Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend a concert of Anna’s Bay Chorale and a couple of other community choirs. My mom and Jonathon belong to the chorale. The concert was entitled “Awaken Thy Spirit”. It consisted of all religious music, everything from the 16th century “Verbum caro factum est” by Hans Leo Hassler to “The Lord is My Shepherd” by John Rutter. Jonathon conducted one of the pieces – “Blessing, Glory, Wisdom, and Thanks” by J.S. Bach. The choir perked up when he stood on stage. They put forth a melodious effort. I was proud of Jonathon, and them.
After the intermission came the “Mass for a New Millennium” by Dr. Richard Nance. I have to say the traditional movements proved unique. The instrumentation included organ, harp and oboe. Note to non-musician friends: You cannot play oboe halfway – there is no grace inherent in the instrument. You risk sounding like a squashed goose. You must nail it, and this gal did. One of my favorite movements, the “Domine Deus”, featured a mezzo-soprano soloist. She made it look effortless. I felt myself transported by her art. As she sang, I could see her like a songbird perched on a branch in the forest. I never wanted her to stop. In fact, I could have sat there until the sunset to listen. Maybe even longer. But I wasn’t alone. I spotted a few faces among the performers, silly half smiles on their faces to match mine. They felt the same.
As the mass moved on through the “Cum Sancto Spiritu” and the other movements, I mused about how live music performance is like building castles in the air. The guest conductor of the mass, a tall blonde woman with a commanding yet benign presence, wove fortresses with her hands as the choir put forth their sounds. The next section, she’d start all over again and build a new structure with voice-blocks. Amazing.
To spend so much time rehearsing, listening, re-rehearsing something so transient seems…daring and bold. In our world filled with “I hold it, therefore it’s real *and* it’s mine” sentiment, live music done simply for the joy of it unifies a community. The singers share their talents and the audience appreciates their efforts; both are edified for the experience. The beauty of the moment, shimmering like a bubble swirling with iridescent rainbows, floats up toward the sun and burns into our memories.
I’m proud to be among the brethren (and sisteren) of dreamers.