We stand alert and waiting, muscles tight,
Our eyes burn, focused on the stand
like rays of sunlight, magnified and bright
As Maestro takes the stage, baton in hand.
A thousand hours since I first began
rehearsing brilliant music, t’was my choice,
A single “sop’ performing with this clan
Always the goal; to help with treble voice.
Audition, snag the dress, then get the score,
Each week, without much talk, blend sweat and tears,
That brought me to this night of hopes held high,
Recalling all, my stage fright disappears.
Performing: more than glory, fame or bling,
To bring some peace and light, is why I sing.
This week, after having performed the incredibly beautiful Handel’s Messiah with The Masterwork Chorus, I am pensive. Onstage at Carnegie Hall, waiting for the performance to begin, I recalled the many weeks that brought me to this hallowed hall, sharing this stage with a talented chorus and professional orchestra. Maestro Megill’s last words advise us to tell the story, to reach someone in the audience, to make a difference if only for a moment. His words echo the pre-concert pep talk I hear each year in the Berkshires at BCI: the world is a better place when we add light and beauty through music.
Now that the momentous performance is part of my history, I realize that it has become part of my psyche as well. In a way I can’t easily explain, I was changed. Thanks to Andrew Megill for genius direction and warmth of interpretation; to The Masterwork Chorus for accepting and welcoming me to their ranks; to my husband who endured many long, Wednesday nights and Saturday workshops at home alone, and who -as always- sat in the audience without his wife by his side.
“But thanks, thanks…” for the gift of music. It is a language that often conveys what words cannot.