Friday, March 7, 2008

From the choir loft

I was in a choir loft again today. Most of the time, I spend my Masses in the front of the church right next to the sanctuary. It is very distracting to me to be "on display" to the entire congregation. I think that's what I like most about choir lofts. You are facing the Sanctuary, and you are a part of the congregation, but yet, you are not performing or on display to them and you are still able to lead them.

A couple of years ago I found myself burnt out and wanting a change: wanting to be in the spotlight, so to speak. I was tired of being in the choir loft and only seeing the backs of peoples heads and baby faces. I wanted people to know what I could do as a musician. So I quit church music. But, you know, I am so chicken that I couldn't do it. I have to my credit, one solo on an album that I will never allow anyone to listen to if I can help it. It's so awful.

Now, I am longing for the anonymity of the choir loft. It really calls to me; strongly. I feel incomplete without singing at church. But, I still feel a bit incomplete even singing for church, when I am up front. Being in the choir loft, brings a totally new dimension to my music. In the choir loft, you can tune all the fussy kids and shuffling people out and really concentrate on Mass. I feel like I am not really praying at Mass unless I am singing from a choir loft. It has been a real challenge to learn to pray without being in the loft.

There is a point at which my music, which is a part of me, becomes my prayer. Not just in the words, but also the sounds that I make and the breaths that I take. The gift that I give to God is the entirety of my being. And that gift helps to inspire others to give their entirety.

I still want to do something splashy with my music someday, but honestly, it is going to have to be in God's time. It is God's gift. I may never do anything splashier than sing from a choir loft or sing on a CD that I will never let anyone hear. Maybe or maybe not.

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