You'll notice I added a new link over on the left: the website of The Church Music Association of America. It looks a little odd, mixed in with the romance novel reviews and fashion snark, but my one great passion right now is music, and sacred music in particular.
I've always sung in school choirs and church choirs, and never really thought much about it: I could carry a tune, and church choirs always needed another voice. Then in 2006, I had the opportunity to not just sing with my parish choir, but to actually be hired on as a professional vocalist for the Diocese of Phoenix. The salary wasn't huge, but the honor of being compensated for my talents was tremendous to me. I'd never considered myself that great, and while I'd taken a few classes toward a music minor in college, I never finished, and never thought myself any great shakes at singing.
But I'm versatile: I've been a soprano, alto, and tenor at some point in my life; and I read music well, which is a boon especially in volunteer choirs.
I dearly loved my Phoenix choir. (If you're ever there, do stop by Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral for the nine a.m. Mass. You won't regret it.) They're the only thing I miss from Arizona, and I wandered around Denver for a few months trying to find a choir I liked, a choir I fit with, and most importantly, a choir that sang appropriate Catholic music.
I auditioned for Dr. Horst Buchholz in January - the same Dr. Buchholz who is the vice president of the CMAA and director of the Cathedral Choir in Denver.
This choir? Is amazing. I'm having a fantastic time singing, and I feel useful at Mass again. And the music is - heavenly. If you enjoy classical music even a little bit, I urge you to check out polyphonic pieces written for the Church. The music is exquisite, is transcendental, is so perfectly to the glory of God that though I feel exhausted and taxed beyond my capabilities trying to learn it, I also feel freed and comforted by being so close to His most wonderful works.
Lent began on Wednesday. I rarely give things up, but instead try to do things. I usually try to be a better housewife, because I'm terribly lazy, or to be more patient with people. This year I think I shall try to use all the talents God gave me, in a deliberate spirit of usefulness. That is, I will try to be conscious that my talents did not spring forth from me alone, and that they are not intended to be used solely for my gratification, but that I can be of use to others better than I can be of use to myself alone.
And to be a better housewife. Seriously. I'm really lazy.