No Legs Were Broken in the Making of This Concert

…although it was touch-and-go for a moment at the rehearsal on Sunday, when one of the First Sopranos missed her footing. E.g. sez that the role of a final rehearsal is to make all of the mistakes and get ’em over with instead of saving ’em for the concert.

I don’t know about you, but singing tends to take me over, to suck me through a vortex of reality dimensions until I can almost reach out and pluck those lost dryer socks from the air (which one of you is missing a blue argyle?).

I was afraid that I wouldn’t get to that point tonight. I was feeling out of sorts, and huddled in a chair with a blankie, books, and herbal tea for most of today while the rain soaked the garden and the dump trucks and back hoes rumbled through their work on the City’s water main. On Sunday, my recitation of “Abou Ben Adhem” had been stiff and inaccurate. What if I blew it tonight? What if I froze?

Then I remembered what had happened at the rehearsal when I did freeze, on no less than the very first line: One of the Basses, an octogenarian, started reciting:

Abou Ben Adhem (May his tribe increase!)

It would be all right; I would candidly ask him for the next line if I got stuck anywhere.

Tonight, the choir arrived an hour ahead of time. We practised around the grand piano, and then retreated to a small room with an upright. By that point, I felt warmed-up enough that I kept quiet and listened to the others. And, you know? They were good. They were getting the right notes, they were in time, they were blending. We were ready. My anxieties melted.

On with the show, then. My voice soared, my toes tapped, my face beamed. “Abou Ben Adhem” went without a hitch. The others succeeded at their solos, readings, and trios — all except the octogenarian Bass, who graciously bowed out from his solo when he found his voice wasn’t cooperating.

After the concert, the choir again retreated to a small room, this time to place all our sheet music in appropriate piles for the librarian to file away. I turned to my Bass friend.

“Thank you for your help tonight.”

“Eh? What help was that?”

“I knew that if I got stuck reciting ‘Abou Ben Adhem’, I would be able to look to you for help, so I didn’t get nervous.”

“Well you know, I could probably recite only the first two lines of it myself.”

But…whatever works, right?

(PS Guess who made the poster?)

7 Responses to No Legs Were Broken in the Making of This Concert

  1. Alyson says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s my unacknowledged motto in life “Whatever works!” it’s a good’un!

  2. eyegillian says:

    Woah, you almost lost me at “suck me through a vortex of reality dimensions”. I can just see you, sucked through the straw of life (is that the last straw, or merely one in a series) and coming out the other side, singing. You and the dolphins, I guess (“so long and thanks for all the fish”), plus a chorus of worms and spring peepers. Celestial music indeed! Oh, and did you know you glow when you sing. Really.

  3. Tony says:

    Woah, you better stay away from the Sopranos, you could end up at the bottom of the bay wearing concrete shoes

  4. lavenderbay says:

    I usually use that philosophy after the fact, with some relief. Before the fact, Procrustes and his obsessive-compulsive hotel management have nothing on me.

    Sucked through a straw, Eyegillian, I would probably at least come out the other side taller and skinnier. Whatever works! 😀

    Attending that choir is a family affair, Tony. I tried to back out, but E.g. and her parents made me an offer I couldn’t refuse… Besides, I am a Soprano. Me and the others, we’re like this.

  5. Good show, and I like the poster. Stage fright would always overwhelm me. Do you do the Cremation of Sam McGee? Charge of the Light Brigade? The Highwayman? The Listener?

  6. Public performance, yikes! I have enough trouble when they try to get us to do a little something at studio events, let along do something for the public!

  7. lavenderbay says:

    Thanks, Barefootheart! I “traced” the pencil drawing into Photoshop; E.g. was able to use the line drawing on the front of the program, and even pasted the nestlings into the inside.
    I discoverd “The Highwayman” as a teen and lo-oved it, so could probably learn it pretty quickly. I can recite “To a Mouse” (Burns), “To a Skylark” (Wordsworth), and “To Autumn” (Keats) off the cuff. Guess I’m a Romantic at heart? 🙂

    I’ll freeze if I’m “off my feed”, James, but generally I enjoy performing in public. For one thing, the audience is much better behaved than that in a classroom! On the other hand, if it’s to be a non-rehearsed Q&A, you’ll find me in the attic closet with a book and a flashlight, thank you.

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