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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I switched membership to the Cathedral from my local parish church-- at which I'd been a member for 40+ years -- when I got ticked at the way our priest was handling the rebuilding of our church, the victim of arson.

Our denomination (Episcopal) insures our churches for replacement value. Instead of replacing what we lost -- a beautiful church -- he maneuvered our congregation into a several million $$ greater debt to build a more modern edifice. And sacrificed the replacement of our Helmut Wolff tracker organ (from Canada) -- rated by some connoiseurs as being one the very best in the midwest -- with a used, discarded replacement of lower quality.

So, I switched to Grace Cathedral, the seat of our diocese, and joined their choir.

Our choir director studied with, worked under, Simon Carrington (of the King's Singers) and is, by far, the best I've had over 30 years. He can identify an errant tone out of 30 voices and point to the person who is a halftone low singing a note. :eek: (I lip-synch a LOT.)

We had a longer (than 2 hrs) choir practice Thursday night.

We have a 9 AM call for practice Saturday AM before an ordination for priests and deacons. Then we have a 2:30 call for practice before performing an Evensong service at 4:30(?) on Sat.

I like the Dean of the Cathedral VERY much.

He's the 2nd MOST inspiring preacher and warm human being that I've met since joining the Episcopal church -- and I've liked MANY episcopal priests and with many of whom I've become close friends.

BUT, the transition to the cathedral, the "capitol seat" of the diocese. brought with it obligations I didn't forsee -- a variety of services & music for the diocese activities.

On balance, so far, it's worth it -- the chance to sing some of the 9th century (& later) plainsongs I love so very much, plus works of many other great composers -- Mendelsohn, Bach, Brahms, Fauré, etc.

It's a remarkable experience.

I love music and I especially love classical music and I'm so lucky to have a small part in producing it.

I just wish I could give more to the product.

30+ years ago, a fellow sailor & racer of Snipes (sailboats), & member of my Episcopal church, & a member of its rag-tag choir, was invited by me to come to a dinner party. He accepted -- but then called to decline that night because he wasn't feeling well.

He died that night.

As my memorial to Rex, I decided to give a year to replacing his absence in the choir.

It wasn't easy.

I couldn't read music.

I brought a tape recorder so I could tape and later practice the notes.

And I learned to sit next to the GOOD singers so I could copy them.

I bring not much more skill to the Cathedral -- and, so far, they've accepted me.

But now I'm really looking forward to the end of choir -- and for me it'll be this Sunday!

ETA: Some minor phasings but MAINLY to demote the nice, Very Rev. Steve Lipscomb to #2 on my "best sermons" list. The Rev. Roger Blanchard, later the Rt. Rev. R Blanchard, Bishop of Ohio, has a lock on #1.


10,257 Posts
Rest up, Bob. Enjoy the summer off and come back w/renewed fervor and faith in the Fall.

Our choir is on hiatus, too. Unfortunatey, all that means for me is no more rehearsal on Thu evens; my duties on the bench remain 52 wks/yr....

8,472 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What a wonderful service you give - and in memory of a friend!
Not really.

I dedicated the first (and I thought only) year in tribute to the life and service of Rex Tucker, who gave so much to our church and to Shawnee Yacht Club and our Snipe fleet.

But, after that first struggling year, I found it was so meaningful, so emotionally satisfying, that I continued, year after year.

So while, in a sense, my memorial to Rex continues, I must confess, by now I do it for me.

In what is a strange -- but probaby NOT uncommon -- fashion, in giving to others, one often gets even far more in return.

So, thanks, Rex, for what you gave to those causes I especially value ..... and to which you still give.

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