I was part of a concert last week. I've not been able to say that for some years now. It was fun, too. I wasn't a soloist, or even in a small group, but I guess I did my share by playing my hand bells and then singing.
We started working toward this concert late this summer, actually, when our choir director asked choir members to choose an available date to have the concert. "You'd better be on your death bed if you aren't there that day," our director told us more than once this fall as she impressed on us how important it was that each of us was in our place on the chosen concert day.
We practiced and practiced for this concert, much more diligently than I believe I ever have before when I was in school singing in choruses and playing in bands. Just like many other aspects of life, it's different being in a choir and preparing for a concert as an adult, as we'd done at weekly rehearsals most of this fall. Everybody wanted this to be our best effort, of course, so we had to be ready. For adults, that can mean being almost overprepared, I decided.
"OK, let's play that one more time," were words I grew to dread from our director during rehearsals, second only to a "Can we do it again from measure 55?" from someone else playing or singing in the choir. And just why was it that somehow we were always practicing the hardest piece at the very end of our evening rehearsal?
I don't remember it was like that when I sang in chorus and played in band when I was in school. Now that I consider, there probably was stress and anxiety for our directors that just didn't register for me. I do recall that before most every high school marching band performance, Max always admonished us, "Go home, and after you do your chores, clean the manure off your shoes before you come back tonight for the football game." We were expected to remember all the pieces to our uniforms, too, and that included spats and gloves that had better be clean.
When my children got to the concert age, concert night at our house brought with it a bit of a heightened atmosphere, as I recall. Before they were old enough for choir robes and band uniforms, we made sure the proper clothes were ready to go. We had supper early, always the same menu, I was reminded recently. I liked school concerts, an attitude I'm pretty sure wasn't the norm, especially among husbands.
Now I have to say that I'm just glad our concert is over. But I'm glad I participated, too.