pews2 wrote:"a misguided conviction that the individual in question has a musical leadershp role that can be exercised from within the assembly. I know - I've stood next to someone like this more than once."
I am picturing somebody who actually bursts forth into a solo uninvited, from the pews during Mass. If that happened, what did you do, elbow them each time it happened?
Not a solo, exactly. But you occasionally find someone blasting away at a hymn as if they alone were responsible for the sound of the whole assembly. I don't think that's always productive - I've found that can simply discourage others by being destructive of a general sense of communal activity. And at worst the singer might have no idea that the sound they're making isn't all that, well, nice. I'm not by any means knocking the idea of that person joining in the singing - indeed an enthusiastic but not particularly polished singer can make a really good member of the parish choir, let alone a valued member of the singing assembly. But it can be better to lead by (quiet!) example than to lead by just leading, and I wonder sometimes at people who seem to withhold their services from the parish musical ministry and yet throw themselves into the role of self-appointed leader of the singing, with little awareness of whether their contribution is really helping.
I won't go on about it! To say any more about the one or two people I have in mind (who seem to be doing what I've described in our parish at the moment) would mean talking, and perhaps speculating unfairly, about individuals who aren't here to explain what hurts or good intentions led them to where they are now. People are a mystery!