“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” Oscar Wilde
You all know “her” but you may not know exactly what she does. She is just there, connected with your ensemble in some way. What she does is invisible to you and everyone else, but I am here today to tell you, what she does is important. You’ve never really paid attention to what she does so you’ve never really thanked her. Your groups have always worked as a “well-oiled machine”—and you are grateful—but do you know who the “gears” are?
She is your music librarian or the president of your parent group. Or maybe she’s on your board (or the spouse of a board member) or the secretary of your church or department. She is a section leader or perhaps she has no defined job but is just helpful to you and your choirs. “She” may not be female either, but if pressed, you know exactly who I’m speaking about.
Your main thrust is the music, as it should be, but do you realize how many people it takes to get your concert up on stage? Or your fundraiser up and going and raising funds? There are many people, besides the obvious, who help you and your organization, your church choir, your choral program and without them, you could not do what you do. Think about it; all those little behind-the-scene things which separately, are not as important as the music but together can make or break your choral groups.
Your choir robes are cleaned every summer; someone takes them to the cleaners and brings them back. The concert programs are done in plenty of time for your concerts, collated and inserts are put in if need be. Tour tee-shirts, with all the correct sizes and THIS YEAR’S Tour Logo, somehow magically appear when they need to. Handouts are collated, music is filed and folders have the correct music in them; you are really not sure who made it happen. Your website and Facebook page and Twitter are all updated in a timely fashion. Bottles of water are ready for rehearsals and concerts and recycled without you giving it a thought. Chairs are set up on risers; your accompanist has what they need for every rehearsal. Concert PR material goes out when needed. Auction items and raffle prizes magically appear so your fund raisers can raise funds, with as little hassle to you as possible. All those little things are accomplished by others so you may keep your mind on the “important” things.
This year, as we begin our new academic and concert seasons, make it a point to learn “who does what” for you and your choirs so you may thank them appropriately. Since you’ve never really paid attention and never really thanked those responsible for your success, perhaps it’s time you began. I will guarantee this; if you don’t start thanking people now, you will quickly learn what it is they do for you when they no longer do so!
Next week, we begin a new Choral Ethics series for the month of October; When Times Are Tough.