Food, fellowship and fa-la-la.
A wise Dominican whose comments on line on liturgy and music I found inspiring and informative, (and yes, encouraging because so often they meshed with my own leanings,) said something about food and fellowship and their power in building a music ministry I have never forgotten.
I had not given that much consideration to it before, I had never sought or expected anything other than music and prayer out of membership in any choir to which I belonged (though I remember a midnight Mass at one of my Mother's parishes, where I was welcomed to help out on my holiday visits -- the choir master was German, and as we warmed up in the parish hall an enormous amount of peppermint Schnapps was produced and consumed and I was told that it was traditional, and indeed, no one but my Mother and myself seemed surprised.)
Kleenex, Kookies and Kough Drops should always be provided, I've decided, but sometimes, you need to step it up, don't you think?
Anyway, wrisking the wrath of the wroman-collared, (I was scolded once for not having told him about a "party," although, not that I said it to him, I doubt the Rosary Society or the Boy Scouts give him a heads up every time they plan a social event; I imagine he was simply in a bad mood,) since a wedding rehearsal had been scheduled for the church on our regularly scheduled choir rehearsal night, I suggested we rehearse elsewhere, and I'd provide a little bit of refreshment.
Well, my menu of wine, soft drinks and chips quickly expanded to quiche, homemade cake, cold cut platters, smoked salmon and creme brulee.
And the rehearsal was spectacular, too, (with the single exception of the turn out from our bass section, which I have to do something about...)
Although the In Paradisum sounded as if they'd never seen it before, the Bruckner Locus Iste is really coming along, When Morning Gilds the Skies was a new and instantly accessible and liked anthem, two other Latin motets went swimmingly the first time we were looking at them in two years, and they had the fun they usually have with the Taize canons.
Oh, and I found out that they LOOOOOVE the concertante I did of Christus Vincit w/ Look Ye Saints a couple years back. Who knew?
I have been very pleased with the spirit, the sound and the commitment of the choir this year, and I guess surprised, after my job review meeting gave me the impression that the choir in general was disgruntled about a number of matters and complaining to him.
I think Father may have been ....projecting a bit?
Anyway, here's to Merlot and Motets! (Maybe that's what I'll call such nights on the schedule, from now on...)