Sing sing sing.

I'm all antsy today at work because I'm looking forward to tonight: my first rehearsal with Chicago's Apollo Chorus! They held mid-season auditions last week, and told me on the spot that I was accepted. I am thrilled to be singing again. I haven't done nearly enough singing recently - it's harder to find choirs to sing with once you're out of school. I don't sing in a church choir right now because (until I find a first call) Matt and I drive out to the suburbs to go to church with my family on Sundays, and it's too much commuting to try to rehears with and sing with the choir there.

My first night of Apollo comes on the heels of yesterday's Bach for the Sem benefit concert. This is my third year of singing with Bach for the Sem, a concert of local singers and instrumentalists who perform works by Bach and others in a concert to raise money for the ongoing work and ministry of LSTC. Yesterday's concert included Mendelssohn's Vom Himmel Hoch, Bach's Magnificat (my all-time favorite Bach work that I had yet to sing until yesterday!), and a few other carols and anthems.

As I look back on all of singing I've done over the years, I realize that I have been truly blessed, not only by the groups with which I've sung, but also by the range of music that I have had the opportunity to perform. Apollo is gearing up to sing Carmina Burana this spring, and so I just spent the morning listening to it while working. When it finished, the next music up in iTunes for me was Mozart's Requiem. Listening to it makes me remember singing it my senior year at PTS, along with two local church choirs, under the direction of James Litton in a big anniversary concert in Princeton. What an amazing experience!

Or I think about singing the Faure Requiem with the Minnesota Orchestra my senior year of college, or performing on Performance Today my junior year of college. I think about performing the last third of the Vaughan Williams Hodie at Bach for the Sem two years ago, singing my first Bach cantata and singing the soprano solo in Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb while at PTS...

When I reflect on these special and wonderful moments, as well as on the entire experience of being a part of a corporate effort to learn and love and perform great music, I am reminded of the joy of contributing to something greater than myself, of adding my single voice to a larger whole. Those who know me best know that I am my truest self when I'm dealing with music. (They also know that I can be incredibly geeky about music.) I can't wait for tonight, to begin again the process of learning music with a group of musicians, and of building relationships with a new group of people in that way peculiar to those who share something as intimate and wonderful as making music!


  1. Hello my friend -- it's good to read this. I've been singing pretty much non-stop since I left St. Olaf, and I must admit that I tend to get snobby and frustrated with many of the groups I sing with. Some days I even ask myself why I'm still doing it. But I think I need an attitude check. I too have been lucky to have lots of great singing opportunities and need to remember what a gift it is.

  2. I've sung with the church choir whereever I've been since I was a teenager. I also sang with our seminary choir (usually a quintet, occasionally a sextet).

    Last night at choir practice (I'm the lone tenor in a choir of 12) one of the altos asked me if I want to sing with a regional chamber choir that she's part of because they're singing a Bach cantata for Easter and she knows how much I love Bach.

    I've been tempted, off and on, to join one or another of the community choirs in our region but I never have because I don't want to add to my time-load or take away from family time. I've always been satisfied singing with our little church choir. But it's tempting to sing a cantata by the "Fifth Evangelist."

    I'll have to talk it over with my wife.

  3. As always, lovely to read your reflections. I've been thinking about music more lately, because it's the first time I've not been in a choir...Reading about your audition inspires me!