The Music Lives Inside Me Now

After the note-learning is well-behind me, though it required hours of focused study and mindful repetition;

After working to blend my voice with the other voices, as we rehearse together each week, learning to hear the other sections, as well as the singers directly around us;

After coming to know the instrumentation and anticipate my entrances, by careful listening to recordings of concert performances and following along in the score;

After incorporating the dynamics into my practice, following Allison’s wise guidance as she shows us how they allow the full expression of the composer’s vision;

Now – finally – the blissful result has come.

The music lives inside me now.

It is with me all through my days, and even my nights.  I literally feel a rush of emotion as the melodies play through my mind.  I experience goosebumps – not on my arms, oddly, but on the sides of my neck, where my blood flows up from body to brain.

And I have become aware of my limits and my imperfections.  There is where I sometimes feel unsure of the rhythm.   There is where I struggle with the lowest notes my voice can produce.  There is where my enthusiasm makes me rush or sing just a little too loudly.  There is where my concentration sometimes lapses.

So I will go into my private space at home and rehearse again.

But I am not feeling dismayed.  I am just one voice – one of almost 140 voices – that will join together in performing these beautiful works.  We all have applied our passion, our skill, and our hours of practice.  We have experienced the frustrations inherent in the process, as well as the amazing joy when we have achieved the sound and emotion of a piece and are standing totally still while the orchestra completes the movement.

The emotion in the music has entered me now and I am feeling awe, joy, sadness, pain, and redemption.

I want to sing it perfectly.

I want to release the emotions that I’m feeling into the sound of my voice.

I want to be worthy of the music.

– Jeff Tagen