The call to action has been sent out by email from our Minister of Music, Michael Adcock! The Chalice Rebels are being invited to sing in a Sunday service! One by one, the Rebels respond, “I’m in!” And so, another adventure begins.
I grant you that it all sounds a little dramatic, but whenever I see that call to action in my inbox, I experience what can only be described as “all the feels.”
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Chalice Rebels, we are an a cappella group within the UUCC music ministry. The group was founded by UUCC member, Carla Gates, is spearheaded by Michael Adcock, and is kept organized through the work of Chalice Rebels vocalist and UUCC choir member, Laurie Coltri. The group is an ever-changing, ever evolving entity that has featured as many as 25-30 singers and often features a small group of 5 or 6. But no matter what, some iteration of the Rebels always shows up to answer the call. We sing together for social change, to lift up and honor oppressed voices, and to feed our souls.
Over the years, the Rebels have become quite efficient in our process. We learn the pieces individually, come together once or twice for an hour to rehearse and then perform at Sunday service. That moment of performance is always thrilling, but for me, the rehearsals with the Rebels are what I treasure most. The room is always filled with hysterical laughter and easy banter as we create together. It’s a room that always makes me feel at home.
A common sentiment among many performers, me included, is that they prefer the rehearsal process to the performances. Don’t get me wrong, performing for a live audience is thrilling and it is why we do what we do as performers, but the rehearsal process is where the connections are made. There is a kind of magic that occurs when everyone in a room has a singular mission that is outside of themselves. Everyone in a rehearsal room is there to serve the piece. That’s it. That sense of a singular mission creates a profound sense of responsibility to the people around you. It heightens the need for community building and empathy. It gets us out of our heads and into our hearts. In that experience of shared commitment, bonds are formed that last far beyond any performance.
Last summer, our congregation took part in a weekend long Group Relations Workshop. One of the questions posed to us was, “When was a time at UUCC that you felt as if you really belonged?” Without taking a beat, my heart responded, “The Chalice Rebels.”
Thank you, Rebels, for always leading me home.