Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reminiscing: My Choir Days

Was it like 8 years ago? Quite a long time ago but such were good memories I will never forget. In fact, while I reminisce now, I see everything as if they happened yesterday.


I was once a choir member in my home locale Church, Village East, where we started out as a humble group of more or less 10. Small as we were, we did achieve great things and as incredible as it may seem, we competed in the Annual Music Ministry Competition finals division once upon a time. Of course, we didn’t win. What, against the local choir of Cubao, who at that time held the championship title for 3 consecutive years, if my memory’s not mistaken? Still, we reached that level hehe. Our almost winning piece was “Ito Ang Araw” which became a memorable thanksgiving song for me.


So much has probably changed by now. Back then, choir groups competed for 2 categories: “Himnario” and “Tanging Awit.” For the “Himnario” category, the judges picked out 2 songs for us to perform, one lively and the other one solemn. Now our Hymn songs are numbered and they just pick out the numbers, not the titles. It was up to us to associate which song was picked. With more than 100 hymns and lyrics to memorise, plus 4x voicing to learn (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), it was a wonder we even qualified to join at all. After all, we were considered a “young” group of choir then. But that's how it was back then. They encouraged us to learn the hymns by heart so that we may get rid of the hymn booklets we're holding out every time we lead the congregational singing. Nowadays, choir members are a lot luckier. With the overhead projections installed in most locales, they had gotten rid of the booklets alright, by more convenient means hehe.


Anyway, back with the competition, we put more effort with the “Tanging Awit” then. We learned the voicing and choreo by heart, etc. I am not delving deeper into the details though. The venue for the final competition was the Apalit Convention Center which the stage alone was almost 20meters wide already (forgive my poor ability to estimate but that’s how it honestly seems to me) and we were like 10meters away from the judges and farther away from the audience. Being heard had been a difficult task to perform already especially when your voice box has a limited volume like mine. Anyway, I said I wasn’t going to discuss details here and frankly I vaguely remember anything except my heart pounding. Besides we didn’t win, so there's no really justice if I even took the lime light.


Overall, being a choir member had been an amazing experience for me. I was never the talented and self-confident type or person to be even considered for such. But that’s what made our Church choir beautiful: we sing because of faith, not because we’re great...


Looking back, I know I will always be gratified for this opportunity. Despite the extreme intake of ginger ales or raw ginger itself, or the shortness of breath which could probably have killed me (joking), or despite almost ripping my vocal chords apart trying to reach the HIGH soprano pitches, even if I never became a good singer, I will always be thankful. Because nothing compares to the joy of being able to dance at the slightest recognition of a thanksgiving melody (without a care and as if we were toys operated by keys), the happy memories with fellow choir members turned friends, and most of all, to have been able to praise and serve God with joyful song of praises... those were priceless...


  1. What I love about your post are contained in these words

    "we sing because of faith, not because we’re great"

    I believe this also applies in other aspects of our lives. We don't need to win and impress others to make things happen. :)

    Have a great week Jen! Hope everything is fine there

    1. Thanks Diane :)Everything is fine here except me hehe... just half joking. :D I miss it there so I'm starting to reminisce again and again and again hahaha!


Your thoughts are welcome :)