Sunday, December 19, 2010

Performing the Chorus

Last year, Hyrum stood on the front pew at church enthralled as Pop conducted and Daddy accompanied the rest of the family and the choir in singing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. He joined in the conducting, making a Christmas memory for most of the congregation that has gone down in legend.

I warned Pop last month that Hyrum probably wouldn't be conducting this year. He doesn't see Mommy doing that every Sunday and his enthusiasm for conducting has died down. He's much more into singing right now, and I joked that Hy might try to join in.

The last month he has joined me for most of my practice time as I tooled up to move the Chorus from piano to the organ. He was always very excited during rehearsals, but regularly interrupted rather than conduct, never sang along, and generally had an exuberantly good time running around.

That was more or less true yesterday too as the choir had its next-to-last practice -- and the first one on the Chorus. Our plan was that Hy would sit with a family in the ward, with Pop and Boo joking that they could probably auction off the right to care for Hy during the program on Facebook and get some pretty good offers.

Then on the last rehearsal Sunday morning, Hyrum stood in the middle of the choir next to Mommy and Grandma Boo and ... sang. I'm not sure which parts he was following, but I had a good view of him from the organ singing along. He sang the whole thing.

Joy and I looked at each other. We had the most scathingly brilliant idea since moving the Chorus to organ. Every year, Pop invites anyone from the congregation who has sung the Chorus before to come up and join the choir. We invited a good friend to watch Hyrum during the program whom we knew would come forward and told her to bring Hyrum. And so she did.

Pop says he just about lost it (his voice caught with tearful emotion) when he saw Hyrum walking up the aisle to the choir. He stood directly front and center next to Mommy and Grandma Boo again.

And he sang.

He sang and he sang and he sang.

He, himself, the Hyrum sang the whole piece.

Sometimes he may even have been on key, but that's not the point. It was a lot of fun to spare my eyes from the sheet music and the keyboards for a few seconds just to watch my son sing.

I feel very sad for the many members of the congregation who came up after to say they had missed seeing Hyrum conduct or sing -- some of them said they had brought camera phones just to record his performance. Since he was front and center, Pop, the organ, and the piano effectively blocked most people's view. Those in the choir generally noticed and talked about how adorable he was. The nice part of where Hy stood, though, is that since Pop didn't get a chance to see Hyrum conduct last year, at least he got to see him sing this year. Although, when he did look at Hy, he choked up, so he tried not to pay much attention.

I learned how to play piano with a vision of someday playing while Pop conducted. That was my dream and ambition, fulfilled when I was only 12. Today I played with Pop conducted ... and my son sang. My cup runneth o'er.

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