Last night I fulfilled a fantasy I didn’t even know I had.  I sang backup vocals in a band.  Yes, at 46, I went to a band rehearsal, hopped up on stage, and sang my little heart out.  I even played guitar.  Most people get this kind of thing out of their system in their teens.  What can I say? I’m a late bloomer.  It’s the most fun I’ve had in long a time. I think it’s something everyone should do once, if not before you hit forty, then at least after.

I can’t claim it was a rock band, or even a coffee house group.  It was my temple band.  And I can’t imagine that there’s a more loving place to go through the “join a band phase” than in the embrace of community. Given the average age of the congregation, I think I may have even looked spritely up there.  Some of the congregants wore hearing aids, which I’m sure worked to my advantage.  And even more helpful were the congregants who refused to wear hearing aids.

I can honestly say, like a drunk karaoke singer, I’m not sure what I was singing half the time.  You see, most of the songs were in Hebrew and I don’t speak Hebrew.  But like a good Jewish doo wop girl, I sang “Oooh ahhh” whenever necessary and I think I may have pulled it off.

I was lucky enough to be singing and playing with highly trained musicians.  You know the type -- when someone says, “Let’s switch to the key of D minor,” they just do it, without thinking.  That’s part of the reason I only played guitar for one song.  I had rehearsed in a different key.  I’m not sure what key I rehearsed in, but it wasn’t the key of D minor.  Nevertheless, I learned a lot rehearsing with professionals and they’ve given me something to strive for.  Sometimes it’s a gift to be the neophyte in the group. Despite all the Hollywood rumors that say otherwise, I have found professional musicians to be some of the kindest, most gracious, and nurturing artists in the world. 

I am also grateful to the sound man. I’m not sure if it was by mistake or by design, but he had my mic turned way down. What a blessing!  Usually I get very nervous singing in front of a group, but when I realized that even I couldn’t hear myself, I knew I was home free.  I could belt those songs out without fear. And when I didn’t know the words, no one was the wiser.  In fact, someone actually complained that they wished the volume for the backup vocalists was louder!  What a gift!  That’s how I know the sound guy is a true professional -- he really took one for the team.

The sign of a loving community is a group of people who invites you in, meets you at your level, and helps you rise up to do more than you knew you were capable of.  I appreciate that my community has allowed me to have a new life experience.  And I hope the mic was turned down low enough, that they’ll invite me back again.