been: 1) sitting next to a bishop who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket but sang with all his heart, nevertheless; 2) singing in a ward choir with a sister who was totally tone deaf, knew it, but still loved music enough to want to praise God through song.

Truly, there is power and beauty in making a joyful noise unto the Lord.


Patty said...

I'm glad that you can appreciate those of us who can't carry a tune to save our lives, especially knowing how beautifully you sing. I try to forget how bad I sound and remember the joyful noise part. It's not easy to want to sing praises and not have the skill to do it pleasantly.

Ryan said...

I used to be really bad about this, having been blessed/cursed with perfect pitch. A year and a half as Primary chorister worked wonders, though.

It didn't matter how out of tune they were... I never got tired of watching and hearing our gaggle of Sunbeams literally burst out of their chairs singing "Jesus wants me for a sun... BEAM!!!"

Our choir director in that ward was also amazing... she was a professional voice coach, but took all comers on Sundays without cringing. The results were actually pretty impressive.

Unknown said...

Amen, Amen. And I can relate to not being asked to sing... it's about eight years, now, for me. And singing is one of my big things I do. I love it...

I should be assertive and ask the ward music chairman if I could do something in sacrament meeting sometime. I'm not even sure my current ward knows I sing. :)