Sunday, December 17, 2017

Choir concert

We had our main choir concert yesterday in an atmospheric old church on 57th Street. The acoustics were good and the audience of family and friends was enthusiastic. I don't have any good recordings unfortunately, but there is this snap that my friend Leslie took. We have one more concert to go on Monday evening, and then we're done for the season. I was reflecting the other day that choir is the least anxiety producing activity in my life. I do not get nervous before concerts, I do not worry about impressing anyone in the group, I enjoy every single person there and am entertained by their quirks, and no matter how sharp tongued our choir director gets when her stress level ramps up as the concerts approach, I take none of it personally. It's a fascinating lab for how it's possible to feel when I lay off the catastrophic thinking and overdeveloped sense of personal accountability for literally every eventuality and am able to keep a good perspective. I'm remembering some of the sweetness from yesterday's rehearsal before the concert: A French woman who joined this term came over to me and said in her musically accented voice, "Every time you smile at me I want to hug you." And we laughed and then hugged. For me, choir is purely for enjoyment, community and a change of pace from the usual. I love this low stakes life.


12 comments:

  1. " It's a fascinating lab for how it's possible to feel when I lay off the catastrophic thinking and overdeveloped sense of personal accountability for literally every eventuality and am able to keep a good perspective. "
    Do you mind if I tattoo this on my forehead?

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    1. Anon, not at all! We are clearly kindred spirits, but what's your name?

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    2. I too need this as a tattoo, unfortunately...It would be lovely to hear you sing.

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    3. e, i have a very mediocre voice, but i can carry a tune, and i know to go silent on the notes that are in my squeak range, LOL.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your joy in connection with singing in a choir. Your photo of the choir singing moved me to good tears. When I hear people singing during December, I often weep. The first time I remember that happening was in the mid-1970s. The tears used to upset me. Now I welcome my tears that are a part of December along with the joy I can now feel as the tears fall. As a child, I was clearly told in school that I had no gift for singing or playing a musical instrument. As an adult, I am gaining more courage to sing and play instruments anyway! Sending love to you and your family!

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    1. am, i deliberately searched for a choir with a very low bar as far as auditions, because i do not have one of those extraordinary voices, and i believe not all my vocal chords are as flexible as they once were. but i can stay on pitch, and i don't sing very loudly and so it works fine. Perhaps there is a choir near by you that doesn't require auditions? The weaving of voices around you really uplifts the spirit. I think you would love that. Your tears brought me to tears. They sprang from such a deep place of mingled hurt, resilience and love. Hugs, friend.

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  3. Isn't that remarkable and wonderful that you can let go of the usual brain buzz when you're involved in choir? Maybe it's because it's such a group effort? Your part is important but you are not in charge?
    Who knows?
    But I tell you this- I have known you long enough now to wonder when we were going to get a choir report!
    I'm so glad you have this.

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    1. Darling Mary, the choir report! That should have been the title of the post! I think the group effort is part of it; its not all on me as you so insightfully observe. I think the other part is, even if disaster were to strike (and what would disaster in this context be, really?) it would not be fatal, figuratively speaking. I have come to believe we all need some low stakes activities in our lives.

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  4. How lovely to have that comfortable, comforting activity to take part in!

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  5. Yes--choir has always been my place of peace.

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  6. I love this! A choir is on my list of things to do/join when I get out of work. I was a choir child and a choir student and I shall be a choir pensioner. So there.

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