I’ve often admitted that the hardest thing to get used to when leading a group is ‘being naked in front of them’. And if you’re an introvert like I am, you’ll know what I mean. Being face to face with people is a common fear. But somehow I overcome my ‘nakedness’ when there is something really important that I’m involved with, something that I’m passionate about… something that is more compelling than my foibles. And I find that in communicating the urgent essentials of music. Unbelievable as it seems, I’ve learned to be face to face with people in the context of a choir, without fear.
The singer doesn’t suffer from the same problem. The singer sits in a passive seat and waits to be engaged by the leader. So, by virtue of being there, they are submitting to my leadership. And that gives me permission to ‘show’ them what is needed. In this way, I’m given strength to stand face to face with my singers and peer into their souls for something that is beneath the surface, something that is important, something that is compelling. Conquering that barrier gives me the opportunity to draw out of each individual something of their soul… to contribute to the whole.