That was Miguel Felipe’s assessment of tonight’s first choir rehearsal, and we are well on our way! The night before, he met the 8:00 am ensemble for their monthly rehearsal, but I didn’t attend. I was very glad that nearly everyone was seated and ready to go at 6:55 pm, which is absolutely remarkable! The first thing that Miguel did was have the sopranos trade places with the altos, which means now that the altos face out towards the congregation.
We took a few minutes to go around the room and had everyone introduce themselves by telling where they’ve come from and what is their favorite lei. At the end Miguel said, “Now just sit in exactly the same places and wear the same clothes next week!” (so he could remember everyone’s names.)
We rehearsed the Hallock psalm, two pieces by Francisco Guerrero, a motet by Brahms (“Siehe, wir preisen”), then finally the two anthems for Sunday, “Ubi caritas” by Maurice Duruflé and “Tantum ergo” by Gabriel Fauré, the last of which is for women’s voices only. Even though the men were dismissed about twenty minutes earlier than the women, many of them stayed to listen to the sweet sound of the treble voices.
I think Miguel was pleased with the choir, and how they responded to him, even though his is a different style from what we are used to. In fact, he said, “Conducting this choir is like driving a fine car — all you need to do is steer!”
(“Kathy, don’t put that in your blog!”) But that’s the one phrase I’m going to remember. What a great metaphor!