". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Family Choir Retreat

Last month our adult choir had its first ever family choir retreat. The goal was two-fold: 1) to build a sense of community among choir members and their families and 2) to develop choral technique while getting a headstart on some of the repertoire we will be singing over the coming year (repertoire that includes Bach's cantata on Wachet Auf and a Schutz's St. Matthew's Passion.)

So where does a Lutheran choir go for an overnight retreat? To a Lutheran camp, of course!

The retreat began at 6:00 p.m. on a Friday evening. After pizza, the choir gathered for its first rehearsal of the weekend:

Since there was no piano or organ available, we had to provide our own. Here's the Cantor leading us in warm-ups:

Between rehearsing, there was plenty of time for fun and fellowship. I think this is what you call a May-December romance?

Evan enjoyed bunking in the guys' quarters.

Here are my other two guys getting in a little ping pong:

Behind every choir member is a supportive family. Here's one of our faithful altos and hers:

Bass and tenor foosball game:

The younger, more limber set enjoyed some Twister . . .

. . . while the more mature among us engaged in some sedater activity (wait a minute, one of those Twister participants managed to get in on the card action as well)!

There was also time for a little solitude. Here's our newly wedded "Unter-Kantor."

The nature lovers among us also found much to appreciate.

Walcamp definitely has a way of bringing out one's inner child (bonus points if you can recognize that goofy-looking gal on the left):

Closing devotion:

Our fearless leader, who if I may say so (I know I'm slightly prejudiced), did an "bang-up" job planning and executing an amazing weekend.

Our gathering came to a close on Saturday evening, giving everyone time to return home and prepare for Sunday morning worship. The consensus among those present (about two-thirds of our choir were able to attend) was that the time was exceedingly well spent. Not only did we improve ensemble singing and make significant progress on our music for the year, but for some this 24-hour interruption to everyday life came at just the right time, providing a much needed opportunity for reflection, relaxation and rest. And equally valuable was the chance for choir families to bond with each other--those spouses and children who fend for themselves every Thursday night so that their resident singer can rehearse, and who dutifully and uncomplainingly accept early-morning warm-up times and long mornings at church because the choir is singing for multiple services, and who repeatedly sacrifice the experience of sitting together as a family so that their family member can sit with the choir. Families of choir members are truly unsung heroes, and this was a great chance to affirm them as well.

I don't know if the family choir retreat will become an annual event, but I definitely think there are more of these in our future!


Hannah J said...

Awww...thanks for the photos of my boyfriend and me together! Technically, it should be termed a September-October romance...(yes, yes, it's an idiom!)

Kelly said...

I remember getting lost in those very same woods at night years ago during outdoor education in grade school. Looks like a good time!

The Hen (Charity) said...

Oh, I would just love to go to something like this. What a great idea for a church choir.

Elizabeth said...

If I wasn't so busy crying and feeling homesick, I'd think that a choir retreat is a neat idea!