Choiritarian: One who worships through enthusiastic choral music.
Choir rehearsal was wonderful tonight, and older son and I really enjoyed it, but there were two disappointments there - neither of them having anything to do with what's going on in the choir itself.
First: I usually don't want to hear any Christmas music before Thanksgiving, except in choir. Since October, we've been working on carols for the Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols, which comes right before the later Christmas Eve service. I've really enjoyed the Service of Lessons and Carols since I joined choir because there's so much beautiful music. Between the music and the readings, I've found it a very focused, thoughtful, and prayerful time, and I get totally caught up in it. It's been a wonderful way to start the Christmas celebration.
No longer. We just found out today that it was cancelled. I'll really miss it. All the music we've been working on for it has been put away.
Second: In the hallway outside the choir room, they recently put up the plan for the church renovation. I wish they hadn't put it right there because it's just like rubbing our noses in it.
They're getting rid of the choir room.
Now, the choir room isn't all that old. Ten years ago, a few months after we joined the church, they finished adding on to the church. When we first started going there, the choir rehearsed in the Nave (the Sanctuary for those of you from other denominations). Part of the new addition was an actual choir room. It's named after someone in particular, and, though I may be wrong, I remember that there was money donated specifically to have a choir room. Older son and dear husband had been in choir since the week after we joined, and they found that it was really nice for the choir to have its own place to rehearse in.
In the new renovation, the choir room will now be the choir room/chapel.
I guess, if you don't know anything about rehearsal spaces, that might seem to work, but it doesn't.
Rehearsal spaces - drama rooms, orchestra rooms, and choir/chorus rooms, are generally not neat places (the neatness of the Glee show choir room always looked bizarre). Rehearsal rooms are filled with piles of music, filing cabinets, music stands, instruments, props, costumes, and whatever the musicians/actors need for their practicing. They're working spaces - not nice, neat worship spaces (although lots of worshiping goes on while we're singing). Although the name suggests that it's a combination choir rehearsal room/chapel, I doubt that the whole wall of choir music shelves and filing cabinets will stay in there (and there's no place on the plan to put all that), much less any extra instruments, music stands, etc. The choir will have to bring their stuff in and out for every rehearsal. We'll be back to the way things were before the choir room was added.
From what I heard in the discussion tonight, nobody in the choir was asked about the change or about what the choir would need from a renovation - not even the choir director.** Tonight, it feels like the choir is being pushed to the periphery.
Strangely, that feeling is pushing me the other way. Older son graduates next June, and, if he moves away, I'll be the only one in the family going to church on Sunday.* I've always found, in any church, that I turn off half of my personality in order to not be offensive. This is a church thing and has nothing to do with choir, except that it's part of a church.
In the summers, my personality goes all on again when I'm doing community theater. Last summer, daughter mentioned my "coming out of my shell" during the musical.
That really struck me, because I hadn't looked at it that way. I was determined that I wasn't going back into my shell after the musical was over.
So far, I've done pretty well. I've gotten to know lots of people at the Zumba classes. I'm more outspoken in other venues. Church, of course, was my biggest challenge.
I'm also trying to not be tense all the time, which aggravates my blood pressure. Keeping half my personality turned off involves a lot of tension. I decided at the beginning of the fall that, if I couldn't be myself at choir, I'd have to seriously rethink being part of it after older son graduates.
The last few weeks, I've been much more myself at choir. I've found that I have even more fun that way. I hope that I can keep it up.
I've always been the sort to root for the underdog. As the choir has become much smaller since I joined it, and as it seems to be losing its rehearsal space, it makes me want to work harder for it - increasing the chances I'll stay...
...because, after all, I'm a choiritarian.
* Younger son doesn't like crowds so he and I go to Daily Services.
** I don't understand this at all. How do you renovate spaces without asking any of the people who regularly use that space?!