Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Singin' for Smitty

Smitty, my brother Dan's friend, came to San Luis Obispo today. He wanted to share his stories of Dan with me.

I wrote about that in my other blog.

I invited him to a Vocal Arts Ensemble rehearsal. We have a performance on Friday as part of the California International Choral Festival (CICF) that Vocal Arts sponsors.

I had told Smitty how much Dan enjoyed our group and how he would come to our rehearsals when he was in town.

Smitty was thrilled that I asked him to come.

So at the appointed hour he and Janine (this time I got her name right) showed.

We went through our warm-ups (boring) and then we rehearsed with the children's choir that will be part of our Friday performance. That was ok. We sound good and it was fun to watch Smitty's face.

Then we launched into our version of "Amazing Grace". I won't give it away here but Smitty started to cry. It was a wonderfully cathartic moment for him and for me. I can't begin to describe how it felt to sing that music for him.

They stayed all the way to the end of the rehearsal. When Gary said we wouldn't be running through the songs that we would be singing with the competing choirs I was a bit dismayed. There was one that I wanted Smitty to hear.

So, being as shy as I am, I piped up and asked Gary and the choir if we could sing Eric Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque".  Here is the link for the virtual choir directed by Eric Whitacre singing Lux-- http://youtu.be/D7o7BrlbaDs

Gary and the choir said sure. Then Gary said, "Turn off the lights".

If you have never listened to an intricate piece of choral music in the dark, with your eyes closed and only your ears to hear and feel, you must do so. It is an incredible experience.

Didn't think you could make a grown man cry twice in one night just to the sound and feel of beautiful music. But we did.

He promises to come back for our Christmas program.

What a gift Smitty has given me. Thank you, Smitty.

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