Any Howells Magnificat

In my mid-20s, a series of coincidences and minor miracles brought me to an audition for the choir at Chicago’s St James Cathedral. I narrowly skated by the sight-reading audition — I was rusty, and I’ve never been great in music auditions. “You can practice at home,” the choir director told me after announcing my acceptance, sounding wary to my nervous ears. But while the audition had been anxiety-provoking, it was only in the way that any audition is anxiety-provoking. I wasn’t worried about whether or not I could hack it in the alto section. I knew my way around a choir.

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