20 Years On

I have a long, checkered musical past. I performed on stage well over 500 times before I was 23. Then, thoroughly burned out, I quit all things musical for several years. When my wife Vera and I stumbled into Bryn Mawr in 1992, I didn’t tell anyone I was a singer. Eventually, I was ready to start music again. I knew I would eventually start singing in this little church, but the choir only rehearsed on Sunday mornings 30 minutes before church, and not regularly. I struggled with that for 2 years.

About a month before Christmas 1994, the Bryn Mawr He-Man Movie Club was winding down after some lousy Steven Segal movie in the bar at Chili’s on 394 (just recently demolished.) We were laughing and carrying on like unsupervised guys do, when out-of-the-blue I asked if they ever thought about being in a choir. My question was answered with stunned silence and shifty eyes. But nobody said no. So we set a date to start practicing.

After four rehearsals and with sheet music clutched tightly in our hands, 12 men were singing O Christmas Tree in church. The ovation was so overwhelming, that we agreed to sing the following Sunday, which was Christmas Day. That Wednesday we hustled together and we learned Go Tell It On The Mountain out of the old maroon hymnal for Christmas morning. The reception was even more joyous than the previous Sunday. After church, long before the bro-hug was common place, 12 goofy guys hugged each other knowing that we had just done something really special on a Christmas morning. We met again on Wednesday to rehearse and never stopped. My records show that we sang 31 different songs in 1995. That’s impressive given there are only 52 Sundays in a year.

After 20 years of Wednesdays, I’m still grateful for the Cedar Lake 7. I still get excited every time I get to sing with the boys. My spiritual life is fed by making music with my friends.