“Tis not too late to seek a newer world.” Alfred Lord Tennyson
I mentioned last week, Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics will be re-visiting some of our most discussed Choral Ethics dilemmas for the month of January. So today we begin with one topic discussed many times, “Moving On.” Moving on can be by choice or NOT by choice and through the five years of this blog, we’ve spoken about both a quite a number of times.
What does “Moving On” mean for us in January 2021? Some of us have had our lives upended and changed irrevocably. Through no fault of our own, we have been let go, furloughed, or expected to do our jobs in ways we never imagined we’d have to do them in January of 2020. Many have had to put their lives and plans “on hold,” perhaps waiting to go back to school or to leave a job because it doesn’t make sense to do anything drastic now. And there is nothing we can do about any of it right now. With luck and the vaccine, we should be back to almost normal toward summer or fall and can look forward to that time.
Later this year, some of us may be able to fully return to our positions with a new appreciation of our art and our fellow artists. Or our positions will have adjusted to our present reality and we will be expected to as well. Many of us have been forced to re-think what we do and may decide to do something completely different and that’s fine. Let’s look at some of the ways we’ve “moved on” in the past so they may inform our choices for moving on—or staying put–when we are able.
I’ve presented Choral Ethics dilemmas from ChoralNetters who wanted to know if they were justified for leaving a position because of the number of illegal copies in the choral library of the church they serve and being expected to USE THEM. Or an accompanist who needed to vent about a community chorus director’s mental decline, how he was expected to cover up for her and was not acknowledged or respected for doing so. He was venting because his partner had finished med school and was beginning a residency in another state. He had no regrets in leaving and wanted to know if he was a jerk because he didn’t care. Several folks DID care about leaving a position and knew moving on was best for their own career. They wondered if they SHOULD move on if leaving would cause difficulties to folks they generally liked.
There have been a number of correspondents who were either planning to retire and wanted to know how to smooth the path for their replacements or had already retired and wanted to know what their role was now that they had left. In that vein, one person reached out to me because a former singer was stirring up trouble with the new director and he wanted to stay out of it but also wanted to help. I’ve had several correspondents who complained about their predecessor leaving them in a “scorched earth” position or had somehow sabotaged their programs, making it difficult to carry on.
The most difficult “moving on” stories have been from those who were terminated and had no choice but to move on. Most didn’t see it coming, which is why they contacted me. Most of their stories have never been part of my Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics blog because I respect their confidences and feelings. The ones I HAVE shared (with my correspondents’ full knowledge and support) have been life lessons I thought would benefit all. Several of those I have shared were the types of “trust your gut and get out before you are thrown out” stories. And there have been a number of correspondents who seemed so arrogant, so full of themselves I truly see why they were let go. I’ve shared one or two of these stories (thoroughly disguised) because I thought they’d be helpful to illustrate a point.
As we begin this New Year of 2021, use your time wisely. And use that time to choose a NEW path so you may move on without pause. Or stay on your old path, whichever makes the most sense for YOU so you may have no regrets.
Until next week, be well and be safe.
I am taking my Choral Ethics Blogs to my chamber choir’s Facebook page for the foreseeable future. Please join me there this morning! https://www.facebook.com/themidwestmotetsociety/