The ladies of Cantores Celestes (my wonderful choir) are under a lot of pressure. You see, normally, a choir has concerts that are nice and spread out throughout the season so that the music can be dutifully prepared (and in our case memorized) to give the audience an extra special concert.
But when opportunity knocks, one must answer the door. And so we find ourselves with two concerts in one week, and almost entirely different repertoire for each concert. Of course, at the beginning (January) we looked at that schedule and thought “No problem. We have plenty of time to get things ready.” And at that point we had more optimism than we knew what to do with. But as the weeks went by and some people left the choir and some pieces turned out to be much more difficult than a quick sight-sing of the score initially indicated, and our pitch started to waver, things began to look quite grim.
And then there was last night.
I knew that most of us were working hard. Going over music, working on the parts we didn’t know or were struggling with (and for some of us new members, this was two programs of entirely brand new music!) showing up to rehearsals early, discussing the tricky bits with other members of our section. We were all doing our best and up until last night, we were starting to wonder if our best wasn’t good enough.
Earlier this week, our director sent us all an email explaining how important this concert was for us, that it was being filmed and that we may be reviewed (YIKES!). But she ended the email saying that she knew we would meet the expectations and in fact leap over them. And for some reason that resonated with me. I like the idea that hard work can pay off…
Apparently other people do, too.
Last night was our dress rehearsal for this weekend’s performance at Sing! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival happening this coming weekend at the Harbourfront Centre (our performance is at 1 pm and there are still tickets available!). After a lengthy practice for our concert with chamber orchestra on April 21, we had to buckle down and rehearse our rep for April 14.
And simply put, it was gorgeous. There was something about practicing late at night, in a beautiful old church. It was quiet and empty. We just filled up that space with our singing. And our sound, despite flagging energy and tired voices, was spectacular. It just clicked. Our final number has these words “I was singing with my sisters. I was singing with my friends. And we all can sing together ’cause the circle never ends.” And that’s exactly how it felt.
Please join us if you can on April 14 at 1 pm. You won’t be disappointed. We’ll be singing our hearts out:) We always do.