The Chorus That Plays Together

During our rehearsals, we work hard on learning the music.  We run through passages in four-parts, trying to integrate what we’ve practiced into a choral experience.  We focus on our Italian vowels and building a crescendo on dotted quarter notes and longer.  We chant in rhythm per Allison’s direction, trying to master the rests as well as the beats! 

But that isn’t all we do.

We greet each other as we arrive with smiles and hugs.  It looks like we are all quite happy to see each other after a week’s absence – and I believe that is truly genuine.

We have come to know each other in different ways.

There are the familiar faces – we do often know the names, but sometimes it’s just the faces – joined by the fun of singing together. 

There are the “singing neighbors” in our section – people with whom we share the learning experience, whispering quick asides to tell each other which measure we are starting on or nodding to each other when we just got it right.

There are colleagues who volunteer together for OCC – the set up crew, the team running the potluck after our final concert, singers who have represented OCC at outreach events, or in one of so many other ways.

There are the carpool buddies (or divas) who have the chance to chat to and from rehearsal each Thursday evening, building a shared history mile by mile.

And there are the friendships that have developed beyond this shared experience.  The common interest of music leads to other interests and time together.  Singing friends become family friends.  Friends that you know you can call on in times of trouble.  (Even a few romances have blossomed.)

This week, we extended our mid-rehearsal break for a mini-social.  Several board members, led by Kathleen, brought the food and supplies.  There were three tables of cupcakes, carrot cake, fruit, and seltzer in different parts of the room.  After picking up their snack of choice, members found their way to the area designated for their home town with cool road signs (made by Kip Keane).  The idea was to meet others that live in the same town as you, that you might not have known before.  I think it worked… conversations began to hum and soon the room was building to a crescendo that we usually save for the most dramatic fortissimos.

After a while, we settled down and got back to rehearsing.  Spirits were lifted and the energy was high.  Was it our camaraderie, our shared love of music, or the blast of sugar?  Probably a mixture of all three!

 – Jeff Tagen