My church has a rather good choir. There are a lot of choirs with a few good singers while others "make a joyful noise". Most of our choir members have degrees in vocal performance. A few are featured performers in the local opera company, and sing in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Our congregational concerts are broadcast live on the local classical music station and its dozen or so affiliates. So a concert at the First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio is a pretty serious thing.

Twice a year they expand the choir a bit including people who "can't make the full 42 week commitment" expected of the full choir to what is called the Choral Society. These people are pretty good too, only schedule challenged or a trilfe aged. In March the church is putting on a program called "Music of the Mass'. It will feature music derived from the high mass by Maurice Duruflé, Gabriel Faure, Zoltan Kodaly, Wiliam Mathias, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina & Charles Villiers Stanford as well as a brand new piece commissioned to show off both honkin' big organs.

Now, I can carry a tune in a 55-gallon drum. I used to play guitar, taught myself songs by ear, and have even played a few gigs where I sang. My last church tried to recruit me for their choir. They had a wealth of sopranos but only one or two men to anchor the bottom end. One day one of them was walking by, noticed that I was actually on key and the next Sunday the full court press began.

So I started thinking I could sing. After I joined First Church I kept looking at the concert schedule. My brother Bryan sang in a very good choir. He and his partner Jim spent much of last Saturday trying to convince me to sing. I emailed our Minister of Music, and he told me to come down and try it.

I did. Afterwards I felt like a deer. Granted, i was sitting right in front of Kevin, one of our best soloists. He can hit notes that only dogs can hear. Any delusions of adequacy were wiped away while I tried to figure out those strange looking squiggles they call notes. My voice cracked like a coconut.

But at the end of the night the head of the tenor section told me "See you next week". Apparently i did not suck badly enough. The squiggles started to make more sense. I get the odd suspicion that masses from Duruflé, Faure, Kodaly, Mathias, Palestrina & Stanford are going to be spending a lot of time in my CD player. It's a good thing I have a honkin' big water heater because it looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the shower.

For concert info see: