Monday, September 08, 2008

Assimilation

















This evening was the first night back at community choir rehearsal since the summer's hiatus. And things look a little different in the rehearsal room.


Thanks to our director's recruiting efforts, we're up to about 66 strong this semester, and about a third of those people are new.

It will be interesting to see how well they all blend in, musically and otherwise. And how many of them drop out because they don't want to.

It can be hard, when there's such a large proportion of incomers. It can be an uphill battle to preserve a group's existing culture. I remember my theological college, where, in my third year, 45% of the students were First Years. It took much longer than it had the year before to train them in the ways of the Hall. Ways like, when everyone files into the dining hall for meals, everyone at a table pulls the benches out so all can be seated, you don't just pull out one end and plop your heavy self down and keep anyone else from getting in. Like, when you get up at dinner to refill your glass of water, you take the pitcher and get water for everyone at your table, not just yourself. Like, when the person who organizes the Prayers for Past Members comes around with the list of the college's graduates you are to pray for when it's your turn to lead chapel, you say Thank you and read through their prayer concerns, you don't go on an anti-ecclesiastical, self-centered rip about how you only believe in praying for people you see and know. If the critical mass of new people is too great, an institution can be changed altogether. Sometimes for the better, but often for the worse.

Though this choir, I suppose, doesn't depend on its members for its ethos. And with Linda in charge as musical director and drill sergeant, I suppose the incomers will be integrated. "Come back to my choir!!" she cries out when we aren't doing things her way. And with the new choristers, it will be "Come to my choir!"-- or else.

1 comment:

Judy said...

how true! I noticed the change immediately this week...Linda's choir was much more"on" last night, the newbies struggling but coming along. We seem to have turned a corner, some of the naysayers gone, we are more focused(even with the puerile antics from the tenor section). I'm enjoying the stretching of self, demanding my constitution to remain hale while feeding my soul. It IS good to be back!