One of those wonderful moments. David told us to pull out three things, one of them being a little Thomas Tallis piece "If Ye Love Me." I'd never seen it before. Some had. It's lovely and of course very 16th c. So...we just started singing it. And there it was, this little Renaissance jewel coming to life in our bodies as lungs drew breath, emerging from our mouths trying to shape Tudor vowels...enchanting. It wasn't particularly hard to sight read (which didn't prevent my making mistakes...) but it's still complicated music, in its own way. We worked on it awhile. It got better. One of David's great talents is the ability to tweak us, part by part and singer by singer, so the music "clarifies" through a rehearsal, finally emerging (as in this case) as a faceted and polished gem.
We got the overtone. When that happens, he beams at us. I think he must feel it the way I do, that suddenly the heavens of music open up and light pours down the tones, shimmering.
The rest of the rehearsal was sheer brutal work. More modern stuff. He keeps saying we'll like it in the end, but several of us don't think so. I'm one of those who doesn't think so. I especially don't think something that requires me to race up a sixteenth-note staircase to a note that is at the very top of my range is ever going to make me happy. OTOH, it's a learning experience, even if what I learn is "I hope we don't sing that one very often." By the end of the evening, I was hitting the high note...but at the 9 am service on a Sunday morning???