Church choirs, Stacy Wilburn (and Chuck Miller?)

It’s nearly impossible to explain how tightly-knit a choir can be.

Did you ever do something and only later realize that there was a subtext that was totally unrelated? This would apply to my advocacy in favor of my buddy Chuck Miller, whose April 1 blog post on the Times Union site had gotten his post removed and his ability to post there suspended.

Somewhere during the various writing I did for la causa, I realized this wasn’t just about Chuck, or the misrepresentation of Chuck’s article by the newspaper’s editor as “fake news” rather than satire. It was that sense of powerlessness, being left in the dark, that resonated, rather like the events leading to leaving my old church.

Since I joined another FOCUS congregation, I have had opportunity to worship back at Trinity, the first church I joined in Albany. The former pastor has been gone for more than a decade.

The first couple times I returned there was really weird and uncomfortable, with church members cajoling and pleading me to come back. Enough time has passed – I’ve now attended First Presbyterian as long as I had attended Trinity – that it’s no longer an issue. Still, old members there greet me fondly.

I’m going to sing in the choir there again – today, actually – because one of my old choir compatriots, Quentin Stacy Wilburn, died on July 9. He usually went by Stacy, or Q. He was 91.

It’s nearly impossible to explain how tightly-knit a choir can be. I still recall that we were all together at a choir member’s house on Christmas Eve 1989 or 1990, before we were to sing, when we got the word that our tenor soloist, Sandy Cohen, had had another heart attack and died. (He’d had one before, IN CHURCH, during the service, but wouldn’t leave until he “finished the gig.”)

Until the choir director recruited more tenors, I sang tenor with Stacy for a few months, high in my range, and not as instinctive to me as the bass line.

So now we’re going to come together, Trinity folks and former Trinity folks and FOCUS church folks and friends and sing for Stacy, because that’s what choir people do.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Church choirs, Stacy Wilburn (and Chuck Miller?)”

  1. After I left the last church I belonged to, I would have the “we miss seeing you” conversation every time I met anyone from that church. One woman would tell me that the “church needs you back” every time I saw her, which was often. I did go back one time for the renewal of wedding vows that some friends of our held. Keith and I were both in the original wedding, so we felt we should be there. It was very awkward for me. Nowadays, I go back every summer for their annual rummage sale and always end up having nice visits with people who are still there. Several members have migrated to another church, which also has an annual sale, so I have more nice visits there, as well. The scary thing about catching up with folks is finding out that the kids I taught as 3 and 4 year olds now have kids of their own!

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