Michael Battalio


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Politics of a choir related nature

A thing I've learned in the last few months is that whenever you get
a group
of two or more people together, there will always be politics. I say
this
because a huge amount of it has been going on in two church choirs
I'm in. I
won't go into the one I'm in while in Starkville, but the choir I'm
in here
in Vicksburg is startling me at how much political maneuvering goes
with me
oblivious to it. I'll do my best to describe what's going on without
offending anyone if someone from the choir comes across this. At the
moment
my choir is in full Christmas mode. That's what we are focused on,
playing
before a packed house an hour before Christmas vigil Mass starts on
the 24th.
It's what we've always done. One of the best pieces we perform is a
Cannon
in D violin duet which has always been performed by one of the best
violinists I've ever known, who attends college at the moment, and a
high
school aged girl who's rather good herself. It's a wonderful
arrangement,
and one of my favorites anyway. This year though the choir director has
arranged for his son to play instead of the college aged girl. He just
straight up told her mom that he wanted his son to play, didn't even
ask the
girl usually playing it if it was okay. Now, keep in mind that his
son is
about a decade younger than the girl he is replacing, and nothing
against the
son, but he isn't nearly as good as she is. I understand forcing
kids along
helps motivate them, but this is just the director using his power to
live
vicariously through his son. It isn't fair to the girl that has
always done
it. And it makes the choir sound bad if the directors son messes up
because
he is under so much pressure. He and the high school aged girl
practiced it
in front of the choir a few nights ago, and it was rather lacking. I
don't
see how it can be anywhere near the level of how it has been in years
past
with just a week and a half of practice time left for them.
I was going to site another example from the choir, but this post is
too long
now. The lesson of this post being never take anything for granted;
people
(no matter how innocuous) in organizations (no matter how charitable)
will
always abuse their power. It is human nature. It's a sad fact of life.

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