When I was in high school, winter was all about performing for choir. The same went for the first semester of college, only I realized that I couldn’t do choir and orchestra at the same time. It was too exhausting to take the bus to both of these concerts, so in university I decided to do just orchestra. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have become good friends with the conductor and realized what a cool guy he was. Choir was simply intense, and I was a soprano put into the alto section. There are some denials that exist as my vocal range got lower over the years. I do believe that I would have stayed in choir if I had been in the soprano section and not played violin for the next five years.
It’s been a few years since college, and concerts. Thanks to the pandemic and the fact that full-time employees do not get winter breaks, I haven’t really attended one. There’s no melancholy about it, just a matter-of-fact attitude about it. We get busy during the holidays, and the best music comes through on YouTube. I usually play Muppet Christmas Carol and choirs during the holiday, as well as saving an array of specials for the weekend.
My family and I went to a local high school, to see their winter concert. I found out the students in the choir and the string orchestra were part of a magnet program, just fifteen minutes away. They performed songs that were familiar, some that I had performed in choir. Others were medleys in orchestra that provided a new spin on established melodies. “Hanukkah Habanera” is definitely something I’d be eager to hear again.
Sitting in the auditorium with no cell service, something that I realized was good in hindsight, brought back good memories. I liked performing on a small scale. And seeing this next generation felt good, seeing how they excelled.
It’s been a tough several years with elections and the pandemic. Seeing kids do well and still making art is necessary, especially as the holidays get stressful. I appreciate each note.