“No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.” Samuel Johnson
Today we’ve made it through our second Pandemic September—-YIPPEE! Things are both better and worse than they were last September, depending on how you look at it. But we’ve made it through, which is something to be grateful for.
I’ve always been a planner, as many of my regular ChoralNetter readers will attest. But this year, I’ve tried to put the brakes on my usual planning strategies. Why? Because of the truly flux-ie climate of our world. Long-term planning has been my modus operandi for many years but I just do not feel that’s a good idea this year.
Rehearsals for my chamber choir are underway, and PR for our concert will begin in a few weeks. In “normal times,” we would have begun the PR already, but we don’t feel comfortable sending out our information—yet. In our early rehearsals, we talked about taking it one rehearsal at a time. I chose music we’ve sung before so in the event things are shut down for a bit, we will STILL be able to present a concert up to our usual standards.
Instead of a large choral work or fifteen or more individual pieces, we are doing ten. It’s helps that our concert repertoire highlights the stained-glass windows at our concert venue, they have nine windows, and we will end with a wrap-up finale type piece. It’s actually been sort of soul satisfying to re-work pieces we love and do well after not being able to sing together for eighteen months.
Our spring 2022 concert repertoire IS already planned. It will be repertoire from our ill-fated spring 2020 concert, perhaps with additions and subtractions. And, in ”normal times, ” I would have already chosen a theme, if not music, for our Fall 2022. But my days look similar to those in “normal times” with one exception, I am not looking at new repertoire. I CANNOT plan beyond next spring; I just don’t have the heart for it. I’m sure, as things begin to LOOK UP and STAY UP, I will start thinking and planning ahead again.
As silly as this sounds, I am enjoying, in a way, NOT looking at new music or trying out something new. I actually have time to ENJOY the music I am working on NOW for the first time in many years. There is something to be said for programming eighteen months ahead, and am a big believer in that approach, but savoring each rehearsal and being present in the “Now” instead of looking beyond has been a gift for me. It is one of the things I will take with me when we are back in a stable climate for choral musicians; being present in the “Now.” Of course, I will still plan ahead, still look at new repertoire, still do what has been successful for me and my chamber choir. But I WILL try to enjoy and savor and take a moment to be present for NOW.
Until next week, be well and be safe.
I am taking my Choral Ethics Blogs to my chamber choir’s Facebook page but am not able to today. I hope to be back next week, the first Thursday of October! ~MLGA