Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Audition

It seems every time one of Paul’s musical family hears Steven sing, they tell me he does very well and we need to develop this gift of his.

I have to take their word for it because I have no way of knowing and to me all of my children sing beautifully.

I was disappointed that last year our school once again didn’t find a music teacher beyond a young man who helped the kids prepare for programs. So I decided, on Paul’s sister Rosie’s advice, to pursue a children’s choir for Steven to be part of. I find this sort of thing very intimidating because I am so ignorant I don’t even know what questions to ask or what to look for.

My hunting eventually led to a long conversation last week with a woman from the Oregon Children’s Choir who gave me lots of information and arranged for Steven to come in for an audition today. "He’ll need to sing America the Beautiful," she said, "so you might want to go over that with him."

Gulp. Panic. How would I teach him a song in less than a week? Emily found a Wee Sing kids’ tape with America the Beautiful on it, I wrote the words on a recipe card, and we made do with that.

This morning Steven sang for me in the kitchen at least three times before we left, and he still didn’t feel ready so I played the tape in the van and he sang along, each time rewinding at the end of the song as I precariously changed lanes on Interstate 5 or navigated the maze around the Ferry Street Bridge.

Finally we found the church and the little chapel on the second floor, where a very nice woman named Tama welcomed us and led Steven to the piano. She had him do some scales and other exercises. She kept complimenting him, which sounded good, but I didn’t know if she was just being nice or he was actually doing that well.

Then she had him sing a song of his choice, and he sang Lord We Lift Your Name on High. And then with a smile and nod she said firmly that he sings very well and has right-on pitch, she rates the exercises and he got 5-out-of-5 on all of them, and she’d love to have him in the choir.

I was ecstatic, not only for Steven but also suddenly feeling vindicated for a lifetime of shame and embarrassment and not passing choir tryouts and having the teacher tell me in front of everyone that I was singing wrong and not knowing how to sing the do-mi-so notes at Calvary Bible School. (Which was probably reading a bit more into it than necessary.)

And after all our panic and trouble she never did ask him to sing America the Beautiful.

Quote of the Day:
"The mission of the Oregon Children’s Choir is to provide opportunities for talented youth in the Eugene/Springfield metropolitan area to perform select choral music. Goals and objectives are to:
Enrich the cultural life of the local community.
Enrich the cultural life of Oregon.
Promote the cultural image of Oregon.
Expose choristers to music of many cultures."
--the brochure


  1. It's wonderful that you put forth the effort to pursue this great opportunity for Steven! I'm so happy for him!

  2. Steven truly was meant for your family, and i am so proud of my wonderful nephew! Congrats on all counts!

  3. Dorcas,
    I thought I was the only Mennonite who couldn't sing!

    Good for Steven. He's my favorite, don't forget. :-)

  4. Calvary Bible School! You don't know a Margaret Yoder who went to Calvary Bible School, do you?...

  5. That is really neat and Ihope he enjoys it....

  6. That just blesses my soul.Steven has a great Mom!