Sing to me Choir Joseph (yes, another crush…)

In song we know joy,
Worship half-notes, middle C;
Praise the crescendo.

I’m worried my dearest will think me on the prowl. First there was Bathrobe Man; then it was Running Boy. And now… Choir Joseph has captured my heart.

Alas, I know we have no future. I discovered him in Salt Lake City… some 1600 miles away. He is Mormon and I’m, well, not. But that didn’t keep me from watching him, imagining him, enjoying him, from a distance.

Where to begin…

First, let me start with this place: The Conference Center in Salt Lake City, part of the Mormon Church facilities.

The Conference Center in Salt Lake – side view

This building looks lovely and pristine on the outside, and leads one to believe it is an above average facility for public use or convention center action. Step inside, however, and you are greeted by the following…

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

It was breathtaking to walk into this building and see this. No matter what religion (or not), it was impressive and just a little overwhelming, in that good way. The organ stretching long and tall, the precision of the choir, the sheer size of a place that allows 21,000 to sit comfortably in a semi-circle.

And then the program began. It is a live broadcast – longest continuous live broadcast ever (this one was the last concert in their 84th season). No clapping, no cameras, just you and the music (and at times a silence I longed to break with a hearty woo hoo!).

It became me and Choir Joseph, just the two of us, shortly thereafter.

there he is… *sigh*

It’s a terrible picture, I know. My hands were shaking, my heart was racing. Let me explain why.

First and foremost, he is a renegade. Please note the immaculate lines in the choir. Ramrod straight is how I describe postures and arrangement. Except CJ. He’s on the end, leaning out a bit. He isn’t afraid to stand out among the picture perfect.

Notice how his hands are clasped firmly in front of his body. Look at the rest of the choir – arms at their sides. Rebel.  Purrrrrrr.

But what I loved most about Choir Joseph was how he sang. Unlike his predictable companions, who moved almost nothing but their mouths, CJ sang with his whole body. He swayed. He threw his head back in song. He didn’t need to look at the song book in his hands; he looked instead up, toward the back of the hall (perhaps towards me?), his voice climbing above the rest in praise.

Frankly, he looked a little like Stevie Wonder. Without the glasses. And he’s white. And his hair is shorter… but other than all that, an exact match. Moving to his own beat, bobbing his head, at one with the music and not afraid to let it all hang out.

Once again I find myself smitten by a man who dares to approach the world his own way.   I’m guessing his choir-mates voted him to an aisle seat because he kept bumping into them with his movement – perhaps he isn’t liked much because he dares to stand out.  Me? I love it. In a world of conformity, straight lines and perfect smiles, give me the oddball every time. Choir Joseph set my heart a flutter with short arms clasped across an ample waist; expressive body pouring out impressive song.

Do you think he is really-really Mormon, or just a little Mormon, given his penchant for the original? I wonder if I have a chance…

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