One of my primary jobs as director of the chorus is to respond to the inevitable changes we experience. I’ve been leading Sing! for almost 18 years now, and no two sessions are ever the same. People come and go, and come back. Rehearsals are well or sparsely attended. Songs come together quickly and slowly. Things go as I expect them to or not at all as I expected. There’s something I really like about that. It keeps me on my toes.
This winter brought some surprises. Brand new singers, returning singers, and a song list that’s about 30% longer than usual. Don’t know how that happened. The ebb and flow of life means that singers who are faithful attendees find that now is a good time for a vacation in a warm climate, or they have a new baby, or a new grand baby, parents require care, loved ones pass away. And then, the group of faithful attendees is transformed and the faces in front of me from week to week are a slightly different collection.
One of my favorite surprises this year was a big first for the chorus. We were slated to perform at the Duluth People’s Inaugural. Two days before the event I came down with a nasty respiratory virus and completely lost my voice. Eight brave women stepped up to sing at that event on their own. I had complete confidence in them, and heard afterward that they did a stellar job! I hope all the singers may start to think about singing at other times and places on their own.
Our long song list is a welcome challenge this year. Usually I like to have up to about 11 songs that we are currently able to perform by the beginning of April. There are 14 songs on my list this year, the result of many singers who have returned to Sing! over and over and are able to sing many of these songs at the drop of a hat. It’s a challenge to the new singers and myself to get everyone on board with all of the songs.
A short note on new singers: Technically the chorus is at capacity and I am not accepting new singers. In actuality, there will always be someone with a deep connection to a singer or singers in the chorus who is really motivated to join us. I can’t say no to those exceptions. I enjoy the energy we get from new singers and it adds to the whole ebb and flow of the chorus.
Our events this spring will include an appearance at a women’s art exhibit on March 16, an all day residency with the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines, and we’re back for another Homegrown! (Schedule should be up soon.)