The Fifty Shades of Mr. Mark Kolt

It’s impossible to live in Flin Flon and not know who Mark Kolt is. Lawyer and administrator for the City, pianist (and more) for the Community Choir, musician extraordinaire for multiple bands and many special occasions. But that’s not all.

Mark is also a composer. Anyone fortunate enough to attend one of the choir’s Christmas concerts will have heard his beautiful piece, ‘Star of Bethlehem.’ But he’s done plenty more than that. When sister Jennifer decided on a Carpenter’s Christmas concert, Mark arranged the parts for soprano, alto, tenor and bass.

Before I get into specifics, let me tell you this. Mark is  a considerate composer. Unlike Beethoven, he understands our limitations, and never wants us to feel bad. No high E for six measures  (I’m guesstimating…it felt like more) for the altos, thank you very much. Which is why I was puzzled after last weekend’s concerts. It finally dawned on the altos that our parts were a little more difficult than usual. I’m pulling my punches, here. Let’s just say there was plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Thank goodness for our new dentist, who is also in the choir, and will be prepared for our damaged molars.)

I’ll try to be delicate, but keep in mind that a certain amount of frankness is necessary, here. We all know that Mark considers the sopranos the heart of our choir. Therefore, in the mansion of his mind, they are the composer’s true muse and worthy of loving affection, hand holding, and complimentary easy parts. (This is what all the altos think, okay?) The same could be said for the tenors. Well done. Good effort. Pip pip.

As for the alto parts? Well. We are the ones chained in the basement, next to the whips. Is it good for you, Mark asks, hefting the cat of nine tails, a gleam in his eye. ( Not having read the books, I have no idea if Christian Gray of the original ‘Fifty Shades’ actually did this, but I’ve heard rumours.) No, not really, we reply, bracing ourselves for the…let’s just call it the chastisement. The basses, the alto males, are also known to have the occasional rough ride. Though most of them are just asking for it.

In summation, I must acknowledge that, yes, Mark, we were bad. And we deserve a little punishment from time to time. But if a sincere apology will lighten our future, then here it is. We did not do your arrangements the justice they deserved. We did not. But. We’d like a little more loving in the next piece, please, and a lot less pain. We, too, want to make you proud. We’d like to be, if not the heart, then maybe the bladder or the colon. Something essential. And it wouldn’t hurt to give us the melody from time to time, either, when you’re scoring your next big thing.

an alto, second row
right side of the dungeon.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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