If we can agree that the right kind of live music adds a dimension to our organizations that nothing else can, and if our aim then is to have live musicians serving them -- if we want to assemble and hold a choir together, if we want to attract and hold an organist to help supply incidental and other music for our ceremonies, installations, and other work -- then we need to respect the work involved to prepare and practice the music, hold the musicians in esteem, and give them the chance to perform it.
If the chief officer to be installed, for example, wants a certain favorite song or hymn to be performed as they're being led to the altar for installation, then the installing officer should be informed in advance about this so he can remind himself to allow the music to be performed in its entirety.
But if, when that same installing officer chooses to proceed with the ritual of installation when the officer to be installed reaches the altar, the song or hymn gets interrupted mid-way through, and it ends up getting preempted; this awkward and thoughtless proceeding shows tremendous disrespect, not only for the wishes of the officer being installed but the musician as well, who may have specially ordered (and paid for, out of their own pocket) the sheet music to learn that song or hymn, not to mention all the practice time wasted.
This is extremely tacky -- and no way to run a railroad; it leaves the organist (and singers, if present) seriously wondering what the point is, for them even being there [See blog, Leave It Behind].
When choir members have been sitting for a half hour or more in a hot robes waiting to sing, and at the moment the song should begin the director of work tells the class of candidates to exit the room so it may be set up for the next segment of work leaving the choir members holding their choir books in silence all for the sake of the almighty clock, i.e., to get done quicker, it disrespects the entire choir, its soloists, the choir director, and the accompanist.
This is no way to hold a choir together, no way to keep a choir director, no way to keep an organist, and no way to find any replacements for them.
It obeys the Law of Respect -- what we respect, we will attract, and what we don't respect will move away from us.
It doesn't matter if we're talking about God, a miracle, our neighbor, our best friend, the man on the street, or a dog -- it works the same in each case.
Respect is the seed for teamwork; people will be drawn to us if we simply show some measure respect for them, have some esteem for their music-making, and recognize and appreciate the contribution their music makes to help impress the candidates and membership with the sights and sounds of their experience.
This helps to get them back -- because good lasting impressions will create good lasting memvers.
Disrespect, apathy, and indifference shown to our musicians is guaranteed to have them scattering and never coming back.
When it's called to the attention that the names of the choir members never appear in the printed program when everyone else's name is, and this is the only means of recognition these dedicated people ever receive, its not just thoughtlessness but it adds to the sense of disrespect they feel when not given any time to perform or when they've been overlooked during introductions.
How in heaven's name can we expect a choir Director to hold a choir together under these conditions?
Those who may be looking to help presiding officers fill certain key positions in the cast or with other vacancies, who then approach the musicians about it, telling them that they're wasting their time with music-making -- that "anybody can do that" and that their "talents" would be better used elsewhere -- it's the height of disrespect disguised with shallow flattery.
People will drift away from others who weaken them, and they will be attracted to those who fuel their gift.
Words are power tools that control thoughts; words have tremendous potential for sentiment, respect, and great healing, or for apathy, indifference, and harm depending upon how they're used.
It should be no mystery then, if afterwards someone seems to have changed and no longer responds to our phone calls, voicemails, letters, or emails and are suddenly distant; they've moved away because of disrespect.
When we're wondering why we can't get a choir up and running or hold a choir together, when we can't find an organist to play and our organization is faced with doing without, AND we suddenly can't even seem to reach some of them, all rolled into one -- it isn't too difficult to understand where the problem lies.
What we may lack in aptitude we can make up with attitude, and part of that attitude involves respect.