Thursday, June 22, 2006


Weekly Anamnesis #28

When I was in school one of my activities was singing in the school choirs. I was in A'cappella and Show & Chamber. I liked each choir equally, but separately.

When I was a senior, we spent the entire school year learning John Rutter's Requiem. It's a beautiful piece of music with seven movements. I remember ganging up with my fellow altos, as we competed against the sopranos for solo time. The second and third movements have outstanding alto parts, and because they really allowed us to show our range, we used those moments to gloat.

The performance for this requiem was a year end concert for family and friends. The "lesser" choirs performed first so those of us cool people in the "greater" choirs waited in the choir room for our turn. While I was waiting there in the choir room, I took that opportunity to apologize to a friend of mine who I had been fighting with for nearly a year at that point. It felt like a good time to just say, "Hey, I've been a total jerk. Let's be friends again." My friend embraced me, we laughed at our stupidity and both took a great sigh of relief.

It was time for us to go on stage. I walked down the hall towards the stage door, feeling a glow inside of me. When I walked through the door, into the near pitch black of the stage wings, I felt more alive than I had all year. Energy was coursing through me. I was excited and alive!

When performed well, this requiem takes around 35 minutes to perform. The lights were warm, and so were our irridescent taffeta dresses (yuck!). My face was flushed. But I remember being such a part of the music that I felt as if it had originated from within me. I thought the lights were just focusing in on my own glow, and it made me nervous that the audience could see me, standing out among the 120 other singers onstage. I remember looking over to where my friend was standing, catching his eye, giving him a wink and a smile, and feeling that the energy was not mine alone.

We created that experience for ourselves, and after it was over I felt like I had climbed the tallest mountain. I was spent, euphoric, and beaming. Such is the power of music and energy.


Cynthia E. Bagley said...


Very nice. I remember the performances too... Also sang alto although my voice coach now thinks that I am a soprano. Good memories.

Eight Hour Lunch said...

I sang Requiem with a local choir several years ago. Very nice music. I'd like it even better if it were about beer and sex. I'm funny that way.