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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Auxiris Help: Really mad at my choir director (62* d) RE: Help: Really mad at my choir director 08 Dec 00

Rather than offer any advice, I'd like to tell you a story, if I may. . . a true one, though that is certainly not to say that the others I've told are not true, my dear friends. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, though at times it might seem to be, there was a high school choir director whose name was Mr Bay. Not a stuffy, old-fashioned, dandruffy sort of choir director, but a young, lively, imaginative Afro-American one. He had just replaced a choir director of the stuffy, old-fashioned, dandruffy type at the beginning of the term and had spent all the first part of the school year shaking up his various vocal music classes and alternately either coaxing, sweet-talking, bullying or harrassing his students into singing their very best in class. Suddenly all those boring breathing exercises and warm-up scales started to make sense and everyone began to sing much, much better than ever before. Anthony, the class clown who hadn't ever sung with much enthusiam before, began to enjoy music classes and practice at home, learning to breathe properly and so on and discovered that his true voice was in the counter-tenor range, even though he was in the tenor section in class. Not even his younger brother's teasing about "Tony sings like a girl" bothered him and more than one of his neighbours stopped to listen when they were passing by if he happened to be singing.

Now, it was the end of October, dear friends and Mr Bay was busy selecting music for the Christmas concert and deciding who would have the solo parts. He announced in class that auditions would be held all week long and the results posted on the main bulletin board the following Monday. Amongst the solos selected for the concert was a piece that Anthony thought he'd like to try out for and signed up on the audition list. He thought he had a good chance to be given the solo, as the song was not only for counter-tenor but written in Italian and Anthony had grown up speaking Italian as well as English, thanks to his grandmother. He auditioned for the solo along with others in his class and felt he'd sung the best, as the others were tenors and all the rest of them had to use falsetto to reach the highest notes and he hadn't, being the only true counter-tenor to audition. Indeed, Mr. Bay was rather surprised that Anthony had the least interest in singing a solo, let alone that one—as it was quite difficult---since he'd been warned about this particular student's laziness in class by the previous choir director. Also, Mr Bay had a preference for Alvin, another of his students and finally awarded the solo to him, even though Alvin's voice wasn't nearly as suitable as Anthony's soaring, pure counter-tenor. "I'll just change the key", thought Mr. Bay, "No one will be able to tell the difference and after all, I'm the choir director! Who would dare question my decision?"

The following Monday, Anthony went straight to the bullentin board to check the audition results and was shocked to see that the solo had been given to Alvin when he knew he'd sung better and waited until the end of the day to have a word with Mr. Bay. However, Mr. Bay just told Anthony that his decision was final and that he'd have to wait until next year's concert. "But, Mr. Bay, please give me another chance! I've worked so hard and I know the song already. . . I promise you won't be sorry!" pleaded Anthony, only to be told once more that the selection for the concert was final. Struggling to keep back bitter, angry tears, he started for the door and Mr Bay said, thinking no one else would hear him, "Besides, you didn't really think I'd give you the solo when I've got Afro-American students to choose from, did you?"

Well, Mr. Bay only thought that no one else would hear what he said, but I did, because Anthony was my friend and I was waiting for him outside the music room door.


P.S. Sorry if this is a flagrant example of thread creep, doesn't have to do with church choirs or if I've been long-winded.

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