Finally the night of the cantata arrived and we all got through it and everybody liked it. The last two measures of O Holy Night — for altos — is impossible but we did it.
Friend Woody of Lennard Island Lighthouse (with whom I used to sing in a choir years ago) e-mails, “Oh the nerves, the director thinking it will never pull togather, the soloists disdainful of the back-up crowd, the people who are too deaf and too far gone in the larynx department to pull their weight and the interminable practices, but somehow manage to come through when it counts…”
And, I might add, the sopranos gossiping in muted tones while the pianist drills everybody else on their parts (I mean what do they have to worry about?) until finally the pianist slams out a big dissonant chord: “Sopranos shut up!” and the director says mildly, “Sopranos please hold it there…”
Our soloist Jim Boyd who is also the high wire man for the electric co-op (the guy who goes up in the thirty-foot bucket and fixes the transformers) is a stunning baritone and so saved the day, or night.
As Connie Willis, sci-fi/fantasy writer (The Winds Of Marble Arch) once wrote, “Everything I know about human nature I learned in choir”.