Apologies: After my mother (who was in the choir as well) reviewed this, there are a number of corrections I need to make!
In the late 70\’s, and by now I\’m singing a solid bass in the church choir; and it\’s Midnight Mass. The choirmaster\’s son Thomas
Simon and I were the juvenile bass singers, and the other bass singers were all pensioners (or so it seemed!). To add to the mix the choirmaster was also my confirmation sponsor, and a close family friend.
So to the end of Mass and the choir gets going on O Come All Ye Faithful. We reach the penultimate verse, and Thomas
Simon and I exchange looks in the knowledge that there we had forgotten that (correction) there are real sopranos in the choir, and thought the descent wasn\’t going to happen.
So… we hit the descent solo loud proud and in full falsetto. Choirmaster (John) looks at son and me in horror, but we hit the notes OK. Then we remember what John has already realised; that the descant climbs quite a few notes to levels theoretically impossible for us. It\’s all going to go horribly wrong and embarassing.
To boot this is a choir only song and several hundred people down below (the choir were in the loft) are listening to this. And we started so loud we have to finish.
But that\’s only through the \”Glory to God\” section. But then the \”O Come… …Christ The Lord\” section follows which gets just a tad higher. We share a quick glance, and just go for it, and we hit every, single, note. I don\’t know how, but we did it, we really did. I think I remember actually squeezing my vocal cords to help at one point.
Never, ever again. But the look on John\’s face, and feeling straight after is still with me nearly 30 years later. A wonderful Christmas celebration moment. After all, at Midnight Mass it\’s got to be done properly 🙂