e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Great moments in choral music (not)

Thanks to the monster headache that let me have very little sleep Saturday night, I arrived at time to get up Sunday tired and still not feeling good.  Sinuses, headache, etc.  Made it to church on time, though, despite having to turn around and go back to get my choir robe, which I'd left hanging on the door at home.    We had a guest organist, formerly the organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas's in Manhattan and now teaching organ and sacred music at U.T. Austin, so David had asked us all to be there early. 

Everything was going OK until the anthem started.  There were only three of us altos--Elizabeth Petillot, the soloist, who is brilliant, me, and another alto.  Elizabeth stationed herself between us.  We were singing Mendelssohn's "How Lovely Are the Messengers," which is, like many Mendelssohn anthems, delicious to sing--like a mouthful of whipped cream and honey.   Elizabeth was hit with a coughing fit, though, a few measures in, and it was one of those awful ones that will not stop.  I was (as I often am) next to the sopranos, and I could not hear the alto on the other side of Elizabeth.  At first, the sopranos were doubling with us where they had no separate part, so when Elizabeth stopped singing and started trying to muffle the cough, I was confident enough to plow on alongside them.  But then we got to the middle sections, where the altos are doing their own thing.  She was trying to help us, but could not sing more than a few notes without coughing...so I had to dive in and assume that I was singing it right even though, with the headache, my vision was blurring off and on.  Told myself I knew the piece, just sing it...but David had scolded someone for singing from memory and not reading the music during rehearsal.  It was interesting, in a clinical way, that I kept having to yank a mental chain to keep from letting stress interfere with the singing. 

Normally, I eat breakfast between the services, and breakfast was laid out before the first service (when we have rehearsal, however.)  But since it was the date of the annual meeting, they took all the food downstairs to the meeting site before we got out o f the first service.   This was not a morning I was going to do well without food, and by the time we were about to sing the anthem in the second service I was getting light-headed.  Made it through the anthem (this time we had more people in the altos and almost as many sopranos--and Elizabeth didn't get a coughing fit) and then left by the side door only to have to sit down on the first available chair.   Blech.  I think sinuses are an argument against intelligent design.  All they do is get gunked up and hurt. 

Anyway: the congregation thought we sang well both services, and after a restorative bagel and cream cheese, purchased from the bookstore, I was able to drive home safely.

It was good to have lamb to look forward to, and any time this headache wants to go away, it has my permission...(G)
Tags: choir
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