This morning we sang a new piece, commissioned for our church from Rebecca Oswald. It is a somewhat sappy piece, though it grew on me during rehearsal. Lucky for me, since we are singing it again tomorrow night. I have sung other works by this composer, and not found them sappy. Did she visit our church and decide that we were sappy? Did the person who commissioned it say, “But hey — make it a little sappy, will you?” Was she given an outline for the lyrics that suggested that a hokey tune was required? Well, we made people cry, so it was clearly a success.

What does it do to performing artists, the fact that one of the main signs of success is making people cry? Could it really be good for our characters?

This afternoon, we have sectionals for Messiah, a non-sappy piece of music if ever there was one. And my solo for the season is “This is the Record of John,” by Orlando Gibbons. So I guess I can sing a little schmalz wihout excessive complaining.