Today, Pamela and David sang with the adult choir here at our little church in South Carolina. At first, Pamela did not want to go to church and sing in the choir. Rather than direct her and demand it of her, I applied an RDI way of doing things and focused on the relationship. I pouted dramatically and said, "Oh, Pamela. Poor Cindy the director will be so sad. I know she's going to ask me, 'Where's Pamela? I miss Pamela. She has such a pretty voice.'" She smiled and decided not to let down poor Cindy.
Pamela did beautifully, but I did have my secret weapon (I allowed her to write in her journal, which has now grown to twenty-seven pages, to help her keep quiet). She stood up for almost everything, except at one part when I did not give her enough notice. Fortunately, many members of the choir warmly welcomed Pamela and Cindy made a special effort to thank Pamela for coming.
David is no stranger to adult choirs. He joined the adult choir in Minnesota as a soprano before his voice changed (he was thirteen at the time). In fact, he was the only boy to sing Stabat Mater during Lent that year. When we moved here, they had an age limit for the adult choir: eleventh grade and above. However, they grudgingly accepted him in the men's choir until it disbanded. Then, we were so desperate for voices that they lowered the bar to fifteen years of age, and David just turned fifteen.
I despise age segregation! Personally, I agree with my choir director in Minnesota, a fabulous singer, former member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers (Eileen Farrell). She accepted younger voices into the choir based upon maturity and ability. If a young person could not cause distractions and could learn the music, age was not a barrier.