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Forth in Praise

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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

January 6, 2014

Epiphany Blues

evelyn @ 10:44 pm

“I made a New Year resolution not to react like this, and I’ve broken it already!”

This I said on Sunday, having just been given the news, five minutes before Mass began, that the men in the choir had, unknown to me, practised an arrangement of The First Nowell which clashed with the soprano descant.  I was annoyed, to put it mildly, and it showed.

I tried to resolve things by suggesting they sang alternate verses, but it didn’t work, and the Schoenberg-like result was most interesting.  By the end of the six verses I had begun to see the funny side, and hoped they had, too, but when I turned round with a big grin, all I could see were dismal faces.

Afterwards, we sorted things out with apologies all round.  There had been a breakdown in communications, and we would organise things so that it wouldn’t recur.  It’s really good that our men are so keen that they have their own practices, and the last thing I want to do is discourage them.

But I’m left concerned that I can’t keep a New Year resolution beyond five days.  Is this the cantankerousness of old age setting in?  I am after all approaching a major birthday.  Will I become known in the church as ‘Mrs Grumpy’ or possibly, by the academically-minded, as  ‘Dr Grumpy’?

Advice from the oracle (my former organ teacher) is that I should have shrugged my shoulders and gone with what they had practised without losing my cool, leaving the Schoenberg effect to administer the rebuke.  So maybe the revised New Year resolution should be ‘just let it happen – and smile’.

Will let you know how long I manage to keep that one …

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