Monday, April 19, 2010

Choir Practice.

First off the choir practice, oooh the choir practice.

After hearing about Elder Cook coming in two weeks, and hearing the plea for people to join the last minute choir (and I'm a sucker for pleas), I thought I would do it. Afterall, I was the music leader for the children for over a year and sang my guts out all the time. Sure it was embarrassing, but oh well. I'm brave, I can do new things. How bad can it be?

Well. A bit like going to a greek class and trying to fake like you know greek. And sadly since these dang Mormons are so friendly I couldn't just hide in the corner, but everyone kept greeting me and telling me how glad they were to see me. Seriously every time someone talked to me I just wanted to cry.

"I didn't know you sing?"

"I don't. Think anyone will notice?"

As soon as I got there, I knew I was in trouble. Like bad.

First off, it wasn't like lets go sing a hymn. You had to sign in. Then you had to separate in parts.

"Crap, what part am I?" I thought. Well, knew I couldn't do much more than the melody so figured I better be soprano.

Well, so after I tried to find a seat after all were taken, yet another sign I should have just run out of the building, I sang with the sopranos. Oh I wanted to cry. Seriously I almost did. A couple of times. It was painful. But I didn't want to be a 31 year old sissy so I just stuck it out. Taking a greek class and faking some greek.

But after that first note I knew something.

Crap, not a soprano. Like at all. Super high.

But can't read notes well enough to be an alto let along follow along, and there was no way I was moving so I just channeled my inner princess and kept thinking, "Sing quiet sing quiet sing quiet like a pretty princess oh my heck this is high, oops that note was off...sing quiet sing quiet like a pretty pretty princess and mouth when I have to and maybe I will get through this".

So, I tried to make myself comfortable. Do something I am good at, which is make friends. So I turn on my friendly self. Lets focus on my positives.

"Hi, I'm Brooke." I say to the girl next to me.

"Hmmm?"

"I'm Brooke"

"I'm sorry." (did she think I said broke?)

"No, my name is Brooke"

"Oh hi."

This is not going well.

So I turn to my other side, which is fortunately my good friend so I suckered into going with me. I figure I'll just do what she does. Until she started singing.

"Crap! She can sing. I'm sitting next to freaking Ariel!" I thought to myself. Or is she Belle? Seriously sitting next to a disney princess incarnate which is fitting since her husband is a disney animator. Maybe thats why he married her?

So as the seriously professional choir director is telling me foreign words like "formata" and "Bite the Apple" to help my tone (what is tone?). The guy obviously knew what he was doing, seriously he was a pro. Masterclass. I am trying to just blend in. Channeling my inner pretty princess as I softly sing this super high notes. Except for those times when I hit the wrong note or ended later than others...boy that is embarrassing.

"This is good for me" I thought. Getting out of my box. That is always good right? At least it was a song I know.

"Do you feel like you want to drop a measure too?" the girl next to me asks.

"Yes." (what the heck is she talking about is what I'm really thinking)

Meanwhile we are seeing the song about ten times over, focusing and working on different areas. The fancy choir director is talking about holding notes long and people near me are taking out their pencils to make adjustments on their music sheets. So I take my pencil out too. To take some notes. Because as painful as this choir practice was, at least it made for good blog fodder, and I didn't want to forget how horrible this was. More painful than the shot I got today, Even yelped in pain cause Jason is still not a real nurse after over three years of doing this. But choir practice had that beat.

So how am I going to get out of this is what I start to think once I subdue the tears. But I am no quitter. We are in trouble.

But then that fancy ole' choir director stops us singing. And tells us its all fine and dandy (okay, he didn't say it like that, much more diplomatic) that we can sing this song better than the Mo Tab (figure that one out), but we need the feeling behind the song. We need a testimony of the song. So he asks us, "What are you going to do in the next two weeks to get a testimony of this song?"

Well, I found it. Something I can do. I can gain a testimony of that song.

I won't be singing in two weeks with the choir (hoping they won't miss me too much), because you have to sit up there the whole time and Jason wouldn't love handling all four kids for an hour and half in church--I have an out.

But I will be with you in spirit. With that song in my heart.

I was much relived to find out Jason didn't have a clue if he was a Tenor, a Baritone or a Bass either. We are twins.

Now I'm off to work on my song. See, I knew there was something good about going to choir practice. Besides having much more respect for talented singing people.

Have I done any good in the world today?

Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad,
and made someone feel glad?
If not I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary
been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure,
a joy beyond measure,
a blessing of duty and love.
-Will L. Thompson

21 comments:

Hillary said...

That was hilarious. I'm so sorry that you had a horrible time. At least you went and tried something new 'cause then you won't wonder "what if" which is sometimes a real bummer. Also, that choir wouldn't have anyone to listen to them if everyone joined up.

Lindsey said...

That sounded pretty painful! Great words in the song and its good to learn a little bit from a fancy director. A for Effort!

Than, Erica, Pacen, Camry & Claira said...

i'm just sitting here laughing. I LOVE your stories. I, too, cannot sing, but I can make friends! I probably would have cried, and probably left. make my phone ring or something so I had an out that didn't really look like I was just giving up. oh, those singer people. that's one of those gifts i wish i had, darn it.

Heather said...

Great story! I could never sing in a choir. I cannot sing high notes like a soprano, but I can't sing those harmony parts either. I can't believe the choir director was getting so technical. Most people wouldn't know what he was taking about.

Nancy Jo said...

That was REALLY funny! I would have loved to be a fly on the wall watching you. Loved the inner princess thing - I will have to remember that.

christy said...

funny! i love that song. guess you were never in choir in middle or high school huh?

tphillips said...

hahah BROOKE this is HILARIOUS!!!! I LOVE IT! And no worries...had I gone...I would have been in your shoes for sure! Wy to stick it out and be brave!

Amber said...

This story is even funnier the second time around. I love your blog posts. Hilarious!

LaurieNguyen said...

I love your blog, Brooke! I felt exactly the same way when I first joined the choir. I was the one asking if we could do parts. I sing alto, and if you want to come over to my house and practice, I'd be happy to play our part for us. :)

And the MoTab is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Jenn said...

haha you crack me up! (crack--get it..voice cracking, that's how I sound anyway!) I used to sing in a choir. Started out as a 2nd soprano, then went to Alto. Now it's a good day when I can sing f along with the Jonas Brothers!

And really...the choir has to sit up there the whole time at conference? Jeff is in the choir and I told him no way I was sitting by myself...guess I'm sitting by myself.

Maria said...

Thank you for describing exactly why I never go to choir practice no matter how much they beg.

The Ringmaster said...

That is hilarious (and sums up why I NEVER sing in public)! Some of the best advice I ever received from a college roommate was to "just mouth 'watermelon, watermelon'" when in doubt about any music. It works every time.

Laura said...

hilarious. i am sure i am worse than you. i once had a 5 year old in my primary class tell me, "sister anderson, you are singing off key" i almost cried.

Manda Mae said...

sooo funny! i can totally relate! I am a horrible singer! why they kept calling me back to primary as chorister is a big question mark?? they must've asked a few people that turned them down first... but like you i sing my off key toneless sole out and make the children laugh SO THAT IS A PLUS! if you have to go back.... just totally lip sync... you know... like mily vanily (or however you spell it)..."blame it on the rain, yea, yea"...

Great post... VERY VERY FUNNY!

Anonymous said...

This is your dad. The funniest thing I've read ever!! I've decided you must do stand-up comedy, or put this all into a book, like the Erma Bombeck (?sp) for the 21st Century. It's been a long time since I laughed so hard that I cried, even almost lost bladder control. Any how, thanks for making me laugh before going to bed. Love, Dad. P.S. Miss being with you guys, kind of got use to it on our vacation. Much love, hugs, and kisses.

Sara Jane said...

Brooke, I read this post earlier this morning and I've kept laughing to myself about it throughout the day. I could just feel your pain of the whole experience and yet feel the hilarity of it all too. "I'm Brooke." "I'm sorry." LOL! I thought that was my favorite, but it was all so good--oh, the awkwardness. I would have been right there with you.

Christine said...

that story made me laugh out loud. Brooke I love ya girl. You are too much fun and sure know how to write as well....did we learn all that in PR b/c I must have missed it:) You're awesome!

Tanya said...

hillarious. You are so funny. I love the inner princess bit too funny. Ariel is my fav...at least for singing voice, hers weas so good the witch stole it yup...

Beth said...

This is a really interesting post to me. You know Adam is the choir conductor and it truly is hard for him to get people to come. I think when you know music really well, you forget that some people don't. Maybe he should do a "learning to read music" rehearsal or something like that. I know you have a good voice Brooke. Even if you don't believe it. :)

Carl said...

That was the funniest post I've read on your blog, Brooke. Felt like I was there, I was laughing so hard. Give your kids a punch on the arm from their uncle. Just a soft one.

Cassi said...

Brooke!
you are so funny! this is absolutely great! I swear as I was reading this I could hear your voice the entire time!