Anyway! A few months ago a prayer group, Sharlan & I had a conversation about the spring retreat:
Sharlan (S): Hey, do you want to sing alto in my group at the spring retreat?
S: I need an alto for the retreat.
I: And you want me?
I: There are lots of altos in this church.
I: And most of them sing better than me.
S: No, not really. (Sharlan is a gifted liar. Or, more accurately, she chooses to see the best in others.)
I: You're sure you want me?
I: Well, yeah, I'd love to. What are we singing?
S: I haven't written it yet.
Now if that isn't a promising beginning, I don't know what is. Sharlan wrote three songs for the retreat, all very lovely, all very fun, and all of which struck fear in my heart, especially when she asked me two weeks ago to change from alto to tenor. I have never knowingly sung tenor in my life, so I was a bit out of my depth. But I carried on, doing my best, safe in the knowledge that there were louder singers than I in our little chorale.
Then we had a rehearsal with microphones on Thursday night. I only like microphones if I'm at a Christmas tea. Ruth the Proficient Sound Girl said she didn't hear me at all, which made me pretty happy, but since I had agreed to do this for Sharlan I couldn't justify faking it.
So, I went home and practised. And then I got up on Friday and practised. I put the songs on my iPod and took the sheet music with me to work and sang the tenor part to three songs all day long. (I'm sure my coworkers appreciated the concert.) I came home from work and practised. I drove to South Plains still practising. And then our whole group got together and practised before the whole shebang started, and only then did I feel like I was actually going to make a contribution to the group.
I don't know if my voice was audible; I don't know if I hit the right notes; I don't know how the group sounded because I was doing some serious concentration. I do know that Sharlan was grinning from ear to ear as she conducted, that what I could hear of her solo sounded fabulous, and that the compliments were free-flowing afterwards. I do know that Sharlan is a gifted musician who uses her talents to bless others. I do know the entire evening was absolutely wonderful.
And, I now know that I can sing tenor. Brilliant.