The Chorale is not performing the Rachmoninoff in New York in November. When I asked the conductor about the dates for the Rachmoninoff, I didn’t know that she’d spent an hour at the first Chorale rehearsal talking about having been asked to conduct in Carnegie Hall, asking if she could bring her Chorale and if they (we) could perform Rachmoninoff’s All-Night Vigils, and deciding that she wanted a local performance here in the area to make sure we were up to the challenge of a New York performance.

So, when I asked when the performance was and she said November 1st or 2nd, I flipped! Started shifting all my plans around, trying to make that work, panicking that I wasn’t going to be ready with the music. Yes, I’ve sung the Rach, but that was over twenty years ago. I don’t have my old score (because I decided a few years back that I was done with classical music forever and gave all my scores away – silly me) so I didn’t have anything to look at to calm me down (or wig me out, which it might have done if I’d looked before we sang two of the movements last night and I was reminded of the beauty and majesty of the music and that fact that the Church Slavonic really wasn’t that hard to bring back to my tongue).

I’m calmer now. I don’t know what the conductor will do about the Contralto Solo. I have registered my interest in audition for it. (By sending her an email saying precisely that: that I was registering my interest, blah, blah, blah.)

I do know that the choir performed the Rach in the Spring of last year with a paid tenor soloist and three women from the choir singing the Contralto solo together in order to be heard over the 100-voice choir. I’m interested in either joining the trio (one of the women didn’t return to the chorale this year), or exploring the possibility of singing it as a solo. I don’t know yet if I’ve got the power and focus of voice to do it, but I’d sure love to try. Of course, this is all just me dreaming, as I have no idea what the director wants to do in terms of that solo.

Last night’s rehearsal was, as has been the case so far, exhilarating. Singing in the small group, we worked fast and furious at blending and shaping the music. It felt wonderful to not have to pound notes (although I’m going to need to do that before next week, since I was sightreading last night and there were a few sections that I didn’t get quite right) on a first rehearsal. Our sound is good and has the potential to be great.

In the big choir, each year there has apparently been a “theme.” The theme this year is “one mistake.” Meaning, you get to make a mistake once and then you fix it. It’s a great thing to work towards. One of the tenors said that he had a choir director once who said: The first time it’s a mistake, the second time it’s *oh hell, I can’t remember what the second time noun is*, the third time it’s a tradition. Has anybody else heard this? I’ll have to check with the tenor who said that and get back to you on that second noun, but I got the important one (tradition).

Well, that’s all for now, folks.