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February 23, 2003: Echo

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Richard was still coughing pretty hard this morning so he wasn't in any shape to go to choir practice. And I did consider bailing on both practice and church, since we still had to pack and get birthday and anniversary cards and clean the house before we left today for another week of mollusk training fun. But then I remembered that today was when we were going to sing that one song with the high tenor part, and I had a sneaky feeling that if I didn't show up, the other tenors might track me down and inflict bodily injury on me.

I'm glad I decided to sing (even though I did compromise and sneak out right after the choir was done). This is the first time we've done anything a cappella, and in a way the director tricked the choir into it because he made them think the pianist was going to be playing, but she simply gave us the first notes and then sat back and watched the rest. Those of us with prior musical training didn't have an issue with this, but half the choir doesn't even know how to read music so lack of accompaniment can be a bit scary for them.

It sounded so amazing during practice that I wheedled Richard into coming to church with me long enough to at least hear it. Somehow the director found two men who can sing so low that they can hit even the bottom most notes a composer might require. The combination of bass growling out that low sound, and the baritones on top sounded like a temple bell. Every time we've sung this thing in practice the rest of us in the choir get a little giddy about it. I think we managed to stun most of the congregation. It was one of those anthems that remind me of why I enjoy singing like this so much.

I'm hoping that now that they've seen that they really can do it without the piano backing them up, the rest of the choir will be a bit more emboldened to try more music a cappella. There's another anthem coming up that's in Latin and sounds sort of like something you'd hear monks intoning in some echo-y stone cathedral. It simply cries out to be done with voices alone.

*******

Richard and I did a quick bout of house cleaning this weekend, since the accumulation of dust bunnies lurking in corners and under tables and chairs had begun to reach epic proportions. He dragged the vacuum around the house and managed to wage war on the aforementioned dust bunnies while I attacked kitchen and bathrooms with Simple Green and a scrubby sponge.

Part of the cleaning these days always involves going around the upper floor and gathering up the slowly growing number of stuffed things that Rosemary transports hither and yon. Considering that this collection (which started with those original 8 stuffed dragons last May and now includes a stuffed cat, a 9th dragon, and a small assortment of other fuzzy critters) is now starting to crowd the window sills downstairs, it probably wasn't the smartest thing for us to buy her yet another toy to relocate. But when we were at the drug store yesterday getting Richard's meds, I spotted this rather pathetic little stuffed owl that is just the right size for a little cat to carry around with her. And it was so sad and pathetic looking that we agreed that it had to go home. Richard put it on the windowsill yesterday and less than an hour later I spotted the little owl on the rug in front of the shower upstairs. This morning it amused me a great deal to note that the little owl was one of the first things carried upstairs once again. I figure that at least this way it's broadening her horizons for toy-transport beyond the stuffed dragons and such.

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