Friday, December 04, 2009

Exit, Stage Left

This weekend a great many people I know are calling the stage their home.

Tomorrow, hundreds of high school singers across the state are participating in the annual Regional Honor's Choir. In the midst of spending the entire day in rehearsal, each singer is also required to audition again for a spot in State Honor's Choir. The soundtrack of my evening has been an Ivesian combination of Harry Potter and the Soprano I part of "Zadok the Priest" by Handel. Yes, it can be a surreal life.

An acquaintance of TeenTuna's is finishing up the second weekend run of a children's play at the local community theater. We saw it last weekend and it was great fun, even if the Rooster was, well...somewhat disturbing. Good and funny, yes. But definitely disturbing.

Up north where I teach, every single student of mine is involved in one of two major events. This weekend the choirs present their annual "Festival of Carols" which is simply spectacular. Three choirs, instruments, lights and fabulous singing result in three sold out performances. It is one of the highlights of the music calendar. The theater department is also busy this weekend with their festival of one-act plays, several of which are directed by students. I am quite certain that nobody at that college will be sitting around bored and complaining that there is nothing to do this weekend.

Stacked-up performances are not at all uncommon in December, but what has been rather special has been all the support that has been extended for each and every offering. Today many a Facebook status not only trumpeted a particular performance, but in the same breath encouraged attendance of ALL performances. Earlier this evening TeenTuna sent a text message to her friend wishing broken legs, and tonight she received a call from someone else wishing her luck for her audition tomorrow.

The perception in the performing arts is that it is a highly competitive, cut-throat sort of venture. And honestly, it is. Or, can be. Fellow musicians and actors are now competitors. Friends and peers turn into rivals. Unless you are performing a solo work or reciting a monologue, it takes the contributions and talents of every single performer working together to share music that is more than notes on a page, or to share a story that is more than words in a script. But sadly, It takes so very little to destroy the entire creative output when one is so focused on figuring out whom to hate.

As pleased as I am of all my college kids who have given so much of their time and talent to perform this weekend, and as excited as I am for all the High School kids who have worked so hard and are coming together tomorrow to create something amazing, I'm so very proud of all of them who have supported and encouraged each other throughout the entire process.



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