Monday, February 12, 2007

This past weekend

What a great, long weekend! This weekend was of normal length, 2 days, but it lasted forever.

Starting Friday, I worked at my credit union job until 6:30 PM, then hustled (that is, danced) to a choir "dress" rehearsal. I had forgotten my music and stick, so I stopped at home first. Meanwhile, the Administrator of my degree program was frantically calling me to give me directions to pick someone up... more on that later.

So, I'm at this dress rehearsal, singing and soon will conduct, and it's not going well. Oy! It's my chance to conduct. Here's the background: I haven't conducted in front of instruments (other than keyboard) since 1999, I just learned what a baton was this fall, and it's the first and only rehearsal with the instruments before we perform. Everything is different with instruments than it is with piano filling in for the instruments. There are weird leaps that are easy on a piano, but awkward on a violin, etc. I, as the conductor, should have known that. I, as me, did not.

My section of the rehearsal went OK. The men sounded good and the instrumentalists were great, but I was off. Afterward, I go into the bathroom and there's a guy in there who just finished his business transaction who started to tell me how to do my job. Now this guy is not one of the better musicians in the group, so I'm guessing he has not had any formal training, nor much informal training. I think he just mustered the courage within the last couple of years to join a choir.

Grr. Why do people have to get in other people's way? Aren't we supposed to help other people? I know that his comments don't sound like much, but it came after 5 weeks of listening to him do this at every rehearsal to me and the regular conductor.

That vent was longer than it needed to be, sorry. The concerts went well, though. I'll only talk about things that I had any control over... My men's piece: Saturday, the 3:30 concert went better than it had ever gone. The 7:30 concert went even better. So, for Sunday, I had to pep talk them into it. I needed more bass to give it a fuller sound, so I "taught" them my cue for that: arm parallel to the floor, pointed at them, hand clenched in a fist. As I was teaching them this, I was thinking that I needed something funny to say. So I told them that it means "strong like bull." (Thank you Jason and Mike!). They laughed so hard, so I kept saying it in context about other things. Soon it was their mantra, since I finished just before we went on stage.

They rocked.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Obviously, you want your bass to be strong like bull. Heh. that's hysterical.

Is there a worse place for bad advice than in the men's room? I won't even talk to people there.