In Connecticut: Blending Voices

At 8 o'clock on a Thursday evening, the members of the choir are seated in folding chairs in their rehearsal room at Christ and Holy Trinity Church, Westport, Conn. Bruce Barber, choir director, stoops at the piano with one foot on the sustain pedal and his eyes on his singers. He is leading them through a 300-year-old hymn, and he is not happy.

"Remember," he pleads. "It's 'I heard a voice from heaven.' It's not coming over the telephone. It's got to be very intense, very mysterious."

They take it again, more intensely. "No glottal stop on the 'I,' please," Barber...

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