Léna's Lit.Life

Léna (me): Lit, as in literature, Lit, as in light, Lit, as in a little kooky: Life.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oui, Oui Christmas Concert

Happy Monday everyone. Today's post is about how I found myself involved in a Christmas Concert with CHARIS, "the finest vocal group in Westchester" . . .

We say yes for many different reasons (besides not being able to say no.) My biggest reason for saying yes is to help my community (friends)  and to stretch myself as a person.

However, saying "yes" can be uncomfortable, and sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into.

"We are desperate for a narrator for our Christmas concert," Amy said to a group of  mutual friends a couple of weeks ago. This was the first time I had heard Amy talk about singing, let alone that she was part of a choral group. And I don't want anybody to be desperate. I mean, I know how to read aloud, don't I? Isn't that what a narrator does?

"Maybe I can do it," I offered, and immediately Amy jumped on my words. It snowballed, and I got way out of my comfort zone.

I had no idea that the choral group Amy is involved with, Charis, would be comprised of over thirty singers, tenors, sopranos, altos and baritones and artistically directed by Art Sjogren. I had no idea they would be so professional. I don't know what I expected - a rinky-dink choir? I didn't think, I just said, "yes I can." I've read in church many, many times. (Of course, I haven't done it in years, but isn't it nice that my impulse was to engage instead of to cower?)

I was to play the part of "narrator" during a choral piece called Annonciation by Frenchman Daniel-Lesur's.  There were no long monologues, I just had to know when to be able to come in on the music. Oh, just that. Challenge #1. Gulp. Now that I have never done before.

I managed to go to one rehearsal immediately following a workshop and was stunned by the singers. I had actually been thinking of auditioning until I heard them. You want me to sing Mack the Knife? I'm your gal. But these folks aren't amateurs. I didn't want to embarrass them.

Then there were the performances this weekend.

Saturday was a FULL day, and I squeezed this concert in between events. I didn't have time to think about it, let alone be nervous, but then, during one of the parts of my narration, I started struggling with a cough.

And then I coughed once during a soprano's solo and . . . don't worry, I made myself stop. Have you ever tried to stop a coughing fit? (You end up crying instead, which I guess is apropos for the Annunciation.)

But still, I did not feel great about my performance. Coughing is not cool. (I kept thinking that it had been hubris to say "yes".)

I ran out to make the Christmas Tree lighting in Bedford Hills, where my son Finn was singing in the chorus. (He was delicious.)

Sunday I didn't have to rush around or be anywhere else, so I could just focus on the concert. My mom drove down from Connecticut, and my 6 year old daughter Scarlett came too. I had time to be nervous, but also was able to arm myself with throat lozenges and water.

No coughing, my voice was loud, measured and clear. I rocked it. The singers were just phenomenal.

So. Moral of this story? Get out of your comfort zone. Just do it. And if you live near Westchester, do yourself a favor and come to one of Charis' concerts. (It's not just church-y stuff. :0)

And now I have to focus that moral on exercising more regularly. NaNoWriMo coupled with not having time to work out has wreaked havoc on my back. Just do it. Heh, heh, heh.

2 comments:

  1. YIKES! Conducting monthly meeting for the writers guild is enough to get me anxious!

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