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May 15, 2005: Singing

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It was kind of a crazy day today. It started far too early in the morning, since our recorder group meets at 8:30, and then the instrumental ensemble had to rehearse – a much smaller group than we usually have, but all the parts were represented and so somehow it managed to work. At the very end of the rehearsal one of the clarinetists’ instrument literally started to fall apart in front of him. Poor kid – it looked like he’d managed to lose a screw at some point, and the entire section of keys eventually worked its way loose and fell right off. No one had any extra screws, nor could we find the missing one, so he wasn’t able to play after all, which made our little ensemble that much smaller.

We all had to be back at the church by 4 to get ready for the concert. Usually this is when things get really tense and we have to do a million and one things and by the time the concert is actually to take place we are all already too tired and cranky to care. This time, however, it was nice and relaxed. We ran through a few trouble spots, reviewed the entrances and exits, and then had actual time to relax.

Richard’s mom and little sister came up to hear us sing, so we ate dinner with them and my parents (both of whom became instrumentalists for the concert at the very last moment) and even had time to just catch up and chat. Then it was time to head upstairs, change into our concert attire, gather together for a few final moments, and then go downstairs and sing.

It felt…well…wonderful. I think this is the best concert we’ve ever done. The songs transitioned smoothly; we all (mostly) remembered when we were supposed to move and where we were supposed to go. And best of all, the audience really seemed to like it – even the really bizarre song we did that sounded kind of like some strange aboriginal instrument and is the type of music that would usually make me want to gouge out my own eardrums if I was forced to endure it very long. The choir director had a few guest instrumentalists, including a cellist and a professional oboe player who sounded so lovely I wanted to just close my eyes and forget about singing so I could just listen to her play.

So it is finally over and we are exhausted and completely drained, but still too wired from the experience to want to go to sleep. Most years I have dreaded the concert because of all the stress and tension, but this year I actually looked forward to it. I think all of us did. And I think it made all the difference.

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