Our church has an abundance of accompanists. I've shared accompanist duties for the Chancel Choir with another woman for several years. She (let's call her Margaret) has a beautiful touch on the piano and can play by ear as well as read music. She's a long-time member of the church and is going through a lot right now since her husband is ill with a chronic, debilitating condition. She als0 accompanies a couple of the choirs at the high school and, during the winter, coaches a few students as they prepare for vocal contest.
Here's the problem: Margaret can't count. She teaches her wrong way of counting to her students and to the vocal students she coaches. In addition, she is very vocal when she doesn't get something she wants. When I started accompanying the choir at church, she resented every time I "took her place" and let everyone know about it. It's been several years and this is still going on. Frankly, it's wearing very thin on everyone. And lately, quite frankly, I'm feeling a bit like I'm being used!
Lately, our choir director has begun combining piano and organ to try to cover up the incorrect rhythms Margaret plays. And the organ is played by (you guessed it) me.
Frankly, I'm gettin' really tired of this. I'm not a complainer, and I know the director does not want to hurt feelings. M. has given many, many years to the choir.
So, here's the thing (this is to my children and my husband): when I'm old(er) and can't keep up on the piano anymore, PLEASE tell me and suggest (tactfully) that it might be time to retire from my accompanying duties. I do not want to end up like Margaret. And I certainly don't want anyone else to feel "used" the way I am feeling right now!
OK, I'm done whining!