The Fun Voice

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To me choir has been more than just a pastime, it is a family, a support system.  2016 was a year of change for me.  I was 22, going on 23 and had just finished college.  I had never even been to Texas before, I had never even been west of New York, but I had gotten a job offer in Fort Worth, so I decided to pick up my life and move down south to start my new career.  I decided to go to my local Catholic church and try to get involved and meet people.  I went up to one of the choir members and started talking to her and the choir director.  What attracted me was the positive energy that I felt from them and I knew that I wanted to be a part of this group.  I went to the next choir rehearsal and was welcomed with open arms.  I have been hooked on the 12:30 Choir ever since.  Even with my crazy work schedule, the choir somehow has tolerated me thus far.

About a year and a half later, I have grown as a person and a singer.  When I am nervous, tense, or haven’t warmed up enough, you can hear it in my singing.  When I am able to relax and just have fun, I sang better.  The choir director dubbed this the “fun voice”.  I have learned to channel the “fun voice” with the choir’s help.

The one thing I knew when I moved to Fort Worth was that I wanted to be a part of a church choir, what I wasn’t expecting was for a group a people who would become my first friends in Fort Worth.

—Monica Geiger
Cantor and singer in 12:30 Choir at Saint Andrew Catholic Parish.

 

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Why I Can’t Sing

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So my new hobby is collecting reasons people give for why they can’t sing. It seems like everyone has one! Except for singers, of course.

One lady told me it’s just a fact that she can’t sing—she’s always known it. I talked her into giving choir singing a try. She sang at the weekday rehearsal, but then on Sunday she handed me her folder and said she was just there to turn in her music because she just can’t sing.

Another lady recently told me she would love to sing, but she knows she can’t sing because her family laughed at her when she did sing.

One person told me all her friends agreed with her that she shouldn’t sing. Ever.

There was the lady who told me she liked to sing for the Lord in the congregation but couldn’t sing well enough to be in choir.

These all seem to be pretty solid indicators that these folks probably can’t sing in reality. Kind of sad, right?

When I was in the 6th grade I auditioned for the school choir. I really wanted to get into the choir, and I chose to sing the song, “Jesus Loves Me”. In Korean. From memory. My feeling at the time was that I would be a shoe-in. I have no idea why 6th grade me thought singing in Korean would impress. And it didn’t, apparently, as I did not make it into choir. Clearly, I couldn’t sing. And didn’t, really, after that.

In 7th grade I took a sort of audio test, which was supposed to gauge whether I had a good enough ear for music to get into band. Big surprise: I didn’t get into band.

In the end, I decided the people who judged I wasn’t good enough were wrong. Got a degree in music and worked full time in the music business for 20+ years, with some of the top names in the business, and have led choirs and played piano at Saint Andrew for 9 years. 

One thing I have learned as choir director: there is nothing like being in choir—mostly because the people are so awesome to work with.

So leave the reason you can’t sing in the comment section below. Then come and sing with us. You’ll be glad you did!

And no one will say you can’t sing.
—Brian Benison
Director of 12:30 Choir and 5Choir at Saint Andrew Catholic Parish, Executive Director of Brian Benison Music, a music preparation company serving Los Angeles.

Decoding Choir Charts

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Whether you read music or not, you may find yourself with music in front of you, even if it is only so you’ll have the lyrics. But you might see indications such as “D.S. al coda” or “Coda 2” and easily get lost while everyone else is still happily singing away.

So here’s a little cheat sheet of what some of those signs mean Continue reading “Decoding Choir Charts”

Now Is The Time For You To Lead

Aimee-4-cantor-blogNever in a million years would I imagine ME as a cantor for not one but two churches! Sure, I have sung in choirs all my life from praise and worship, gospel, school choirs (high school and college) to, of course, church choirs. But being a leader and stepping out is not always easy and I have always tended to want to take the easy road and just blend in. Hence the choir setting. But then there is that inner voice of the Holy Spirit that says Continue reading “Now Is The Time For You To Lead”