So, I joined our parish choir three weeks ago, and was soon asked to intone the responsorial psalm--not because I'm all that awesome, but because our two regular cantors were not at Thursday rehearsal. I was pretty nervous. It has been at least 15 years since I've sung solo in front of people. I nearly passed out during the final rehearsal, moments before mass on Sunday.
I had two goals in mind, when I did agree to sing. First, was to actually follow through and do it--I was given an out by the choir director and one of the regular cantors if I felt overwhelmed or too nervous. The second, was to not stop or acknowledge errors in the actual performance.
I did survive. My legs were shaking uncontrollably and my voice was unsteady and a tad off pitch to begin from the nerves. It was not perfect. Not even close. I completely missed the first flex in the second verse, but I kept on singing and apparently no one but the choir director and myself recognized the huge error.
Of course, one wonders if one should sing solo in front of people. I know we don't sound the same to others as we sound to ourselves, so it was a great relief when my two biggest critics, Karate Kid and Oleander, complimented my first foray into cantoring and assured me no one will ever think, "Oh no! Not that redheaded lady again!"
I would like to continue to contribute intoning solo. Not only is it good for me to get past my nervousness in performing, but it is a small way I can contribute to my parish and lend my imperfect talent in thanksgiving for all God has given me.