Sunday, June 26, 2011


It was the finale. The last concert of the International Choral Festival.

I wasn't directly involved except to sing.

And I didn't go to any of the competitions.

But I did want to hear the choirs. So when we got permission to sit in the audience I went and bought a ticket. Row H, Seat 9.

It had been an interesting day already.

We had to be on stage for rehearsal at 4:15. It is tough getting 7 full choirs on risers and singing together especially when some of them don't speak the local language. And some don't know the music that is to be sung.

But we are told to stand in sections (Bass, Tenor, Alto, Soprano) and not stand next to our own choir members. This made things a little tough for Rebecca and I as we were the only Tenorettes and we kept being pushed into the alto section. It just looked weird to people to have to women in a sea of men.

We are use to it.

But after rehearsal there is a dinner break. And about 8 of us end up at the same place. Nothing like a good gyro before you sing. No cheese, no cream sauce, just good food and enough to keep you going.
Talk about a lot of fun. I haven't had so much fun razing people in a long time.

But back we go to the Performing Arts Center to change into our uniforms and get ready. All this time I am being told about this incredible song that the Riverside City College group did earlier in competition. People were telling me that it brought them to tears.

So now I am hoping that Riverside wins something and that they will sing that song. Cuz when a choir wins first through third they get to perform a song.

Well, Riverside won. It won a lot.

They sang three songs. One was very good. One was the one just mentioned and was outstanding. And one was O Magnum Mysterium . I had heard the song before. It is powerful. I had heard the LA Master Choral version. (that is the link, above). I heard VAE perform the song and was moved to tears.

But I had never heard it done as well as it was done tonight.

Their intonation was perfect, their blend was perfect, their vocal control and volume control was exquisite. 

 But that was not what made it so very, very special to me.

I was mesmerized by these young people, ages maybe 18-20, their faces full of awe and joy, their bodies almost straining to stay on the ground as they sang. Their total involvement in an incredibly intricate piece of music made them PART of the music. It made ME part of the music.

I was on my feet before my hands reached each other to clap. It took my breath away.

When I finally stood on stage to sing with them and the other choirs, I felt so very, very humbled.

I hope I sing every song as if I must be tied to the earth or the music will carry me away.

That was the finale lesson.

P.S. after I posted this I found the group singing at the 2011 National Directors Convention. Here is the link:  I think you will see what I saw.

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