What I Learned at my First Moroccan Choir Rehearsal:
- Our voices are part of what makes us who we are. Use them happily!
- Funny sounds are welcome here. They help us find our missing courage.
- Mistakes are welcome here. We enjoy being human.
- We are capable of great beauty. Just look at the smile on our conductor’s face when he hears our sweet crescendo.
- We (every one of us) can access, activate, and feel that beauty. Just look at everyone else’s faces. Our souls are showing.
- People are welcome here. Even people who still think in English. We don’t mind helping them wade through the French if they get a little stuck.
- We like each other. You can tell from all the kissing.
- We both use and do not use sheet music. We’re flexible that way.
- We are all so glad to be here; we have found our musical home.
This is how you audition for a choir in Casablanca.
First, you hear people talk about it a bit, and you have a brief but friendly Facebook exchange with someone who apologizes for his poor English, even though his English is pretty fantastic.
Then, one day, someone mentions that there are going to be auditions tonight at 7pm, and you go and ask your angel of a French teacher if her driver would mind taking you to the appointed location. You feel you can do this, because you bawled your eyes out in front of her after your last cataclysmic audition, and she gave you her phone number, and said, “Call if you ever need anything. I have a driver.” A driver who speaks neither English nor French, but that’s okay, because your angel of a French teacher hops in the car and goes to the audition with you, even though she’s just worked a ten-hour day. This is what angels are made of.