Wanna Bet?

Herr Dr. Director: You are not going to run away on the “Alleluia” chorus this year!

Choir [silent but intense]: Oh yeah? Hold our diet sodas and watch this!

Ah, spring, when choral thoughts turn to “Which choruses from which parts of the Messiah are we doing for Easter, and how much is the director willing to bribe us with to get us to watch and do what he wants?” Not that choirs always ignore the arm-waving person and go their own way, or follow the accompanist, even over the river, through the woods, and into the weeds. But when Madame Directress issues a direct challenge, and the choir is having a bad day, well…

We finished “He Shall Purify the Sons of Levi” three beats before she did. And then waited one extra beat before the final “alleluia” on the Alleluia Chorus. Just to remind her who’s boss.

We blamed the accompanist. He blamed us for confusing him. And everyone smiled, and laughed, and did what we’re supposed to and what the music called for, once the rebellion was out of our collective system.

For now…

8 thoughts on “Wanna Bet?

  1. ‘Messiah performance tempo and rests are probably the one thing capable of generating more strife than the Filioque Clause.

  2. I picture knees and flapping gowns as the choir sprints from the room, singing the crescendo.

    Military leadership 101: never issue an order that you know will be ignored or taken as a challenge.

  3. No one except Robert Shaw. He noted, have it first hand, “That was lovely, ladies, but perhaps a bit less next time.”

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