sing. For the past two weeks my life has been all about the chorus: The last of the Grand Opening concerts dedicating the new Cabrillo College Visual and Performing Arts Complex was yesterday, and out of the preceding thirteen days, there have been just four in which we have not had either a rehearsal or a concert.
Although it’s been a rather exhausting time, it’s also been invigorating—you get on a roll, and then on the days you’re not singing you actually feel a bit let down.
Plus, the new halls are terrific; it’s a delight to sing in them.
The first dedication was of the new 581-seat Crocker Theater, which spanned three nights and one matinee. The second—just one matinee—was of the new 369-seat recital hall in the music building. Today’s blog will be about the Crocker Theater performances.
Our chorus was just one of many different acts—including dance troupes, a brass ensemble, theatrical presentations, and an orchestra. We sang our first piece—“Consecrate the Place and Day”—at the beginning of the show, standing in the aisles and around the upper level of the hall, giving a “surround sound” to our performance.
After this two-minute song, we had almost two hours to kill before going on stage again. It wasn’t practical to leave and come back, since parking was tight (and who wanted to go out and about in their concert garb, in any case). As a result, folks came prepared for the long wait in the chorus practice room, and quickly settled into a variety of diversions.
Some of the younger singers played Risk—a good activity, since it took several nights to finish the game (they also played poker one night).
Others used the time to catch up on their reading,
while some practiced their parts:
In the background of the above photo you can see parents of the Cabrillo Youth Chorus, who would be joining us for our final songs: the “Gloria Dios” from Ramirez’ Misa Criolla, and then excerpts from Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land, which would close the show.
The “Gloria Dios” is a peppy piece with a Latin beat, accompanied by guitar and percussion. Thinking it would be festive and fun to add a bit of color to our ensemble, Cheryl (our director) had commissioned the creation of a hundred-odd silk scarves for us to wear during the song. These were stowed in a rolling suitcase, which we dug into during the two-hour wait, grabbing our favorite colors:
I, of course, chose yellow:
Here are some more of the singers’ down-time activities:
And then, again, some folks just took the opportunity to catch a few Zs....
Finally we got the 15-minute warning from the house manager. Cheryl warmed us up again, and we ran over a few of the more sticky parts:
And then it was time to head over to the theater:
Next post: We dedicate the recital hall with a performance of Handel’s Messiah.