Brother Termen knew music. He could read music and hear the faintest off key sound. He spent many years as a choir conductor in many churches.
My first encounters with brother Termen were done from the safe distance behind my mother’s skirts- while watching my parents visit with him- as I was too young- maybe five- to have any direct conversations with the man. Besides a ruffled hair greeting and a smile we really didn’t have much in common. I became aware- years later-to the reason my parents switched churches and denominations so quickly. They followed brother Termen- by now a very good friend of theirs- who took a new and better paid position as a choir conductor in a much larger church. And there were the insistent encouragements of sister Muresan, a new friend of my mother’s who was part of the new church- a Pentecostal church. All went well for a few years. I remember seeing my parents leave for choir practices every week, I remember fragments of their conversations, but mostly I remember my mother being happy. Eventually, her regular pregnancies- one a year- tired her body and slowed her down quite a bit, until she rarely left our apartment.
I joined the Pentecostal church soon after I turned 18 years old, old enough now- according to my mother- to make the 45 minute walk to and from church to our apartment. My mother insisted I join the choir and that meant having to addition in front of the existing choir members. It was considered an honor to make it in the choir and everyone knew brother Termen’s high standards. But if you made it, you were in. I would’ve preferred to hide in the back of the church, well out of people’s line of site, alone with my thoughts, but when my mother insisted on something there was no refuzing.
One Thursday evening, after the church sermon was over, my brother Alin and I mustered the courage to go and audition. It wasn’t easy. We were accepted and placed in the proper areas; me at soprano and Alin at alto, somewhere behind me where I could only see him if I turned. And you were allowed only so many turns, otherwise the other boys got ideas. The practices were grueling and very tiresome and brother Termen had fantastic hearing- he was known as one of the best choir conductor in the region, and he was. He would have us repeat one portion of the song over and over until it was perfect, many times with his ear right next to your mouth to make sure you were not the one messing up the masterpiece. I can hear him now;
“No. Again! Stop. Again from the beginning.” Over and over and over again. But once he was pleased and we heard our final draft, the hair on our necks often stood up from the beauty and perfection of the performance. All our efforts paid off and the result was a piece of heaven, a small masterpiece to be proud of.
When he moved back to Moldova- Romanian part of Moldova where he originally was from- due to some family matters, we missed him sorely. He was irreplaceable. That fact was proven right away. I miss him to this day- not his strictness per say, but his love for perfection and a job well done.
Often times, very talented people are hard on you as they are hard on themselves the most, but when you see how far they can take you, you can’t help it but love them. And that’s how I feel about brother Termen.
Fratele Termen stia musica. Om foarte talentat dar si aspru in metodele de practica a unei cintari, Fratele Termen era un unicat ca conductor de cor.
L-am cunoscut de mica- pe la cinci ani- de obicei ascunsa dupa fustele mamei, privindu-l cu ochi mari si curiosi. De obicei imi zimbea inapoi sau imi mingiia capul usor in semn ca ma recunoaste.
Ani mai tirziu am aflat de la parinti motivul mutarii lor de la Biserica Crestina la Biserica Penticostala din Hunedoara- noua pozitie de conductor oferita fratelelui Termen la corul din biserica Penticostala Nr. 1. O decizie grea, dar prietenia lor cu fratele Termen era puternica. La noua biserica, parintii mei si-au facut prieteni noi, dar usor cu anii si numarul regulat de sarcini a mamei mele, i-a slabit si obosit corpul pina a fortat-o sa traiasca mai mult in casa.
Odata ce am implinit 18 ani, mi sa dat permisiunea sa merg si eu, impreuna cu Alin- pe urma Sergiu- la biserica Penticostala care era la 45 de minute mers pe jos distanta de unde locuiam noi. Dar… cu intelegerea ca vom audia pentru a intra in cor. Fratele Termen era stiut ca perfectionist si nu putea nimeni sa pretinda ca are voce buna. Auditia a fost data in fata membrilor de cor si dupa o cantitate mare de rusine, am fost acepta-ti. Repetitiile erau intense si foarte obositoare. De multe ori fratele Termen era cu urechea linga gura unui cintaret, mai ales daca auzea o nota falsa. Ore intregi repetam aceeasi parte de cintare pina la perfectiune, dar cind fratele Termen era satisfacut, eram si noi. Perfectiunea piesei imi facea sa mi se ridice parul pe mine, si satisfactia unei cintari perfomate excellent punea un zimbet pe fetele tuturor.
Dupa ce a plecat in Moldova i-am dus dorul. Perfectiunea din el ne facea pe restul cintaretilor mindrii de a munci din greu dar cu rezultate excelente. Mi-aduc cu drag aminte de acele momente frumoase desi intense cite-odata:)
Va doresc o zi buna la toti:)