10 November 2009

Primary Program - Take 2

I am the Primary Chorister for our church ward, which means that I teach church music to children every Sunday for two hours. Most of the year's worth of Sundays are spent in preparation for the Primary Program - a half hour event during the beginning of church where all of the little kids in our ward read their one line part in the script and sing songs about Jesus and family. Putting the program together is kind of a daunting task for the chorister, pianist, and Primary Presidency.

This year though we were pretty laid back about the whole thing. I knew I wasn't the best music teacher, and that all the congregation really cared about was watching their own child on the stand and looking at the Sunbeams (4 year olds) sing and sway to the music. So I taught the children to memorize notes and words the best I could (we even threw in some actions for good measure) and chalked the rest of the program up to cuteness.

When Primary Program Sunday came, the program was VERY successful! The kids sang better than I've ever heard them practice on a normal Sunday. One girl tripped over the awkward steps on the stand, got up stunned, but continued to sing while her eye became swollen. (I saw her last week, and she had no scars, no bruising. Blessings of courage!) But other than that, the program went without any glitches. After that Sunday, I thought no more about the program or programs-to-come and decided for the rest of the year that primary children would be rewarded with Sundays full of fun songs. No more practicing...

Well... apparently my subconscious mind was still thinking about the primary program because I dreamed about it a couple of days ago.

In my dream, I got to church on a normal Sunday and I was informed that the Primary Program was happening AGAIN! We were going to perform the same script, same songs over again for kicks and giggles. Perturbed, I got up on the stand to sit in my usual spot and noticed that our pianist was missing! She hadn't come to church that Sunday! So we called some random woman up to play the piano, even though she hadn't practiced with us before. Needless to say, that didn't go over well and the program turned a cappella style.

The next part is very unorthodox, but also ingeniously capitalistic. Someone in the congregation could tell the program was in trouble, so they called in back up. Yes - a rent-a-primary program, singing and dancing group showed up to our aid. The group of young singers and their rather large, male, bearded director came into our chapel with their red polo shirts and pasted on smiles. Half the group was dancing in the aisle ways while the other half sang primary songs on the stand with choreographed moves.

The congregation for the most part was not pleased. They were there to see their kids pick their noses and say their scripted part that their parents had helped them memorize. My part as chorister was taken over by the leader of The Foundations - that was the name of this rent-a-program singing group. As the awkwardness and broadway-quality singing continued (Remember THIS IS A DREAM), I got up the courage to end the program and Sacrament Meeting early.

I stood up, approached the mic, and one of the sunbeams sitting in the front row, Bishop's seat lowered the mic. (More like played with the mic controls, but that's beyond the point.) I said, "I'd like to thank The Foundations for the talents they've shared with us today. I hope you've gotten a glimpse of our Primary theme this year, My Eternal Family. I'd like to turn over the remainder of the time to hear a few words from our Bishop." The bishop was relieved that I had stopped the rent-a-program, and closed the Sacrament meeting with a few words... thus finishing my dream.

... To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from Empire Records,
Who knows where dreams come from? They just appear.