Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tammy Vs. Agnus

Agnus is a Samoan women in our ward who sings so loudly, that she competes with the organ.
Tammy is the girl who plays the organ.
Agnus likes the hymns to be sung VERY slowly.
Tammy likes the hymns to be sung at a REASONABLE pace (ie. much faster than Agnus)

Today, Tammy started the introduction to 'Let us all press on' nice and quickly (as marked in the hymnbook).

Agnus came in at the first verse, singing from her place in the 4th row, and slowed the entire congregation down (including the chorister) from about 100 beats a minute to about 40 beats a minute - in 3 bars flat!

Tammy put up a good fight. Every time the congregation had a whole note, Tammy sped up the other notes in the bar with her accompaniment.

But Agnus was awfully good.

Tammy frowned and scowled and powered ahead as much as she could without getting an entire line out of sync with the congregation.... but to no avail!

By the end of the second verse, Tammy graciously conceded defeat and worked at controlling her sudden desire to giggle.


Tammy finds it frustrating that Agnus won the battle. Especially since she's pretty sure Agnus is completely unaware that the battle even took place!

xo Tammy


Sandy M. said...

Dear Tammy,
The funny thing is that -
1) Abby and I were laughing (reverently!) through the whole song because we could see the wide disparity between the timing of Noa (our chorister), and you on the organ. I whispered to Abs that you were having trouble keeping up! Yes, I was a little surprised by that, but just figured that you needed a little more practice.. or maybe just some practice would do it! :) There was obviously a battle going on, but we thought it was between you and Noa. And -
2) Pretty much every Sunday, I comment to Agnes (who sits near us) on how much I enjoy her singing. I am pretty sure that her singing has increased in volume over these recent weeks because of my unstinting encouragement! :)
No, no - don't thank me! :)
I love you, Honey. Keep up the good work. :D
Your Mother

sallysue said...

I love this story! Agnes my have won the battle, but perhaps not the war. :)

breckster said...

Oh, the adventures in music at church. :) I've done my fair share of choristering, and LOVE it when the organist can keep up with me on the songs that should just be sung on tempo, but I was usually the loudest singer in those wards.

Our current ward organist surprises the chorister and congregation with random interludes and tempo changes, and after the first verse he usually pulls all the stops so there is NO WAY anyone could sing as loud as the organ. It is pretty enjoyable for me because that means I can sing full voice every sunday and nobody turns around to figure out who the loud singing was coming from. :)

Did you ever hear the story of my grandpa singing extra loud because no one else seemed to know the words? He was a bishop presiding over a funeral, and a man was singing a good old protestant song that isn't in the LDS hymn book. Well, grandpa noticed that it was only him and this man singing the song, so grandpa sang louder because he knew that most of the congregation didn't know the words. My grandpa had a hilly-billy voice, and a hilly-billy twang. Well, turned out the reason only two of them were singing was because it was supposed to be a solo.

Tammy Lorna said...

Mum: Thanks for encouraging Agnus. That's very Christian of you. Please stop :)

Brecken: I love your story! I can picture it :) How has justin not used it in a student film already?

xo Tammy

emilysuze said...

In our current ward we have the opposite issue!

The congregation and the chorister try to keep up a good pace, but the organist seems to think that each song needs to be played slowly and solemnly. I've never sang "There is Sunshine in My Soul" so stinking slowly in all my life!

Keep fighting the good fight and perhaps your mum can put in a few words with Agnus... :)

Jessica said...

Hee hee. That's hilarious.

It could be've never heard my family sing "Happy Birthday". Everyone basically sings at a different pace and in their own unique key.

Jennsie said...

Tammy, i couldn't stop laughing as i visualised you in your story. I too hate it when the congregation sings soo slowly. I try to speed it up but then remember that i'm not a singer and should lower my voice. :)

Keep going you will win the war!

James and Abby said...

Dear Tammy STOP Please win STOP If I sing any slower my tongue will fall backwards down my throat simply for something to do and I may fall asleep or die STOP Mum STOP

Erika Hill said...

It's amazing the power that one individual has to set the usually HOPE that it's the chorister, but sometimes a singer can do it too.

When I first moved into our ward, a member of the bishopric asked if I could play the organ because the current organist "has been doing it too long and just can't keep up anymore..." (his words and opinion, not mine). I told him that I could not (which is true). Whenever he gets a chance, he usually complains about her playing the hymns slow.

The funny this is, it's not her at all. All of her introductions are up tempo, and then once the chorister comes in things immediately slow down. She's just following our chorister who doesn't move her arm above 80 beats per minute.

I pointed this out to him one day, and he was flabbergasted. He's never said anything about it since.

Petamay said...

OH MY GOSH!!! That is the funniet thing I have heard in a while. I had a good chuckle reading it. I love Abby's comment that made me laugh as well. Keep going Tammy, you are a fighter I know you can do it!