Last time I wrote, it was about a week before my big performance. It seemed as if though the day would never come, but sure enough, last Sunday did come, and it certainly was a day to remember.
Just to refresh your memories, I was asked by my gay-friendly church to arrange a piece for All Saints' Day, a special church holiday. So, I did, and I orchestrated it for brass, organ, percussion, and choir. From conception to execution, the project took about a year. It was a big project for me! I learned so much, and by the end of it all, I think I came out a better musician.
Well anyhow, Friday came along, and that was my big equipment loading day. I had to travel a total of about 50 miles in order to get three timpani and tubular bells. Luckily for me, my ex and I are good friends from several years ago, and he said that he'd help me with loading and unloading.
When we were finished unloading things, I had to go to work. Not much really happened on Saturday furing the day other than the normal, mundane things. Saturday night, however, things were a little different. I still had a lot of things to do to make sure things would go off correctly, and I had to get them done that night, lest I not get them done at all.
To sum it up, Saturday night I was a wreck. There was still some music for another part of the church service that I had to print out, and of course, the rehearsal last Wednesday didn't go so well, so I was freaking out about that. At about 1:00 a.m. I was able to go to sleep, but it wasn't very restful.
I got up at around 6:30 a.m. and got my day started. Even though I didn't sleep very well, I was calm about everything. I had ironed my clothes the night before, so all I had to do was eat, shower, shave, and get ready.
When I got to the church at about 8:20 a.m., I had to move quickly, because I had to take the timpani and tubular bells out of their temporary storage spot and move them upstairs to the Sanctuary. I also had to set up where the brass would be sitting, and of course, we had to rehearse some music with the organist for the first time, so there was a LOT to do, and we had to make sure and get it all done.
The brass arrived at 9:00 a.m. and we were ready to practice. Not only were we playing my piece, but we were also playing the prelude, postlude, and some other little bits here and there. We managed to get through everything that we needed to relatively quickly, and it was quite reassuring. Things were certainly much better than they went the rehearsal before.
Anyhow, after the brass were finished with the first part of rehearsal, the choir rehearsed what they needed to, and then, FINALLY, we got to hear (for the first time) the combined groups, and all was fabulously well. After going over a few things, I was starting to feel really good about things--the best I had felt about things up until that point.
The service started, and everything seemed to go in super fast motion. Before I knew it, the time had come to play my piece. I got up there and started conducting my piece. And to my delight, things went really well. I wasn't really nervous like I thought I'd be, but I was really rather anxious. Thus, I gave a few bizzare cues, but that's normal for any conductor.
The end of my piece is this wonderful, wall of sound that can only be heard to be understood. At this point in the piece, everybody is playing/singing, and quite loudly at that. The final chord is a glorious G major triad, and after I had cut it off, the church exploded into applause, and the congregation gave us a standing ovation. I was quite elated, and it was nice to know that some good friends of mine had made it a special point to come and see the premier of this piece.
After we all sat down, I felt physically lighter, as if a huge weight had been lifted from my chest. Later that night, I slept quite well, and all was right with the world.
I think that does it for me, kids. I'm off to go practice for a voice lesson now. I'm going to see what I can do about getting a recording of the performance.
In the meantime, you kids behave and be nice, so you don't turn out like me.