Thursday, December 16, 2010

St Andrews Chorus Christmas Concert

Like I've said before, I'm a member of the community chorus here in St Andrews and we had our Christmas concert a week ago. It has been far too long since I've sung choral music, but the body and the soul remember just as soon as you warm them up. Putting on all black, making sure that shoes are comfortable for standing, making sure that you as a member of the chorus aren't in anything that will stand out too much, and singing. As soon as I pick up and open a black folder, I'm instantly transported back to Mr Thomas, my high school choir director, and no matter how long I'm out of high school, the first thing I think of when I stand on a stage is 'Remember, no selfish gestures'. Aka, if you draw attention to yourself by fidgeting or playing with your hair or staring off to the side you're distracting from the music -- so don't do it. The music is bigger than one person. Stand up straight. Be proud because you're creating something beautiful that didn't exist before and won't exist when you're finished. It exists in the moment, so love it and be proud.

We did three lovely pieces, but my favorite hands down was Paul Mealor's Stabat Mater (and actually was the premiere of the orchestrated version). The most fantastic part was that Paul was there for the concert, as he's based at the University of Aberdeen. I've never sung for a composer before, so it's both thrilling and intimidating to know that the person who put the ink to paper for it was sitting there listening. He was very complimentary, as was the review in the Dundee Courier, so kudos to us!

The St Andrews Chorus after the concert, with Paul Mealor.
Younger Hall, University of St Andrews

I've missed choral music, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was faced with it again. People on the outside may think that it looks regimented, and it very much is, but within that and within the performance there's a moment of freedom where it's not just you but all of you. I love it, and I can't wait to jump back into it next semester.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me nostalgic for high school as well. I was never part of a choir, per se, but I did do a lot of musical theater. Performing in genral is very freeing.