Monday, March 14, 2011

home sweet home

For the past 17 days, I have either been gone on choir tour or at a choral conference. 2.5 of those days were spent at home doing laundry and packing and squeezing in meal preparation and cleaning and classes and papers and - zoom - off to a conference.

I managed to not get sick on choir tour, which was a relative miracle. Most of the choir members did get sick, which is unusual. We had fevers, coughs, head colds, runny noses, and sore throats. I was pretty fatigued at the end of tour, and didn't have time to catch up on sleep.

I rushed off to the conference early in the morning, starting off a half hour late because of a certain travel companion whom we shall call A. During the conference itself, I was extremely emotional, stressed, and frustrated with A, who is both insecure and overconfident.

Side note: self-deprecating comments annoy me, especially when they're not true or unfounded. It also annoys me when someone spends an entire 12-hour car ride talking about how he's so great at choral music when he spent most of his undergraduate work studying and performing on an unrelated instrument, and has yet to be accepted to the choral conducting master's program at any school. It also bothers me that when A was driving, he would often take both hands off the wheel to "conduct" a portion of a currently playing piece. Um, the ensemble can't see you. And if you haven't studied the score, it's really not worth trying to conduct what you've heard as it's happening. Two, you're on a busy interstate. Three, the brakes on your car are grinding. DON'T take your hands off the wheel. Pay attention. Stop bragging. And by all means, do not turn on Eminem and then try to call it something that pleases God. And don't tell me about your previous girlfriends, what you've done, and how you want to start this new relationship with some girl from choir. I don't care.

So I was stressed, emotional, angry, tired, and carrying germs from choir tour. And visiting a city with which I am relatively unfamiliar. And also the only person in the group who had been to any professional conference before.

It was a recipe for disaster and disappointment in many ways.

However, I truly enjoyed seeing Helmuth Rilling conduct Mendelssohn's Elijah, an oratorio in German. It was excellent - beautifully sung, played, and portrayed. I loved it. We also attended a gorgeous, worshipful church service planned by Anton Armstrong, director of the St. Olaf choir. We heard many wonderful choral ensembles from across the country and experienced many different styles of choirs, music, and stage interpretations. I learned how important it is to me to appear professional onstage, to practice bowing, and to have a good suit so that my behind looks as nice as my smile side. I learned what choral sounds I like, what choreography works, and how formations change the sound of an ensemble. I went to music reading sessions that broadened my knowledge of repertoire, and picked up free perusal copies at the exhibits. Ooo! And free chocolate at the exhibits. They know how to get you...

All this to say: I'm so glad I'm back home. I'm so tired, my throat is sore, and I came home early from school today so that I could nap and do homework. I feel stressed because I'm behind in school work and I can't afford to be sick. My husband has been taking care of me, and I'm so thankful for him. I love being together with him, and missed him so much these past 17 days. Thanks to God for the blessing He's given me in my husband!

1 comment:

Andy and Kristen said...

Oh MAN, what an experience. So glad you're home safe. You were most certainly missed! :)