Waaaay back when I was but a wee lad--third grade if I recall correctly, or maybe fourth--my best friend's dad was the choirmaster at the First Presbyterian church. Being vocally inclined myself, Billy Evans, my friend, asked me to join him. I sang with them for...oh, about a year until my extracurricular schedule caused a conflict with their choir time.
Mr. Evans, obviously seeing that I had something to offer, recommended that I consider another local choir so I auditioned at St. Luke's, an Episcopal choir for men and boys. I was accepted, and thus began my professional singing career. It's true! I was paid about $8 a month, again if I recall correctly...it was a long time ago. Richard Webster was (and still is!) the choirmaster there, and did an amazing job conducting and teaching us boy sopranos.
I remember that my L.D.S. church services were in the afternoons when I started at St. Luke's, so I could go to choir on Sunday mornings and sing, and still be able to go to my church in the afternoons. Then, at the end of the calendar year, my family switched wards (congregations) in order to keep meeting in the afternoons so that I could sing in the mornings. As a result, I met my best friend Rob in that afternoon church. :) I also gained an...eye-opening view of other religions. I would come home and ask my parents why St. Luke's used incense and we didn't. Why did they have processions, and genuflections, and about a hundred other things that we didn't? It helped me to grow firmer in my faith by helping me to not take things for granted in my own religion.
The only reason I'm writing about this now is that my son, J, received a special invitation from his school choir teacher stating that he might like to try out for the choir at Christ Church Cathedral, also an Episcopalian boy's choir. I must admit that I'm of two minds about it.
On the one hand, I see what a positive experience it was for me, and how I grew musically, socially, and spiritually. On the other hand, I don't know that I'm ready or willing to alter my L.D.S. church attendance to provide this opportunity for my son. Heck, this all might be a moot point anyway since he doesn't even audition until next Monday. But I must admit that I'm not sure what to do if he is accepted.