The Princess and I had a very traumatic choir practice the other night. The choir director for the Christmas carol service came (an important man who was far less interested in us than our normal choir director). The choir launched into various hymns (unknown to the Princess and me) in 5 parts. Sitting between the altos and the sopranos, with another three parts going on in the surrounding pews, and with no idea how to read music, I felt that I had zero chance of picking up any of the tunes. I was correct.
“Descant!” said the director. “What,” I hissed to the nice lady beside me, “is a descant?” Oh Lord.
Later one of the younger teenagers sang “Walking in the Air” alone. “That was lovely,” I said to her mother. Her mother repeated it to her and I heard her reply witheringly to her mother’s mortification “Anne, doesn’t even know what a descant is.”
The carol service is on Christmas Eve. The Princess and I are nervous. I think only prayer can help us now.