Chorale members woke up bright and early this morning to prepare for our first performance at College Drive Presbyterian Church. Our first breakfast with our Opera was fun. Many Opera received their first daily challenge. Towards the beginning of the week, these usually include something along the lines of getting to know someone new. After a wonderful meal provided by the AMAZING kitchen staff, we trekked over the hills for a brief rehearsal before walking over to the church.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by the many smiling faces of the congregation. The Chorale sang “This Is My Father’s World” and “Song of Farewell” for the church service. Afterwards, the church provided a wonderful reception for us full of cookies, pepperoni bread, and lemonade that left us with a huge smile as we left. We then walked back to the rehearsal room and learned some new techniques for taking care of our voices. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine, and not yelling or whispering were high on the list for self care.
From there we sprinted to staff members’ cars and they drove us through a downpour to lunch. After enjoying some good conversations and finishing off some delicious chicken wings and mashed potatoes, we walked over the hills once again to attend our first seminar of the week. A variety of classes were offered, including Musicianship, Elementary Education, Finding Your Voice, Conducting, Website Design, and an Enneagram class. Chorale members learned a lot in the hour we spent in those classes, and we’re excited to learn more throughout the week.
From there we went to rehearsal where we worked particularly hard on “Cry Out and Shout” with Dr. Zeb Highben. We were all pleased with the results when Dr. Highben left. From there we enjoyed dinner with some new friends, and the 22nd edition of the Chorale made our way back to the staff’s cars to escape the next downpour that hit us on the way to rehearsal for the tour reprise concert. New members to the 23rd edition got a ride back to the rehearsal hall where they practiced some of the music that is new to them.
The 22nd edition of the Chorale enjoyed our last Chorale Circle together by honoring the members who won’t be with us this year. The emotion from the Circle carried over into the concert and it was wonderful. We enjoyed seeing some of the enthusiastic responses we got from the new Chorale sitting in the audience. New members were also invited to sing “This Is My Father’s World” with us, which no doubt seemed intimidating to them. They sang it well though, and the song sounded beautiful.
One more bittersweet Chorale Circle with both the old and new members brought quite a few tears. The words of wisdom left by the aging out members were much appreciated, and the things the new members had to say left us with a lot of hope for the week to come. While we’re sad to see some of our family leave, we are definitely excited to welcome the new members in with open arms.
“Hope is the magic carpet that transports us from the present into the realm of infinite possibilities.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.