Sunday, October 25, 2015


As Sac Choral goes into its twentieth season, I enter my fifth with it, and my first year in this group having a full-time job again. The adjustment has been tough--instead of having some nice at-home time before I leave, I stay at school, go to the gym, and find something to eat for dinner (usually Starbucks or Jamba Juice). It makes for a long day.

A very long day.

When you factor in the weird sciatic thing I sometimes deal with and long periods of standing, by 9:00, I'm staring at the clock, willing it to speed its way to 9:30 so I can drive home (45 minutes) and get to bed by 11:00, hopefully.

The last couple of months, I've almost started resenting this long day, wondering if it's worth it to be so tired on Tuesday, to spend so much time away from home on Monday that Mom and I joke on Sunday nights, "See ya Tuesday!"

Lately, it hasn't really felt like it is, and I've contemplated leaving the group.

Last night was our first concert of the season. A year ago, I missed this fall concert, due to pink eye and a small panic attack on Friday, but this year, I was able to go. I had a rough day on Friday, and found myself on Saturday morning, sighing as I trudged up onto the stage at the church where we would be singing. "Why do I have to be here for two-and-a-half hours? I have laundry to finish. I need to go by the grocery store. Food prep. Chores. And then I have to come back tonight."

I decided an attitude adjustment was in order. No one is forcing me to sing with Sac Choral--this is something I choose to do, and that means I choose to go to the less-convenient rehearsal times. I choose to attend something that is 45 minutes by car from where I live. I have no cause to complain, because no one is forcing me to be part of it.

So, why don't I quit?

Believe me, sometimes it's tempting to think about having my Monday evenings back, but last night, as I sang through John Rutter's timeless and beautiful Requiem under Don's baton, I had one of those musical epiphanies I have every once in a while. What a privilege it is, I thought, to have the ability to sing. To have the opportunity to be in a group such as this, and to sing great choral literature with a director who demands great accuracy and beauty, but never beats it out of us. 

Everyone can sing. Yes, everyone. But not everyone can sing at the level required to sing in Sac Choral, where reading skills and ear training are probably even more important than how "nice" your voice is. And even as I shifted uncomfortably in my "witch dress," (as Dad likes to refer to it), and even as my lower back started to protest at all this standing about, last night, at one particularly gooey and pleasing soprano line, as Don gazed over at us with a look of utmost fondness on his face, I thought to myself, "I don't want to quit this."

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