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First rehearsal

October 2, 2009

Last night was my first church choir rehearsal. And by “choir” I mean me, Wendy the mezzo and Harvey the music director. In getting there, I learned to ride the M86, which is the crosstown bus that goes through Central Park. Buses have historically been my least favorite mode of public transit because they so often seem slow and they don’t automatically stop at every stop like trains do. I’m always afraid of missing my stop and ending up god-knows-where. But boy are they useful. There’s really no way to get from the west side to the east side of the island anywhere above the Park without taking a bus. So I figured it out and got there just fine. Yay for me, yay for buses.

Harvey greeted with a kiss on the cheek. I know several artsy people who do this, particularly gay men. I don’t really have a problem with it, but it inevitably catches me off-guard. Am I supposed to return the kiss? Kiss the air near the other person’s face? It’s all very confusing, and then it’s over so fast I don’t have time to make a decision to act, so I end up just standing there awkwardly with my head tilted, receiving as though I were royalty or my cheek a holy relic.

We proceeded to work our way through the music for the next two weeks. It was very laid back, and I didn’t feel like an idiot. I didn’t feel like I was outmatched or in over my head. Even though the chant notation was a little challenging in spots, I caught on pretty quickly, and I think it won’t be long before it becomes second nature. Plus, it’s beautiful and fun to sing.

We discussed the recital in November and since it’s not in the church we can sing secular music. We may even do some duets, which would be fun. And Harvey laughed when I asked if it had to be memorized. What a relief! He’s so relaxed about everything. I’m pretty excited about this job now. I’ll have opportunities for solos, weddings, and funerals, and I’ll get paid. Things are off to a good start!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel Kranz permalink
    October 2, 2009 4:45 pm

    Bravissima! Keep us posted! I personally am endlessly fascinated by the details of the rehearsal process (though you will have to let me know how much license I have to incorporate them somehow into my next novel, where there won’t be singers but will be dancers), so I’d love to hear as much as you care to tell us about singing “from the inside out.”

  2. October 3, 2009 9:38 am

    I agree with Rachel: you can’t get too detailed in your accounts. Your readers want to know everything!

  3. Julia Bates permalink
    October 4, 2009 6:59 pm

    Will be interesting how you all gel as a group. The church choir has a young tenor from the college. I met his mother today and turns out she sang in the church choir back in the 1980s!! She thanked us for inviting him to sing with us. He has a very warm, supportive voice. I like standing next to him as I attempt the alto. I hope to get better at listening and blending.

    Yes, dear, time to get good at air kissing. Do they do both sides like in Slovenia?

    Just keep flashing the ring and saying ‘whatever’. some people always assume there’s hope!


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