I complain often enough of idiocy coming from the source, so I must credit a lovely and thoughtful article in GIA's latest advertizing-supplement/liturgy-planning-guide.
Gerald Custo, (no mean choral composer, he, I believe I've mentioned works of his on this blog,), is also the author of the current "Choral Master Class." He calls this one, "True Confessions."
Mr. Custo writes of what he has learned from his choristers, and what he owes them, and for what he apologizes to them.
A colleague shamed him, (unintentionally,) with her profession of love for "her people."
He admits that there were times when, no, he loved the music more than the choir he was asking to make that music.
And that is bass ackwards.
And I, ever the pharisee, read it and thought, oh, yes, that must have been something you needed to learn, Mr Custo.
I myself, on the other hand, knew it when I was a mere slip of a 20 year old lying to my choir that I was older to try to assume a little extra authority -- why, they LOVED me, I could see it. So I must have loved them, that's why they loved me.
But the fact is I was acting, and I didn't always. And they were better than I was and loved me despite my lack of charity.
And even now, do I love them? (a new bunch of "them," halfway across a continent, )
Oh, yeah, sure, most of them.... but most of them IS NOT ENOUGH.
Mr. Custo describes one of the fruits of his colleague's charity: her choir trusts her, will do anything for her.
And I must admit, shamefully, I gave up on that a bit recently, I only cared that the ones whose judgement I respected, (who would follow me into the fire.)
And I tried to get by with bribes, to earn the compliance of the rest of them, (yes, payola, consisting of the traditional offerings of Kough drops, Kleenex and Kookies.... oh, and readers, gotta keep a supply of spare readers, ranging from 1.25 to 3.50 for those who forget their glasses -- do ya love Dollar Bills Discount Store, or what??!??@?$??%??!)
THAT IS NOT ENOUGH.
So, I firmly resolve, with the help of God's grace, to amend my ways.
I am going to do my best to love them. Not manipulate them, LOVE them.
Good essay, Mr Custo, thanks for the sorely needed kick in the pants.