A Thanks To A Mentor
I received my first calling in my new ward. I am now the Ward Choir Director/Ward Chorister. I love this calling. It is my third time in this calling. My love for this calling requires thanks to someone.
Sister Hadfield was the Ward Chorister when I was a child. She always had a big smile every time she stood up to lead the singing in sacrament meeting. Her gorgeous voice carried clear to the back of the chapel. She was one of the few choristers I have ever watched who had the ability to get the congregation to look at her when she led. It was impossible not to watch.
My family sat in the second row of the center section of the chapel - all the better for my daddy to watch us from where he sat on the stand. From this vantage point, I always had an unobstructed view of Sister Hadfield. I would try to copy her every gesture. Trying to be quiet and unobtrusive, I would mimic with my hands hidden behind the bench in front of us. When Sister Hadfield flicked her wrist then I would flick mine. I practiced the way she would hold out the formatas. I copied her cut-off at the end of the hymns.
During the week I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror and practice the entire lesson: Big Smile to start, constant eye contact, keeping the beat with all of the nuances. I locked the bathroom door for privacy. I'm sure my family knew exactly what I was doing, though. My singing loudly must have been a dead give away.
Now whenever I stand up to lead the hymns I always think of Sister Hadfield. But, last week during my first time leading music in this new ward, I came across a predicament that I do not think Sister Hadfield ever had to contend with. My Darling Daughter (who happened to turn 5 that day) was wondering where her mom went and stood up on the seat to look for me. There she was front and center, 2nd row back, as I stood up. As I raised up my arms to start the sacramental hymn (always a very sacred song) my daughter spied me. Darling Daughter began to wave wildly and yelled "HI MOM!" Everyone started to laugh (including me) and the entire congregation missed the first few words of the hymn.
I wonder what Sister Hadfield would have done? Come to think of it, I am sure she also has stories to tell.