Confession: I wanted to go to the Island Community Chorus’ Holiday Concert Saturday night in order to hear the legendary acoustics inside the Old Whaling Church.
Result: Holy moly. Not only are the acoustics wonderful, but so was the chorus!
I was aware that, in order to be in the chorus all anyone needs to do is show up. No tense auditions. No nervous stomachs. No fear of being judged by others who surely will know they have a more beautiful voice than yours because, of course, they don’t hear you singing in the shower.
As with most things on the Vineyard, this chorus is all about community. People coming together, neighbors having fun, working hard, all reaching for the best result possible with the hopes they can at least stay in the right key.
They did. They were amazing. They’ve been doing this for 16 years now…all 130 lined up on risers sweeping the altar…all sounding as if they sing together every day instead of only 3 concerts a year. What a treat. (Speaking of treats, the goodies downstairs after the concert were pretty inspiring, too.)
Best of all, I did the math. 130 voices. About 200 packing the pews. Add to that 2 of my friends who I knew had been unable to attend…and this tells me that at least 332 people will be on the island this winter. Who says this place is only for tourists?
The Old Whaling Church seemed packed to me. Turns out, though, they were 20 people short of a quorum.
Imagine, 20 people in an entire town. Probably the number of folks who were having dinner at The Newes. Or those who had huddled into the library for the Tuesday night movie. (Last night it was “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”)
I was ready though…along with about a dozen others who sat in the back, in the designated “Non-Voter” pews. I was eager for the proceedings to get underway. I wanted to see local government at work, to see if it really was as feisty and combative as I’d written in a scene in my PLACES BY THE SEA. (Can’t recall if Ben ever did get that variance for his museum. He really should have! He was one of my favorite guys, er, characters!)
But back to reality. Like I said, they were 20 folks short. I considered asking my non-voting neighbors if we should register right then and there. Heck, then we could dash to The Newes and pull out a few others. It’s not as if anyone there would be watching the World Series.
Someone banged a gavel. The Town Meeting was postponed until next week.
So my question is this: who the heck is going to climb up onto the banner across Main Street and change the date?
P.S. You’ll be glad to know I raced to the library and snuck in the back, only ten minutes late for the movie.