Skip to content

Me? In the choir?

The choir’s final rehearsal in the empty church before the congregation arrives

For years, I had wanted to do choral music. But, before I retired, there wasn’t time. Not only are there rehearsals to attend, but learning the music takes time. A friend of mine who sings in the choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem invited me to sing with the choir for their Christmas “Lessons and Carols” service.

I was terrified at my first rehearsal a month ago when I first saw the music. There was about 45 pages of it, some of it quite difficult. A rhythmically complex arrangement of “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” was particularly daunting. Luckily, computers have made the job of learning choral music much easier. A member of the choir made MIDI files of each of the carols, and one can learn the music by playing the MIDI files on the computer and singing along. That’s much easier than having to play it yourself at the keyboard. I probably spent a total of 40 hours working on the music at home. I sang bass.

The final performance came off great. Maybe I’ll do it again next Christmas. It’s good for the aging brain to take on new challenges.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem


  1. mountain madness wrote:

    What a church!!!! Merry Christmas!!! Beautiful stone work… How old is that church? DO you know?

    Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    The church was built in 1928. It was beautifully built, and it is impeccably maintained. The church is quite well off, so they really take care of the building. The little cathedral design makes it very traditional and Christmasy. I would have liked to sing in the Christmas Eve service, but it’s just too much driving…

    The organ, by the way, is a very fine 4-manual Skinner, built in 1929 and restored in the late 1990s.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  3. mountain madness wrote:

    How far is it from the Abbey? Have had the honor of playing the organ?

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  4. admin wrote:

    It’s a 50-mile roundtrip to St. Paul’s church in Winston-Salem. I have not yet played the big Skinner organ in the main church, but I did get to try out the smaller Fisk organ (a more Baroque-style organ) in the chapel.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *