I’ve been thinking about the idea of choir and community. Yes, it’s easy to see how a choir is part of a community in the context of, say, Gareth Malone’s Military Wives, a town philharmonic or a big quality outfit like the Bearsden Choir, which attracts singers from the greater Glasgow area despite having originated as a local endeavour.
However, I’m thinking on a smaller, suburban level. Is our church choir a part of the community? I think you can say it is. Even if the choir itself doesn’t actively go out into the community, it leads worship every Sunday, rehearses every Thursday, and its members represent the church as they move around the community engaging in other activities. My choir members reach into the bowling club, the church mother and toddlers group, the Guild, baking and serving in the church cafe (a much-needed facility, since up until the new extension was opened, Killermont had no cafe where people could meet), the school … and the list goes on. They talk about these activities over coffee during choir practice, and doubtless talk about the choir when they’re elswehere. As friends living in a community, they look out for one another, and know when someone needs a bit more support. We’ve got sisters, old school friends, colleagues, and memories of others who are no longer with us – literally, or because of other demands on their time.
Since I don’t live in the neighbourhood, I’m not part of the community in quite the same way, but I have my own role as organist and choir director, and I do get to hear what’s going on! In a way, the choir for me is like extended family, since my husband and I and the kids have no other family up here.