When I was a knee-high 3 or 4 year-old I became infatuated with the choir at Corinth Missionary Baptist Church. As I sat in the pew next to my parents each Sunday, my arms flailed and attempted to copy each motion of the animated choir director standing in front of the massive group. Apparently the entire congregation observed my aspirations of leading the choir because on one Sunday Reverend Nabors asked me to come to the front of the church and gave me a chair. Without hesitation I stood on that chair! The organ started and my random (but enthusiastic) arms led that lively group of swaying royal blue robes as they belted an upbeat “Ye Shall Wear A Golden Crown”. It was quite a moment. 🙌 I’m sure there was a REAL director behind me because—let me tell you—the choir was FIRE that day! I can only imagine what type of irregularity the song would have had if they were truly focused on me for more than pure entertainment. Still, the choir and other church members thoroughly enjoyed my antics.
The offering after that service was likely quite fruitful, don’t you think!? I would say that in addition to fulfilling a little girl’s dream, my presentation was a contribution to the team—in the only way that I could on that day.
Years later, little had changed. Being part of a choir was paramount. It significantly helped me define teamwork. While in Ms. Jupka’s high school chorus we learned that the altos are no better than the sopranos; a tenor is no more important than a bass. Together, the SATB selections could produce perfect melodic chemistry and eloquence. One recollection I have is the casual, Fame-like auditions for the solo part of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.” The microphone was being passed around the class to anyone who wanted to take a shot. I remember the way I felt watching someone grab the mic. As various guys and girls sang, the look on my face was the same face I had the first time I saw my mom grab a pan out of the oven without oven mitts— like, ‘Wait....did you just....😮 .....umm....is that ALLOWED??’ 🤭 And so I did. I grabbed the mic and I auditioned for the solo. 🎤 (And to all of you readers who are wondering...yes...I really CAN sing! 🎶 )
I did not get the part. But guess what—although I knew I had skills, I was SO ready to join the rest of the altos after the solo winner finished that verse on performance day. I had an important role to play REGARDLESS of winning or losing the lead role. Our choir’s harmony and reputation was so much more the main objective to me! (Not to mention....Ms J was no joke; the show WILL go on!) In this boat (called life) there are people who just ride, others who row, and then there are captains. The riders help give purpose to the boat, the rowers keep the progress in motion, and the captains take the lead. NEVER be afraid to reach for the mic; however it is crucial to remember that life cannot be a dream without SOMEONE merrily row-row-rowing down that stream.
On my Q—COMMENT BELOW—are you a RIDER, A ROWER, or a CAPTAIN? When did you take the mic, take your shot, or simply play your role? TELL US BELOW!