Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mr. Music Leader

I didn't want to believe it at first, but I suspected.
I suspected there was a moratorium, an age moratorium on singers.
On singers who have lines on their faces, traces of age.
Age formerly indicating wisdom, but not many care for wisdom.

I didn't want to believe it for years, but I suspected
I suspected that only the young get sung.
Pimples preferred over creases.
And then I heard it straight from the Music Leader. I don't think he realized it, but when I told him I applied for the job, he said, oh we give those jobs to the young guys. I heard it first person.

But I can't blame him on one hand,
because who wants to look at neck-strings and other hanging things?
Who wants to see bags and jowls when they worship?

Or 'snow on the mountain' during a pop song? Just doesn't fit.

A very talented man is learning media because they don't want 'snow on the mountain' on the platform. He can sing and lead a choir with finesse and gentleness.
He can lead a great choir.

But wait! There is no choir!

First it was real notes and three parts. Then 3 parts became 2 parts to sound more modern.
Then the notes were replaced by scale numbers. No need to read notes. Years of training are the same as none, now. Who needs staffs or rhythm or dynamic markings, or phrases or staccati? No one. We just listen and watch numbers to learn our
unison choir pieces.

The former choir now sings with the congregation to inspire them to sing, sitting next to them. Not a bad idea, but we do that anyway when it is not a choir weekend.

But, oh I miss the heavenly sound of voices blending in dissonances and harmonies and counterpoint.  And I think everyone else does, too. Why did we all go crazy with delight to hear the female quartet sing an accapella arrangement of The National Anthem? Why did we salivate at the  arrangement dripping with passing tones, suspensions and 4 part harmony? Because we are all starved for variety of timbre and musical texture. Dry toast gets old. Sometimes a buttery croissant is due. Choral music is soon to be a lost medium, or perhaps relegated to Presbyterians, a more learned denomination.

As is choir directing .
And the youth rule.
They look cool.

And the age moratorium alienates anyone older than 40.


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