Monday, April 20, 2009

Ensemble playing

While onstage yesterday, playing viola in the Iowa City String Orchestra, many moments stood out as joyful ones; much of that joy was about breathing together as a section of seven players, sensing a ritard, a crescendo, a challenging entrance. The music was difficult enough that I knew I'd miss notes here and there. But the overall sound of our section had much to do with acting as one instrumental part. We don't have big egos, no one needs stand out, no one puts others down.

Being a member of this section is a fantastic experience. Taking care to listen to and watch one another's bowing is a valuable experience. As I think about my role in a particular parish, and then in a wider Church, I know that careful ensemble doesn't happen in this way. I don't believe that each member acts as though the other members count equally and need to be listened to carefully, as though they matter. Just food for thought today.


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