Tuesday, December 09, 2008

From high to low

Talk about going from an emotional high approaching ecstasy to a low! Over the weekend the Don Morris Singers, which I joined this fall, gave two Christmas concerts, on Friday in Fallbrook with the Westwind Brass out of San Diego, and in Murrieta on Sunday evening. Both concerts were triumphs. (Although I think I contributed capably, that's far from an egoistic statement. Good choral singing is a matter of blend and cooperation; no single voice should stand out. It's not easy to achieve, especially when you have several very first-rate singers with solo-quality voices, as we do, who have to sublimate their individuality to the overall sound.) If I may say so, we achieved it quite consistently, in a variety of genres, from Palestrina to Britten to traditional carols to Don's "snow medley (Let It Snow, Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, etc.). Shame on you for missing it!

Then on Monday, at our wrap-up meeting, after telling us that even the brass players were impressed (instrumentalists generally don't have a high opinion of choirs, although having done both, I contend, as does Marilyn Horne in this interview piece, that singing is more difficult than playing an instrument) and saying this was the best-sounding group he has assembled in 3-1/2 years of the organization, Don informed us that several key singers are having to leave, which will require recruiting replacements and puts a question mark on the future of the group. In a group of 22, just a few holes can throw the whole balance off.

I think the group will stay together and thrive, but we won't know for sure for a while.

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