It’s Not All Rock and Roll

We sang Lady Gaga in church yesterday–“Born this Way”–with kids’ and adult choirs, bass vocal soloist, keyboard, electric bass and drums.

The little kids’ choir director brought feather boas, which my granddaughter flaunted like a pink peacock. People in the congregation were on their feet, clapping, rocking out–even dancing in the aisles in the second service.

Gaga boa

The director is moving so Chloe got to keep the boa. We have trails of pink feathers everywhere.

On Mother’s Day we did a mash-up of Rod Stewart’s and Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” When we do pop pieces, the kids memorize most of the lyrics and adults are the doo-wop backup singers. Add talented instrumentalists and soloists and a lot of improvisation (i.e. being chronically under-rehearsed), and everyone has a rollicking good time.

I’m thrilled to see my 6 1/2 year-old granddaughter belting out a song, decked in feathers or not. She’s learning about music and vocal technique and developing confidence performing in front of a crowd.

But I hope her musical horizons aren’t limited to Gaga, Justin Bieber (who seems to be losing some cred, what with the monkey incident), Katy Perry and the latest fave, Bruno Mars (did I mention she’s 6-and-a-half?!). I don’t doubt their wide popularity and entertainment value, but the world of music is so much broader,  richer and deeper than pop music.

To their credit, the church kids’ directors also teach them some folk and traditional songs. I want Chloe to grow up appreciating jazz, blues, classical and other genres. Her mom likes metal, her Papa (my ex) likes country. I keep the car radio mostly on a classical station (occasionally switching to Tejano or oldies), so I hope Chloe will always associate classical music with good times with Grandma.

Next week the church experience will be very different: the adult choir, with chamber orchestra and soloists, will perform Pergolesi’s “Magnificat.” I hope everyone, especially the young people, will enjoy a refreshing breath of Baroque.


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