Thursday, January 10, 2013

“We Sing For Them”

This evening, the women of the Chancel Choir rehearsed Bob Chilcott’s A Little Jazz Mass (2004), in preparation for a service next month. We worked through all of the movements, and listened to a recording of the premiere performance, sung by a children’s choir. (The Mass is scored for treble voices.)

I’m not really crazy about the music; it’s pleasant enough, but it doesn’t really move me. But near the end of the rehearsal, Mr Coffey offered some remarks that will change the way I sing this music. Here’s my paraphrase of his words, as best as I can remember:

“I love this music. I’ve wanted us to sing it for some time, and was glad that I was able to program it at last. As I’ve prepared for our rehearsals, I’ve studied it more closely and come to appreciate its many beauties. And as I’ve listened to these children singing [on the recording], I can’t help but think of the children who were lost in Newtown, whose voices will never be heard, who will never sing.
“We sing for them.”
We sing for them.

That made a difference for me.

More of my essays on the life of a chorister, and more about choral rehearsals and choral music, may be found here:

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