01 June 2018

Flexibility, Productivity & Readiness

Last night's choir rehearsal found us hard at work refining both an octavo we have sung quite a few times in the past—mine own Alleluia in D—and three anthems new to our repertory:  How Can I Keep From Singing, most graciously arranged for SAB unaccompanied by Russell Robinson, and which we are very close to feeling confident in singing without the safety net of a shadow accompaniment (both discreetly and capably furnished by our new organist Barbara Otto).

A strophe-by-strophe arrangement of Lasst uns erfreuen by John Behnke, Now All the Vault of Heaven, choir SAB, organ, handbells, optional brass, and an insert for the congregation to join for vv. 1, 2 & 4. For this, I am going to draw up parts for flute, and (hopefully) horn.

And a gospel waltz number, rather a new look for our choir, River in Judæa, composed by Linda Marcus & Jack Feldman,arranged by John Leavitt. This last was something of a request by the Pastor—who did not volunteer the request on his own behalf, but suggested it for the Sunday when we had a guest speaker who asked for music based on the River motif.

So, not only were we making very good progress with the new music, but as we considered Sundays in June, between certain expected absentees one week, and choir's being off-duty for Children's Sunday another, we decided to sing three (count 'em) numbers this week. So, I presently compose an advisory e-mail message to the Pastor and the Worship Committee.

Otherwise, Gentle Reader, this post is more a matter of anticipation, than of what I may do today.  There is the relaxed question of whether I actually finish The Nerves before our Triad concert at the Church on the Hill Sunday evening;  or if I get it so nearly there, that I then leave it on the shelf until (probably) Tuesday the 19th.  Since there is no genuine deadline, the only constraint is the composer's own QC demands:  that it be the sharpest piece of its type of which I am capable at this time.  So that when I do pass it on to be reviewed by a couple of Boston-area conductors, there is a sort of musical combustion which arises before their eyes, as they read the score.

And the Great Mystery of Monday morning:  when the email advisory comes in with the specifics of the chamber work to be composed and delivered in two weeks.  This composer is ready.

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