I have for the past few years been in charge of a church choir in an unpaid position. Before that I was a singer in the choir as a favour to the organist. This year I am not in charge. This year they brought in a new organist who is very young and very enthusiastic. It is a good thing in some ways, but I must admit I am having a bit of a hard time with the change.
I love the enthusiasm that the new organist has for the organ and music. He is a fantastic organist and can play like nobodies business. He doesn’t however know the practical accoustics of the church, and he doesn’t yet know the core of people who put so much into the Advent carol service every year. Oh god, he doesn’t know the politics of finding the readers, the extra people who come to be part of the choir and service. Ugh.
This is my problem. How do I help him be paid for a job I did without payment? How do I help him in such a way as to make sure that I am not pushing my ideas on him? How do I get the people who make this service possible come back this year? How do I give him my practical knowledge of the building’s accoustics without sounding like I am telling how to do his job?
My other problem? How do I get over the feeling of not being appreciated? I did a lot of work for free while the interim organists were paid per service. I tried not to be bitter, and mostly I am not. I know that I didn’t get the choir to sing more often because I had a lot on my plate and organizing took a lot of my time. I might have been much more motivated if I too, had some sort of an honorarium, like all the other musical organizers and interim organists had.
I am feeling a little ambivalent about this year’s service. Do I try to pressure the outside help to come and help again this year? Do I just give over the music to M. and hope he doesn’t screw it up? Or do I put aside all my feelings, try to get a meeting with him and make sure we have all the bases covered for this year and let him change what he wants next year?
I hoped that by writing this out I might come up with some answers, but I am still not sure. I feel like I was excluded from all the decisions that lead up to him being appointed organist and choirmaster, and it is a hard transition. I love this service and I want it to be beautiful. I also don’t want to feel like a stranger in my own church and choir. Sigh. Maybe I need to find a new choir outlet and let this one be. Anyone want a good alto? Apparently I am cheap.