Monday, January 14, 2008

Sport-Sex and Disco Dancing

People, events and things
that have affected my life.
#1.



How did I ever end up in the choir? Simple answer really: the choir director – who was friends with my university band director – heard that I had just moved to the city, called me, and asked me to join.

Funny thing is, I really can’t sing very well. Yes, I love to sing in the shower where there are great acoustics. But, I’ve only got a clear range of less than an octave. And I have to carefully listen to the singer next to me to stay on-pitch.

I was a member of this choir for almost three years. Every Sunday morning we sang religious music as part of a live radio program, however it wasn’t the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by any means. While we were accompanied by one of the “great organs” of the city, the choir was relatively small. There were only about forty singers. Eight soloists were paid professionals. Most of the other choir members were students at one of the city’s well-known music conservatories.

Two things about this choir:


First, it was sexually active.

And it wasn’t just the soprano soloist that was married to one of the basses. The organist was sleeping with one of the tenors. Another tenor was doing two of the contraltos, on alternate nights. One of the baritones was doing one of the basses. There was this one soprano that was doing every guy in the choir that was willing to drop his zipper. And I was doing the mezzo-soprano soloist.

It was the first time I’d ever heard of the term “sport fucking.” I grew up believing that “good kids” waited. And until this time, I was a “good kid.” Interestingly, I’d never been very interested in most sports before.

Secondly, this group could really dance.

Many Wednesday nights after practice we’d go dancing. There was this one club in the city where the disco music of the mid-70’s ruled – Evelyn King, Tavares, Bee Gees, Grace Jones, Gloria Gaynor, the Village People, Sylvester, the Jackson 5, and of course Donna Summer. I clearly remember how my whole body could feel the crushing sound system. And there was magic in the lighted dance floor; it seemed to provide a sense of rhythm I’d never known before. We’d stay as late as the DJ would spin the records.


My days living in the city were an important part of my life, and being a member of this choir was a significant part of it. Not only did I enjoy the music, but also, the camaraderie gave me friends and a sense of belonging that I would never have had otherwise. To say the least, it expanded my horizons.

I often wonder how I ever made it to work – on-time and alert – on Thursdays. It was a job that required starched white shirts and grey pin-stripped suits (where even Brooks Brothers was considered just a little too flashy).

I was obviously younger then.


I am no longer part of any choir. I still regularly go to church. Josh Groban I’m not.

I rarely danced before becoming a part of this group, and I never dance now. I doubt that I'll ever be confused with Tony Manero.


* * *

(This may become a regular series of this blog. We’ll just have to see how I’m inspired. However, it’s unlikely that it will be publicly archived.)

.

11 comments:

G Cracker said...

That choir sounds like an awesome group!! Why don't you go dancing anymore though?

Lemuel said...

Thank you for this very open post about yourself! Thank you for the beautiful images of the nave! and for the picture of the choir! (which one are you? :) )

The choirs of which I have been a part were not so sexually active - or I was too naive to know it. Care to guess which it was?

Steven said...

Just as Lemuel says, thanks for this open post about yourself. It is nice to be able to scratch below the surface to find out what makes people tick or what got them to where they are now. I very much saw me in this post as a marching band member in college. Those were definitely some of my greatest and most memorable days.

TWISI said...

at what point did you start sleeping with the basses?

Lacey said...

This story reminds me when I was in the Navy. Sort of. Nice story. I enjoyed it.

john said...

So you should rejoin the choir and start dancing again. It seems like you had a great time doing both!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

GO dancing! Get some friends and go out this weekend! I wrote a post about that on Friday. Why not!?!

Steven

Anthony said...

lol. I will never view choirs the same way again. Good reading. Thank you.

Cooper said...

Beautiful post, Paul. I loved this little glimpse into your heart. I can't sing, but I can dance. Who knew choirs were such hot beds of activity! All that passion culminating in Thursday dancing to the wee hours. Wonderful.

Mark said...

What is expanding your horizons currently?

Paul said...

Mark: That is absolutely the right question to ask. I believe that as soon as we stop having a desire to learn new things, and to have new experiences, we stop living and start dying.