Saturday, February 02, 2013


Lately, the only time I've had to sit and think has been either one of two places: during the readings at my church job each Sunday, or while I'm on the bus to New York, like right now.

While getting up at the crack of dawn to get on a bus can be less than glamorous, I love it too, because it means I am carrying out what I want for myself, and if this is the most adversity I'll face to live my dream, then, hey. I can handle it.  Since what keeps me going with this whole singing thing could really boil down to this: the pursuit of the moment that the music and who you are, your soul, really, collides so suddenly and perfectly that it becomes almost a living thing, a feeling that you never forget, ever. 

Those moments have happened at both very unexpected times, and times you would expect them to happen.  

It is disappointing to say that they rarely happen at a church job, but in fact it is true.  Mostly because of the lack of money to go around, church choirs are under-rehearsed, and we are always working hard during services to get the notes and rhythms right.  But I was very lucky in to be in a choir right after grad school at a church with a choirmaster who was just the right kind of church musician-- expects a lot from the singers, but picks fabulous, rewarding rep.  There was one Sunday with him that one of those moments happened. Tears actually come to my eyes when I think about it, and the crazy thing is that I think I'm the only one who felt it.  It was a very simple anthem with the most poignant text by Christina Rossetti, called Consider by a living composer named Roland E. Martin.  
I've tried to find a recording of it, but I don't think there is one.  It's okay though, I'm keeping it inside my head forever. 

I think my first solo Bach experience was another one.  Bach may actually be the first guy I ever fell in love with, and breaking through the belief that I couldn't sing it was powerful.  I'll never forget how amazing it was to sit there with the orchestra and chorus kind of just surrounding me with musical love in the form of a big chorale, as I got ready to sing my aria.  

One was in a coaching.  Once in a while you get to sing an aria with a pianist who plays the music and not the notes.  And when that happens at the same time that you may in fact be having a huge vocal breakthrough, it's all you can do not to just cry.  The last note happens, you look over at him and you both have tears in your eyes.  What just happened, I asked myself as I walked outside afterward, in a daze.  I know, I just remembered why I love doing this again. 

There are more and I hope you wont mind if I write them here, because maybe when an aspect of the process starts to feel like a drag, you can try to recall your own moments.  It really helps.

And what is so cool about life is that I know many more will happen. I wonder when the next one will be?

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