Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)
- TITLE: Sing Low, Sweet Harriet
By Donna Powers
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That’s the lowest part for a girl, and it doesn’t exactly have many takers. Most high school girls that I knew were interested in being as “girly” as possible, and sounding like Tennessee Ernie Ford wasn’t exactly considered feminine. But I was blessed with a wide singing range, and the choir needed girls who could get their voices down to “G” below middle “C” – so I got the dubious honor of singing second alto.
It wasn’t really so bad. There were others of us, and some of them were there for the same reason I was. Some just had low voices. But all of us took pride in hitting those low notes. And our choir was small enough that we could easily hear the melody, and hear the contribution that our part made; to the overall sound.
And we all felt proud to be in our choir. My school was known throughout the state; for having a great choir. It had a reputation, and therefore it was an honor to have a part in it. But I was even more honored when I learned, halfway through my junior year, that I was nominated to be part of the All-State choir. As small as our second alto section was; I was still honored to be the one selected for this honor.
It was a lot of fun to meet students from all over the state, and it was even more fun to think about performing for the governor. But what was really hard for me was that, in the early stages of rehearsal, the second altos only heard and sang their own part. I had never heard of the songs we were singing, and since each section sang on a different day, we didn’t get to meet or hear the other sections, until long into the rehearsal schedule. For five Thursdays in a row, I heard only the deep and unmelodious notes of the other second altos. I couldn’t imagine what in the world the melodies of those songs would sound like. We had to concentrate completely on our own unique part.
When we began rehearsing as a whole choir, it sounded better. But I didn’t get a real appreciation for how the song really sounded until I listened to a recording of the choir; which my parents had proudly bought, as a memento of the program. I sat, stunned, at the sound of our six-part choir. I knew my own part, yet it was expertly combined into a beautiful harmony: one true amalgam of sound. Even the melody itself wasn’t as lovely as the entire choir, blended together. Each section had a part, and each part became an important part of the whole sound.
When I think of how each of us contributed our own unique voice to the choir, I think of how each person in the Body of Christ has a similar role to play, in the “song” of His Kingdom. God calls each of us to do what He has created us for, and that calling fits in its own unique way into the overall makeup of the Body of Christ. In our local churches, we can sometimes see the way that our actions fit into the mission of the church; just as the second altos fit into the sound of my school’s choir. And each part that we play, in the mission of our local church is an integral as each part of that choir.
But, just as I couldn’t imagine the melody of the pieces, as I sang my own section’s music, in the All-State choir, or distinguish it, from the overall sound of the bigger choir, it would be difficult for us to imagine the impact of our own part; in the overall mission of the Body of Christ. If we could listen, from heaven, as I imagine that God does, I think we might be able to see an overall view – if only for a moment. And then we could better appreciate our own part, in His Kingdom. But we cannot. We can only walk our own unique path; sing our own unique song, and follow Him as best as each of us can, in order to perform our own part in His glorious melody.
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