“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” Percy Bysshe Shelley
Hello everyone! After four weeks of reruns of Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics Blogs from summers past, I’m back with new ones for you. For the month of September, I plan to share some of my summer observations during These Times and (of course) Choral Ethics dilemmas from a few of my ChoralNetter readers.
In this Limbo we’ve been in for the last year and a half, I’ve tried to be strong and productive for myself, my choirs, and my family. But I tell ya folks, I was beat. Just exhausted from sheer worry during the last 18 months, with every day a new terrible thing and TIRED of trying to hold it together. Really, I needed some time to rest, instead of doing things to keep myself busy. Not that I regret getting my music organized and filed or our kitchen re-do, it’s just that during this whole time I felt I never could relax– because that wouldn’t be productive. But the last few weeks I’ve made myself relax. As much as I look forward to rehearsals and concerts and more “normal” in my life, I needed a vacation, so I took one, in a manner of speaking.
While I’ve been gone, I’ve rested some, read some, studied some and eaten my weight in fudge. I’ve gotten things accomplished, as well as had a retreat for my chamber choir, begun our “normal” fall rehearsals and have been a clinician for a church choir’s retreat. I’ve listened to experts about how we should proceed with singing this fall and did some research for myself. And my spouse had minor surgery (he’s now fully recovered) while I tried to pick up the slack around here.
Our household is running better than it ever has, which I believe is much in part to me being around much more, having the time to set up for success, instead of flying by the seat of my pants. I’ve mentioned quite a few times here on the blog, we did some much-needed home renovations because I would be able to supervise. It worked well since I wasn’t able to rehearse, having to stop or start projects because of rehearsals or concerts, I got stuff accomplished and organized. My personal music is organized, old vocal folios even mended, and I can finally put my finger on that collection of Schubert Art Songs I coulda SWORN was in my car. My chamber choir’s music is filed, by secular or sacred, with new fancy-dancy file cabinets, and I’ve found pieces I have purchased, then meant to program for YEARS.
We’ve lost so much during the Pandemic, but I’ve found time to do things that I needed, or I wanted, to do. Ideas I’ve long had but never had time to flesh out, finding music (which I’ve programmed for the fall) I couldn’t seem to locate, cooking and baking and feeding my soul both physically and spiritually on a regular basis and studying and practicing just for the pure pleasure of studying and practicing, so it’s not been all bad. Not that I’m suggesting COVID-19 and lockdowns were GOOD, it’s just that I tried to make the best I could out of a crummy situation.
As things progress—or regress—this fall, there are a few things I’ve learned during the past 18 months I’m taking with me to our “normal.” I’ll be sharing more later this month but here are a couple to begin. One is to make time to calmly think about issues in my life and work every day, if possible, without distractions. Another is to do something for myself, whether to read, or make, or do, at least once a week and watching my caffeine intake is key to making this all work!
This week celebrates the Sixth Anniversary of the Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics Blog on ChoralNet. As always, if you have a Choral Ethics dilemma you’d like help with, you can email me at: and I’ll see what I can do. If your dilemma becomes part of the Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics Blog, your name, location and identifying information will be changed and withheld.
Until next week, be well and safe!
I am taking my Choral Ethics Blogs to my chamber choir’s Facebook page for the foreseeable future. Please join me there this morning! https://www.facebook.com/themidwestmotetsociety/