I joined another chorus.

The reasons behind that decision are part of a long, twisted story that I will probably share someday but for now, it doesn’t lend anything to my “new chorus” story.

The rather interesting part of my joining this new chorus is what kind of chorus it is – it’s based out of a very Christian establishment and most the songs we sing are very Christian in nature.

For those of you who know me, you can get up from fainting on the floor ;-). For the rest of you, let me explain a little bit about myself.

You see, I’m an atheist.

Actually, I prefer to say that I’m a Secular Humanist. The two philosophies of Atheism and Secular Humanism are similar, although not exactly the same and my thoughts tend to run more towards the Secular Humanist flavor, anyway (I don’t believe in a god or supernatural forces as the reason things that happen. Instead I believe that mankind and its thoughts on reason, history and personal experience will form a moral and ethical foundation by which we, or at least I, live). However I’ve found that since many people are not as familiar with the term “secular humanist”, I don’t get “the look” when I say I’m that, as opposed to when I say I’m atheist.

You see, there’s a potential to get “the look” many times when you don’t believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful diety, especially when you live in the South. Not-so-amazingly, there’s even more potential for it when you’re involved in a Christian choir 😉 . Hell, even with something as simple as someone asking you, “What church to do you go?”, if your response is, “I don’t,” you’re liable to get “the look”.

Come to think of it, I did, just last week. Actually, not only did I get “the look” but the questioner suddenly become very quiet in my presence, as well. Ha!

So of all the choruses in Central Florida (and there are a lot of them; I’ve been doing my homework), why did I pick a Christian-based one? Oh, a few reasons. Several past and present singing friends are already in it. It’s a lot closer to my house than other places where I’ve rehearsed. Plus, the chorus director is someone I’ve sung under many times in the past and he rocks as a vocal coach.

Besides, I don’t care what I sing…as far as I’m concerned, music is music and words are just words. Several concerts ago, one of the songs we were singing for my other chorus was, “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” from Porgy & Bess and we actually had a few singers who refused to sing the lines, “…the things that you’re liable to read in the Bible, it ain’t necessarily so.” They were spoken to by several people, including a vocal coach who was the head of the Music Ministry of the church where the concert was supposed to be (song selection at my other chorus is non-denominational but if we have access to a free or relatively cheap facility that happens to be a church, so be it) – telling them that they were “just words” and just because you sang it with your mouth didn’t mean you felt it with your heart. Well, the same thing goes for a non-Christian singing Christian songs – they’re just words and just because I’m singing them doesn’t mean I have to believe in what I’m singing. Besides, words or no words, the harmonies are nice and they’re pretty songs. Most importantly, the choir director is OK with my singing in his choir (he is aware of my thoughts about religion), and since I don’t have a problem with the content of what we sing, it’s all copacetic.

However I have to admit that it was pretty weird when I, of all people, had, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” going through my head for hours on end one day. I even mentioned it on Facebook and was then amused when someone commented to suggest that “maybe God was trying to tell me something.” Ummm, no…it was just an earworm. A few days later the same person posted on her Facebook account about some frustrations she was  experiencing with her computer and I strongly considered suggesting that maybe God was trying to tell her something.

I didn’t ;-).

Anyway, so I’m having a really good time with the new chorus. Right now we’re learning a bunch of Christmas songs, since we have at least 3 gigs scheduled during the upcoming holiday season. Most of the songs are “churchy” but the choir director threw in a few “Christmas carols” as well. That in itself caused a funny. You see, my new chorus has singers from just about every age group possible, from teens on up, including one 81-year-old singer (I know she’s 81 – she tells EVERYBODY that she’s 81 but that people think she’s in her 60’s or 70’s. Personally, I think she looks like she’s in her early 80’s. Oh, and don’t even THINK about sitting in “her chair” during choir rehearsal because you’ll get an earful). Meanwhile, our choir director is indeed a very devout Christian and strongly fits the right-wing, Conservative stereotype that tends to go along with that (and I don’t even hold it against him ;-)). So anyway, he’s introducing the music to us and says something about adding the Christmas carols into the mix. and the 81-year-old lady says in a too-loud stage whisper, “Those Liberals! Always trying to push carols into Christmas!”

Made my night.

Ah well, time for me to go rehearse. I think I’ll go practice “De Virgin Mary Had De Baby Boy.” God bless you! 😉