off balance but functioning


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When I told my boss yesterday in our weekly meeting that I felt I was not functioning well, she insisted that the opposite was true, that I was functioning extremely well through a challenging time at work. I could see that this was true. Things have been going very well. Like most church basements, ours is not designed for good acoustics. In fact, it can be very hostile to musical sounds of congregations singing, choirs and instruments.

So my usual good sounding choir had to work hard to make a blended beautiful sound under these circumstances. And in my opinion, they have been succeeding extremely well at this.


And I think they also take pride in being a good little choir. I can see them trying to follow my suggestions to improve our performances. Their presence and that of the string players has been invaluable in continuing a high level of musical quality in the basement.

Yesterday was a long difficult day of preparation and an intense rehearsal in the evening. By the time rehearsal was over, it was clear to me that it was also a turning point in the quality of the choral sound of this little group. We had clearly kicked it up a notch by taking our honed sound into a better acoustic. I was exhausted and frazzled by that time.

In the morning, Eileen and I went to look at the church to see what kind of shape it was in. There were people cleaning in the church. The carpet had been returned to its place. This was critical to creating more of the kind of acoustic we will experience Sunday. However, the room was still in disarray. The piano was in the basement. The choir chairs were stacked in the front of the room.

I relaxed a bit when I learned the cleaning was due to be done by 2 PM. That would leave me time to prepare the choir area after meeting with Rev Jen. Eileen and I went home. After lunch I walked over (exercise) to church a bit early. I ran into the janitor. As we talked we discovered that he had been misinformed that the piano needed to be back up into the church by Thursday. I told him I would need it that evening and we immediately went and put it in its new home: the cut out slot of retractable steps in the center of the platform in the back of the church where the organ and choir will be.

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We began moving chairs to the area. I noticed it was time for my meeting with Jen so I left him to it. Later, I carefully planned the evening rehearsal and dragged down two tripod thingies, one with a wipe board and one with a large pad of paper on it. On the white board I had put the order for Sunday’s service. On the large pad I outlined a carefully determined order for rehearsal that evening. Then I sat down and played through my two Philip Glass etudes I will be using Sunday for the Prelude and Postlude.

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I sacrificed a bit of my usual resting time prior to rehearsal yesterday. I did an hour of score preparation. This means I played through and studied several of the anthems for the evening rehearsal.  I compared editions of “Exultate Justi” by Viadana. I had chosen an edition for us that was in a good key and had a reduced score for the piano underneath. But it wasn’t the best edition. When i compared to the best edition I discovered some note discrepancies and omission of text in two critical measures.

Like a madman I sat down to my music notation software and made correction measures.



I copied the two measures over several times with some measures in between so I could print up multiple copies for the choir with my little printer at home.

By the time rehearsal rolled around I was more stressed than usual. I had to work at being calm and helpful. The rehearsal went very well. I think most if not all choristers enjoyed singing in a better acoustic. We talked about it a lot as we worked. And they sounded very good.

By the way, when Jen told me i was functionally well,  I replied that I was off balance and felt like I didn’t have much perspective in my work. She said it didn’t show. But we both know it’s true.

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Today I will attempt to get some of my balance and perspective back or at least rest up a bit.

Chasing Windmills — Positively Liberal

This is a rah rah Holland Michigan article. It’s kind of cool. But what is really cool is that the blogger, Nathan Bocks,  is a local liberal blogger. If you’re local it’s definitely worth checking out.  He has already accepted my friend request on FacelessBooger.

The Harry Potter theme, but it’s an incredible fugue – Classic FM

I don’t know the movie music very well, but I think this is fun.

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