Saturday, August 11, 2007

An Update

Zorra at Red Heeler Ranch has kindly asked me how I'm doing. It finally dawned on me that it's been nearly a month since I posted anything. So thanks for "checking up" on me, Zorra. Here's an update for you and my other readers.

I did not get an interview for the position I was looking into. Well, that's not quite accurate. During a follow-up call to be sure my resume was received, the pastor conducted a telephone interview. He didn't call it that and it was not at all formal, but questions asked and answered fit that description. A few weeks later, the church decided to expand their organist's duties to include leadership of the music ministry and direction of their chancel choir. Having been in their sanctuary, I see this as a recipe for disaster, unless their pianist does all the accompanying, speaking from an architectural perspective. (The choir cannot see the organist on the bench at all.) So whatever their goals in filling this position, hiring a skilled, experienced choral conductor and proven builder of music ministries was not at the top of that list. And I suppose it's a bit of a relief for me to not be answering to a pastor of my own generation who thought "I need to know, are you one of those women's libbers?" was an appropriate question to ask a professional candidate, even in jest. "I simply believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect" was my answer, by the way. (And for what it's worth, the organist is a woman, also, who's been on their staff for ten years.)

We're beginning to gear back up for fall at church. It's somewhat of a relief to know that I'm there long-term. Our worship calendar is set through the first half of January, I have a lineup of anthems for the adult choir through the end of Ordinary Time, and I've settled on an adult Christmas cantata, which we'll present in the evening and during which the children will act out their annual pageant. I'm praying right now about whom to ask to be director for the children, since with the combined forces it's too much for me to do. Delegation is NOT a detestable word! Really, it's not. (I keep telling myself this.) No more sewing of extra costumes at the last minute when I could be attending to other equally important details. Two are better than one, as the Good Book says...

I'm in long-term limbo with my current day job situation. I like it pretty well. I'm supporting the property management department of a locally-headquartered national commercial realty firm. They're still one admin support person down from full-strength, and even so, there is no sign they're going to hire me. One property manager in particular has clicked with me quite well and makes no secret of wanting me hired permanently, so perhaps there's some hope. Still, it's difficult to be in the position of not being able to go to the doctor without taking unpaid time off, not having a retirement plan to join, having no long-term disability plan, and knowing that if I were to get seriously ill, I'd lose my job. Adds to the stress in a big way. (The lack of these things is one reason I was motivated to go after the full-time church position. Believe me, it was NOT the warmth of the congregation when I visited...BRRRRRR! --I can say these things now that I'm not in the running anymore.)

But we've started adult rehearsals again...what a joy to have a solid bunch of singers leading on the hymns again! We're starting "light" so that we have time to prepare some of our more challenging anthems properly. But I can hardly wait for Alice Parker's arrangement of "Be Thou My Vision" tomorrow...heavenly!!!

Still tired, but two consecutive weeks of vacation from church did help considerably. All in all, I'm OK. Actually, I'm more than that. God is with me, so how could I be anything BUT well?

"No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I'm clinging.
Since love is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?"
(Robert Lowry)


The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

I'm pretty sure that "women's libber" comment was not said in jest even if the tone tried to convey jest.

zorra said...

OK, that church was OBVIOUSLY not the right one...but there will be another.

Wish I had my music here to check some the Parker arrangement the one from the Oxford "Easy" (not) Anthem book, do you know? I just ask because that was an unusual arrangement and very beautiful, so I wondered if that was the one y'all are doing.

"How Can I Keep from Singing?" seems to be popping up all over the place lately. Oddly, I was unfamiliar with it just a few months ago. I love it.

Thanks for the update!

Anonymous said...

I'm back, too. Been a long break due to just being a person who needs to attend to the family.

Welcome back. Thanks for the update. Here's to the next phase of the blog season!


Psalmist said...

Zorra, re: "Be Thou My Vision" - No, the one you're thinking of is arranged by Bob Chilcott, which is a very nice arrangement. The Alice Parker arrangement was published years back by Hinshaw. Parker is, in my opinion, the grande dame of American choral music. I tend to think of her arrangements of folk songs and spirituals as THE definitive arrangements.

You might be interested in visiting the Alice Parker website. The sheer volume of compositions and arrangements is staggering to me! Her latest book, The Anatomy of Melody, is on my to-read list.

Anyway, as for "Be Thou My Vision," I would still someday like to do it as written, with strings and harp. However, Sister Pianist acquitted herself quite well yesterday and the choir sounded exceptionally good. Parker's anthems are very singable.

(Can you tell that I am a big fan of Alice Parker?)

Psalmist said...

Hey, Vicar...thanks for the comment. Sadly, I do think he meant it to be funny. Even sadder, my pastor (his colleague) says he jokingly accuses her of being a "women's libber" from time to time. This IS Texas, where " 'good' ol' boys" abound, even among the clergy. And WE'RE United Methodists! You don't EVEN want to try to imagine how thick it gets from the "no girls allowed" branches of the church down here.


Psalmist said...

Hi, Paisley. Good to see you again. I'll drop by your blog here pretty soon.