I currently serve as Relief Society Chorister at my local congregation (ward) of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly referred to as “LDS” or “Mormon“). This is the third time I’ve led music in the women’s meeting, and it is not something I truly enjoy. To say the I hate it would probably not be too far off the mark. To say that I was thrilled to find out the calling would be permanently erased come January 1 with the new shortened meeting block would be answered with, “This is the best thing to come out of shorter church!”
Why the no-love for this calling when I should just be thrilled to serve? Well you see, I was a ballerina. I never truly learned to read music. However, I can recognize music and when it’s being played incorrectly and I know how to move to music. Then I joined this Church and, while at university many years ago, I saw a semester long course on how to conduct music and thought, “Gosh, that would be super useful since our church think this is necessary!” People seem to mistake dance background for being able to lead music all the time, so in an attempt of self-defense, I took this class.
The good news: I learned how to conduct music The bad news: More correctly stated, I learned how to conduct a choir and orchestra who 100% pay attention to the conductor and don’t do their own thing. I’ll let you guess if that’s the case at Church.
If you guessed: They don’t care what the person flapping their arm is doing, you’d be correct. I could literally stand on my head and I’m not sure they would notice and joked about this often. Then Weird Al did the most glorious thing ever:
At the time this dropped, I was also serving in this calling. I posted it to social media and quipped, “One day I’m going to conduct music in Relief Society like this!” Spoiler, I was too chicken to do it, but trust me, I debated some weeks.
Also: The most overly sung song in Relief Society is “As Sisters in Zion.” Do me a favor and open your green Mormon hymnal and flip to the next page. See that song? It’s also a super lovely song about women and it gets zero love. Zero love except when I’m chorister.
I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to do a video about how to conduct music in Relief Society: No dirge style hymns! How to hit the beats! Point out all the songs that are NOT “As Sisters in Zion”. I also knew I would need some help, so immediately called my pianist and then the RS president (she’s our female clergy member that, among other things, presides over the women’s meeting each Sunday).
This is Part 2 of a multi-part series on making this video. Stay tuned next week for discussion on the apps I used.