A story and a good cause | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, April 06, 2009

A story and a good cause

I don't know how many of you actually follow (or care about) such things as who got the associate conductor position with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but I do. And I was extremely excited to see that the job had been given to Ryan Murphy, a friend of mine from college.

After I got over the fact that yes, I am that old, I was really happy. Not just for Ryan, but for the choir. He is amazing and I know the choir will love him.

Anyway, in honor of his new appointment, I thought I'd share an old college story that involves both him and Dr. Mack Wilberg. It's probably one of my favorite Concert Choir stories ever, and those of you who were there probably already know exactly which story I'm about to tell. But most of you were definitely not there, and it's worth hearing (or reading, as the case may be).

So, anyway, Ryan was one of the accompanists in Concert Choir, and a superb one, at that. One day, while we were singing along and he was playing along, he must not have been watching Dr. Wilberg as closely as he should have, because he missed a major cue to slow down.

Dr. Wilberg stopped, looked at Ryan and said, "More on ritard!"

And the entire choir erupted in laughter, except for Dr. Wilberg, who said, "What? Did I say something wrong?"

At which Ryan calmly answered, "You just called me a moron and a retard."

Oh.

I don't really think that joke ever died. Not as long as Ryan was in the choir, anyway. In fact, under Ryan's picture in the next year's choir directory, it said "I enjoy being called moron and retard."

Now, lest you think that I somehow approve of the usage of either of these words, I will say that I definitely don't. It was only funny because it was completely unintentional. I always warn Joel to be careful what he says to his orchestra when he wants them to slow down more, as "more on ritard" is perhaps not the best choice of words.

You may have heard of the campaign the Special Olympics is running called "Spread the word to end the word." I think it's wonderful.

So I'm spreading the word.

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30 comments :

  1. That was one of the funniest things ever. Especially since Dr. W didn't realize why we were all laughing for a good 10 seconds. It seems that Ryan didn't hold it against him, though!!!

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  2. I LOOOVE that story. Hilarious.

    Now I'm off to check out Spread the word...
    thank you for spreading the word :)

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  3. Accidental oopses are the best kind!

    My old choir teacher is (was? I haven't kept up) the assistant director for the Mormon Youth. When they used to sing in conference, I'd get to see him sitting to the right of the podium. Fun stuff.

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  4. Great story!!! That is funny.

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  5. Funny story!

    As someone who works in special ed I appreciate your campaign! Thanks!

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  6. Great story. Even better that you are spreading the word!

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  7. Hilarious!

    The Tailor gets giggles all the time from his geology students—a subject they cover frequently (as it's a pretty core topic in geology) is rock cleavage. You should hear the sniggers every time that word comes up!

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  8. That is hilarious. Dr. Wilberg is a real jerk. :)

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  9. Funny, funny story! I love to hear your stories!

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  10. Hee hee. That is just hilarious. It is funny how things can sound.

    Great job Lara. Your heart is big.

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  11. Your super funny story could have gone to a place where it might have been offensive, but you pulled it out of that muck to give it a positive spin and message! What a talent! Loved it...
    :~D

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  12. Very funny!

    And thanks for spreading the word. Now I just need to figure out what it is. I'm off!

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  13. He is also a Moron Mormon Retard.
    You know, just for fun. :)
    And I don't know the last time I actually thought of someone who had a disability as a retard -- now, high school students. Yes, I have thought that -- but I am trying to remove the word entirely from my vocabulary -- I know it slips out every now and then.

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  14. That is a funny story! And I agree, those words aren't the best ones to use, but those kinds of words are always funny when they're said unintentionally!

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  15. Love it!

    Now I will remember this story every time I see the MoTab.

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  16. Oh yeah, I bet that took a while to live down. Funny story.

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  17. What a funny story! And thanks for spreading the word too.

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  18. LOL, you have funny friends!

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  19. Reminds me of the three consecutive concert seasons where I insisted that my choir girls have "nude hose" on stage, not remembering that "hose" can also sound a lot like a synonym for "women of negotiable virtue".

    Yikes!

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  20. It is strange watching someone new lead the choir, but cool that you know him.

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  21. Very funny, Lara!

    BTW...my son's high school choir just won sweepstakes at their concert and sightreading contest. Woo hoo! The tenor/bass choir also did very well with mostly ones!

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  22. I was so excited to see that Ryan Murphy was named assistant director! I can't think of someone better qualified to do the job.

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  23. Thanks for the laugh! This must have been before I got into Concert Choir, since I have no memory of it, but I have a few good ones of my own, both from BYU and MTC...

    And, I'm so excited for Ryan - I just wish I could be there singing. It struck me again during General Conference how much I miss singing in the choir.

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  24. Funny you should bring up the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As I was watching conference and listening to them sing my thoughts turned to you and your beautiful voice. And I wondered how long it will be before you decide to try to join the choir. Have you given it any thought?

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  25. Too funny. Don't tell the peas that one! They get really weirded out over the "R" word. lol I also especially like the comment in the yearbook.

    Chris had a professor from the Middle East (this was one of those genuis higher level math classes) who kept saying "Al Gore" "Al Gore" in his lessons. For the first few classes, no one could get what he was talking about and why he kept mentioning the VP. Turns out, the guy meant "ALGORITHM".

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  26. OK, a few more coincidences. Ryan and I were friends at BYU, too. We started our freshman year together studying with Dr. Shumway, and then had a few more years together in the music school after his mission. I was so excited to see the news about the Tab. I also have a third grader who has a love/hate relationship with the violin and a big fat sassy mouth and one of my daughters is named Sophia. Fun...

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