Friday, May 2, 2008

The Fat Lady Has Sung

That my last post was April 9 tells a bit about what life has been the past three weeks.


But...the papers and presentations are finished. No more near-drowning in a deluge of reading material about such dead-weight subjects as statistical regression and market demographics. No more all-nighters at the Star with Sandra, Cassandra, Andrea and Christina putting the finishing touches on our term papers. (Yes, at my age -- can you imagine?!) No more field trips to Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Talladega -- fascinating bright spots in our journey that I haven't written enough about.

And my gig with the Calhoun County Civic Chorale has come to an end.

Directed by Dr. Patricia Corbin, and part of Jacksonville State University's music department, the Chorale is comprised of JSU music students, for whom this is an actual credit-earning class, and anyone from the community who wants to sing.

I discovered the CCCC last fall when I was casting about for something to do with my free time. Choir in one form or another has been part of my life since I was old enough to read, but I wasn't ready to join a church here. That's another story I haven't told. Suffice it to say, I figured JSU, as do most colleges, would probably have a civic group ... and I was right.

They even have an Opera Theater, folks, which says a whole lot about the strength of their music program.

So Monday evenings for most of this past academic year have been spent ten miles north of Anniston in JSU's music building with a mixture of ages (my guess is 19 to early 70s) and races and working backgrounds (can't even assume all are professionals in the strictest sense of the word).

For our December concert we learned Haydn's Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (yes, in Latin), Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Mendelssohn's There Shall a Star Come out of Jacob, an a cappella arrangement of I Saw Three Ships, and an arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter that uses a melody I've never heard before.

Wonderful selection and challenging.

I didn't know what challenging was. Those, at least, were somewhat familiar territory.

This spring's concert was loosely dedicated to thoughts of "love lost, love found" and was comprised of the most difficult and eclectic works I've done. We started with Londonderry Air (if you don't distinguish the words carefully it sounds as though you're singing about the queen's bum ... to use the British term), a Brahms work, Nanie (based on a Schiller poem), three madrigals based on texts from Shakespeare's plays, Erev Shel Sho Shanim (sung in Hebrew, text from Song of Solomon), Pinkham's Wedding Cantata (text also from Song of Solomon), Laughing Song (based on a William Blake poem), and If Music Be the Food of Love (also adapted from Shakespeare).

I need to write more about Nanie.

And also about the song we sang after it called Homeward Bound. But I think I'll save both for separate entries.

Suffice it to say, the no-longer-lithe lady has sung. This term is all but over.

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