shop talk


I correctly anticipated a last minute small attendance yesterday of choristers at yesterday morning’s service. We have been hit hard by people committing to other things and also illness. I instantly converted our SATB anthem into a unison one, having only one soprano and one bass.

For the first time ever I had the choir intone the initial verses of the psalm in unison. That was a bit less successful due to hesitance on the part of the singers. I chimed in and sang the damn thing with them, adding a goofy strong voice.

As I prepared for this service, I realized that next week’s anthem would probably also suffer even I had good attendance at the weekly rehearsal and the service itself (probably unlikely but possible). So I found another setting of “The King of Love, My Shepherd is.” This one is one of those last minute one-rehearsal anthems.

Mark Schweizer cleverly combined Bach’s Prelude in C major from the WTC and the melody, St. Columba.


He even manages to have the melody in canon over Bach’s prelude.

It doesn’t work perfectly, but it works okay to modern ears than can tolerate a bit more clashing.


I decided to play the companion C major fugue on the piano for the prelude next week and improvise a postlude on the closing hymn. Thus I changed the choral and organ music for next Sunday yesterday. I emailed the choir a recording and a pdf of the score. I also emailed the church office the changes.

All in the life of a church musician, I guess. But it is mildly disappointing. My goal is to keep the morale of the group up while adjusting to their lessened commitment. I was thinking yesterday that leadership (in a family or a church or any system) probably depends on keeping your sense of humor especially when other people’s sense of humor is failing. Oddly, my church aversion mood helps me keep my sense of humor.

I don’t mean that I laugh at people I work for and with. I mean instead privately seeing the humor in my situation and even trying to share it when appropriate with people. I sometimes think of this as being the person in the room who is in the best mood.

You can see I’m still pretty burned out on all this. I am beginning my last week of ballet classes at college. I will actually miss doing it, but will treasure getting my mornings back.

Lawsuit in Spain Seeks Recognition of Another DalĂ­ Creation: A Daughter – NYT

Lots of interesting little Salvatore Dali facts in this story. Exhume him to get DNA? Weird.

The Giant Rats That Save Lives –

This species of rats can smell bombs hidden in the ground and TB in petri dishes. Amazing.

Can You Be a Waitress and a Feminist? –

Waitresses are in a very similar position to musicians in bars and restaurants. Often we are allies in our repression for which we necessarily have to develop coping strategies. I cringe as I read what this person and others have to put up with, but recognize the syndrome and the need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.