("there once was a church choir that was not ill-bred,
but i have forgotten where it is" - Mark Twain)
There once was a choir that could not sing. It was quite a large choir, about 80 or 90 people. It was not a church choir. It was affiliated with one of the large auto companies in Michigan, back in the days when there WERE large auto companies in Michigan.
They were super nice people. They hired me to play piano for them, and they paid my way for a 10-day tour of Italy.
I really can't complain!
But I can tell you the story.
First, you are probably wondering why they couldn't sing. They really tried. They rehearsed every week. But, to put it as kindly as I can, they had a director who didn't know how to direct.
And so, as a result, they didn't know how to sing.
Here's how choirs behave when they are left to their own devices:
1. The sopranos sing as loudly as they can. After all, they have the melody! They are the most important section in the entire choir.
2. The altos sing as loudly as they can. After all, they read music and hence sing only the correct notes. They are the most important section in the entire choir.
3. The basses sing as loudly as they can. After all, their deep tones anchor the harmonies. They are the most important section in the entire choir.
4. The tenors, not surprisingly, also sing as loudly as they can. They mean well, but they just don't know any better. When not singing loudly, they are generally making trouble and telling jokes about the director. They are under no illusions about being the most important section. They just want to have fun.
... and then we received our packet of music for Italy ...