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Music Notes from Anne

Anne Scott, Choir Director

“Do not judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” - Native American Proverb

For me, as a choir director, it is important to experience the “choir side” of choral singing on a regular basis. Beyond conducting Westside’s choir and ORUUC’s children’s choir, I currently perform with the ORUUC choir and band, Knoxville Choral Society, and Knoxville Chamber Chorale. Taking my place in the choir reminds me of what it’s like to learn music in the span of a few short rehearsals, helps to brush up my own vocal technique, and gives me a wealth of new ideas. I’m able to share the perspective of those I serve, bringing empathy to situations of uncertainty or stress. And I can be more innovative, sharing warm ups and choral pieces that I’ve picked up from other sources. It is both humbling and rewarding to step back from my leadership role and be part of a larger community of singers.

I feel like I’m a better conductor when I regularly perform for other conductors. And I feel like I’m a better leader of musicians when I am regularly a musician. And, as a side note, if you’d like to see what I look like performing instead of conducting, Knoxville Choral Society & Chamber Chorale have a concert this Saturday (2/20) at 6:30pm.

I also see the reverse side of this equation as a truth. It is important for musicians to regularly step into leadership roles to gain confidence and skill. How can we provide more opportunities for musical leadership in our congregation? Taking a turn as a music leader helps our musicians gain new perspective as they grow and develop. It’s a conversation just beginning within the choir, but I’d encourage anyone interested in musical leadership to reach out to me.

Of course, the concept of taking another’s perspective is not only helpful in directing a choir. What might this look like for you in your work or church leadership life? Where can you step back as a leader and “follow” for a bit to gain your team’s perspective? What might this look like for you in your personal life? How can you “walk a mile in their shoes” to gain another person’s perspective?

Make a joyful noise!


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