Life is Like a Concert Choir

I am typing this from the University of South Florida’s College of Music. Some of my students are here to attend a two-day vocal workshop with other students from all over the state. And I get to sit and listen.

I wish I could cut and paste what I am hearing. It is lovely.

But the conductor of this massive choir made something very clear in the first ten minutes:  He looked at these high schoolers – all of whom love to sing, most of whom sing solos in their schools, churches, community theaters- and said, “This is not a competition.”

He knew, as a singer himself, that the tendency when you’re with other singers is to be heard. “Listen to my voice.” “Check me out.” “I can sing better than him/her.” And if this were “American Idol” or “X Factor” or “America’s Got Talent,” then competition would be expected, necessary. But this is a choir. And if you have ever spent any time in a choir, you know that good choirs sound like “one voice.” Everyone sings quietly together, everyone sings loudly together, everyone says their words and phrases together, everyone even breathes together. The goal is to make those many voices sound like one unified voice. And when that goal is accomplished…wow!

And these students are accomplishing that goal. They are really listening to the conductor, they are following his directions. I am not hearing”competitive singing.” I know there are four parts in each of the songs, but they blend so well, I can’t even tell what those parts are. All I am hearing is one choir singing these songs incredibly well.

It makes me think of Paul’s words about the body of Christ in I Cor. 12. He reminded the believers that we are all part of one body. No one of us is more important or less important than another. We need all the parts of the body for that body to function well.

The body of Christ is a lot like a choir. We should listen to those around us, blend the way the  Conductor directs us to blend. Don’t complain about the singers next to us. Don’t think because our voice is higher that it is better than the voices who are lower. Don’t think because we have been singing longer that we are more valuable. If we do have more experience, we help those around us who can’t find the note. Even if we can sing louder, hold back so we don’t overpower the singers around us. And if we are struggling and don’t get it – ask for help. We are a body. And the music we make is even more beautiful than any choir anywhere on this earth.

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