For the first time since the fall of 2019, I completed a week of rehearsals feeling dare I say, "normal." I almost didn't know what to think or how to feel. Should I feel happy? Is that dangerous?
For the past few years, those of us in the performing arts contorted ourselves into all manner of varying things from online conductors, to audio and video engineers and editors and so much more just to keep our singers engaged and our art form alive. It was difficult. It was draining.
Challenges still continue, and some norms have shifted, possibly for the better. That idea is a preview of a whole other post about what I am actually doing better now emerging from the pandemic than I did before.
After two weeks, there are many good highlights. My students at school have way more confidence than they did a year ago. We were able to achieve some modest growth and the beginning of the year rehearsals have great energy and focus.
We had close to thirty new singers come out for the Vienna Choral Society open rehearsal night. That far exceeded my optimistic expectations and this past Thursday, I had a full turn-out for rehearsal at church. People are ready to get back to making music and there is a sense, at least, a little that the "ship" might be moving in a forward direction.
It's hard to put into words what the energy feels like in a room where people are joined together in song. Last year, that process started and for the first time in a very long time, this start to the "season" felt normal.