Sunday was the first rehearsal for four performances of two sets of Sondheim songs I’ll be doing mid-July as part of Sondheim in the Park…an upcoming festival of the great composer’s in Millenium Park.
I got the gig via a forwarded e-mail from a friend. They were looking for “good sight singers” because “rehearsal time would be strictly limited.” I responded by listing some of my singing experience in musicals and with a symphony choir. I am a good sight reader, learn quickly, sing on pitch and can easily hold my notes even when standing next to someone singing something different. My concern was that my voice quality wouldn’t be good enough. (IMO, a great voice is a gift that should be used to its fullest extent.) But I didn’t have to audition.
Friday, I received a three inch thick packet of music to learn, and was pleased to see that I had been assigned a small solo, right in my range. Sunday, more than twenty singers of various ages gathered in the designated rehearsal room to rehearse the first set of songs. Without much ado, the music director launched us into the opening number. No part pounding to be sure we had the notes, no slow rehearsal tempo. She took off on the piano at performance speed.
Each soloist had a better voice than the next. When everyone joined in, and Sondheim’s mulit-part harmonies and huge chords filled the space, I got chills.
My heart beat a little faster when we moved on to the next song with my solo bits. I missed a cue or two that first time, but so did several of the others. I hit my notes. Whew. As part of the group, I fit in.
Today’s message: if you have a gift or something you love to do, find a way to do it.