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Millner Tries to Lift Every Voice

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Praise the Lord
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Independent Producer Lyn Millner is gutsy. She'll try anything for a good Weekend America story. A couple months ago, Lyn Millner she tried out for the Miami Dolphins cheerleading team, and in May she went wild turkey hunting. Now she tries her hand and directing a gospel choir. Join Millner as she helps other raise their voice to praise.

My first conversation with Melanie Weatherspoon, the choir director at Bethel AME Church, by Lyn Millner

I was really nervous when I talked to Melanie on the phone.
"I would like to direct your choir," I said.
She started laughing.
So I continued, "Of course, I would understand if you didn't want me to do that. So maybe I could just, um, sing in the choir one Sunday? Or just come to a rehearsal and sing with you then and not come on a Sunday."
"Mmm-hmm," she said.
"I was in the choir in eighth grade. I can carry a tune and read music and do simple harmony sometimes. But I'd be lying if I said I had any extensive experience."
"Well, neither do we," she said.
She told me about the choir, and I realized why she had been laughing. On a good day, there are seven members.
"And two of them don't sing," she said.
"You mean they stand there and move their lips?" I asked.
"No. They don't move their lips. They just stand there. Now, I'm being honest with you. They've just been in the choir so long and probably will be until . . . it's over.
"We know nothing about music," Melanie said. "We just sing along until we think we know how it goes."
The choir has two musicians, but one of them's been out because "she's looking for a kidney."
Melanie said she doesn't consider herself to be a choir director.
"I just pray every Sunday, 'Lord, you put me here. Just help me tell them when to sing and when to stop.'"
"I think you're being modest," I said.
"OK. You think that. Come see us. You may not want to direct after you see us."
"Be blessed," she tells me before hanging up.

  • Music Bridge:
    God Has Smiled on Me
    Artist: The Bolton Brothers
    CD: Live in Mobile (Blackberry Records)


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