Today, it is Heritage day, a South African holiday that celebrates the many different cultures in the country. My community church’s youth choir (which I am now a member of) put on a concert for the community. After rehearsing for over five hours yesterday, learning at least 25 songs, in which 20 were in Tswana, we performed them today.
All morning I was freaking out due to many reasons. Particularly the fact that I knew almost none of the songs/words to the songs and would probably look like a fool but on top of that I would be the only caucasian in the choir, meaning I ASSUMED that all eyes would be on me, which turned out to be not true.
We were supposed to meet at 8:30 this morning to rehearse for the concert that started at ten. The choir arrived between 9:30 and 10:00 and we began to rehearse. A few people trickled in to the sanctuary, but no more than 15, and sat down scattered around in the pews. At 11:00 our director told everyone to go and change and get ready for the concert. We all arrived back 30 minutes later and began to sing. I was very confused to what was going on. I turned to Chilies, a friend in the choir, and asked him, “Is this the concert?” in a very naive and clueless manner. He replied, but only with a giant grin and a nod of his head. I was baffled. I had never been to or performed at a concert where there was no more than 20 audience members in attendance.
Regardless of what my mind was telling me and wrestling with, we performed five songs. After we went and sat in the seats around the front of the church, and listened as members of the choir performed other songs, including mixed sextets, trios, soloists and flat out comedic performances in which someone would mock the director. This same process of performing five songs then listening to other “acts,” went on for at least five hours, providing some very funny and moving performances. They tried to get me to beatbox or sing, but I turned them down. I do not think they are quite ready for my sick beats or my rendition of “And I am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson yet, but in due time.
As the concert came to a close, I was still struggling with the fact that this was a considered a concert. Who was it for? You can’t really call this a concert. Why spend hours preparing for virtually no one to hear you?
As we concluded our director turned and looked at us and said. “Friends, this concert was a true success.” I could feel myself catching a laugh and almost saying, “Really?” He continued, “God is pleased. We came together today to give God a concert, and we did. We chose today to magnify his name, and we did. This was true worship, and God is pleased.” Silence, except for the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. I was amazed at this concept of concert. All this time I was so concerned with being worried about the music, worried about the audience, worried about the meaning of a “concert,” when really the answer was so simple. This new type of concert opened my eyes to a wonderful revelation today. God loves concerts too.