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my first performance in thirty years

Sandra in Sydney 04 Jun 24 - 02:03 AM
keberoxu 03 Jun 24 - 10:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jun 24 - 10:58 AM
keberoxu 01 Jun 24 - 10:19 AM
keberoxu 26 May 24 - 08:14 PM
Jack Campin 26 May 24 - 08:13 PM
keberoxu 26 May 24 - 07:58 PM
keberoxu 19 May 24 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 25 Mar 24 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,paperback 25 Mar 24 - 08:56 AM
The Sandman 25 Mar 24 - 05:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Mar 24 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 24 Mar 24 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,paperback 05 Jul 23 - 01:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 23 - 11:53 PM
keberoxu 04 Jul 23 - 07:45 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Jun 23 - 09:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Jun 23 - 09:26 PM
keberoxu 25 Jun 23 - 07:15 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Jun 23 - 06:10 AM
JennieG 06 Jun 23 - 12:29 AM
keberoxu 05 Jun 23 - 06:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jun 23 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 03 Jun 23 - 06:46 PM
keberoxu 01 Jun 23 - 04:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 May 23 - 09:49 PM
Helen 25 May 23 - 07:22 PM
Helen 25 May 23 - 07:20 PM
keberoxu 25 May 23 - 07:13 PM
Donuel 26 Mar 23 - 09:56 PM
Sandra in Sydney 20 Mar 23 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Mark 20 Mar 23 - 05:55 AM
Sandra in Sydney 20 Mar 23 - 03:29 AM
leeneia 19 Mar 23 - 11:36 PM
JennieG 19 Mar 23 - 09:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Mar 23 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 19 Mar 23 - 06:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Mar 23 - 10:58 PM
Sandra in Sydney 16 Mar 23 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 16 Mar 23 - 06:14 PM
JennieG 11 Feb 23 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 11 Feb 23 - 06:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 23 - 10:56 AM
keberoxu 11 Feb 23 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Beachcomber 10 Feb 23 - 08:02 PM
Mo the caller 10 Feb 23 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Dick Miles 10 Feb 23 - 02:29 AM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Feb 23 - 12:47 AM
keberoxu 09 Feb 23 - 05:01 PM
leeneia 01 Oct 20 - 01:52 PM
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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Jun 24 - 02:03 AM

well done choristers, musicians, conductor & audience!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 24 - 10:43 AM

Well, the Berkshire Lyric Chorus had its spring concert yesterday,
and we choristers are recovering from the strenuous performance.
Thankfully the concert was well attended
(to cover the rent paid for the hall, and the orchestra),
and people in the audience have let us know they liked it.
Actually the Bruckner Mass made a strong impression,
at least on those people who didn't think it lasted too long.
Some of them were in tears, they were so deeply moved.

There was concern on my part that
I would feel too emotional while singing the music;
not the case, I was working too hard and
concentrating on the conductor too closely to get emotional about it.

There may be a video of the performance,
but it will be a while before it is ready for YouTube or wherever.

I'll see the conductor socially tomorrow night,
and we'll see if he is still exhausted by the whole thing.
Actually I think it was a big charge-up for him, unlike the chours.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jun 24 - 10:58 AM

It sounds like fun - I hope everyone has been able to rehearse free of various respiratory diseases making the rounds. Post any follow-up articles if you make it to the local arts publications or channels.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jun 24 - 10:19 AM

Our chorus got in the newspaper. We got a story covering
our performance tomorrow afternoon.

Unfortunately, only newspaper subscribers online can view the story,
so I can't link to it. It's in the Berkshire Eagle.

The report interviewed our director about the music we are performing.
They also interviewed the soprano soloist,
as she is a former chorister who came up through the ranks,
beginning at the age of fifteen, with our group.
So she is a local girl made good, getting her first solo gig
with three other singers who are from out of town, in the quartet of soloists.

I'm getting excited about our concert tomorrow.
Tickets are selling well, and the weather should be good.
(It's not an outdoor concert, though,
we are performing indoors in a concert hall.)

Jack Campin, thank you for your enthusiasm about the Bruckner.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 May 24 - 08:14 PM

I will spare you Friedrich Schiller's original text
(unless someone insists on asking for it) to
Nänie, set to music by Brahms.

Here with much help from the Wikipedia article
is a modest attempt at an English translation.


Even beauty must die! That which subjugates men and Gods alike,
Moves not the steely heart of the Stygian God Zeus.

Only once did love come to soften the Lord of the Shadows,
And just at the threshold, sternly, he called back his gift.

Nor did Aphrodite stanch the bleeding wounds of that fair youth,
Torn savagely by the boar in his delicate body.

Neither was the godlike hero rescued by his immortal mother,
When he, at the Scaean gate, falling, fulfilled his fate.

But she rises from the sea with all the daughters of Nereus,
Raising a lament over her glorious son.

Behold! The gods weep, all the goddesses weep,
That the beautiful perishes, that perfection itself dies.

But a lament in the mouth of those who loved the departed one is a noble thing,
For that which is ordinary goes down to Orcus in silence.



That's Schiller for you, and Brahms has the last word in his interpretation,
going back to the penultimate line with which to close the piece:

"Auch ein Klaglied zu sein im Mund der Geliebten ist herrlich."

The music is ineffable, it moves me to tears.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 May 24 - 08:13 PM

That Bruckner mass was one of the first classical pieces I ever heard live - monumental, overwhelming work. (Dorian Choir, 1960s, New Zealand). It's incredible that mostly-amateur choirs can do stuff like that.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 May 24 - 07:58 PM

Da Pacem Domine has a Latin antiphon for its text. It reads:

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris:
quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis,
nisi tu, Deus noster.

The Book of Common Prayer version reads:
Give peace in our time, O Lord.
Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 May 24 - 02:07 PM

The Berkshire Lyric Chorus, which I sing in, will perform two weeks from today.
We're opening with Da Pacem Domine, a short a cappella work by Arvo Part.
Then it's Brahms's Nänie for chorus with full-scale orchestra, although the work is short.
Finally Bruckner's Mass no. 3, long enough for an entire concert in itself.
(Our director likes lengthy programs for some reason.)

The performance will be in Seiji Ozawa Hall on the Tanglewood campus in Lenox, Mass.
I am hoping the weather will not be too hot,
and the director is hoping we sell enough tickets to pay the rent on the hall.
(The Tanglewood season has not started yet, and our chorus always gets their performance in
before the start of the BSO season.)


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 11:08 AM

The next program for the chorus I sing with is
Anton Bruckner's Mass no. 3 in f minor,
which is a massive undertaking.
We are rehearsing it now and it is very difficult, moreover it is long.
At least the text is Latin,
as opposed to last year's Brahms which was all in German.

And my hair used to be auburn-red, since you ask, paperback.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 08:56 AM

Are you Black Irish, keberoxu? They're known to go prematurely gray. It's not so bad, at least people hold the door for you ( - :


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 05:07 AM

well done, it is important to keep at it if you can, if one doesnt then the nerves can take over for a lot of people, and it becomes harder the longer the person doesnt do it


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Mar 24 - 09:12 PM

It is a nice performance, given a little time it lets you watch it as a spectator, not remembering standing there. And there are several caps of white hair in that group.

What will you be singing next?


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 24 Mar 24 - 07:24 PM

Very late response to Stilly's question,
if I could see myself in the concert video,
because I just now reviewed the video myself.
I am visible because I have this cap of short white hair
surrounded by women in solid black dresses.
The white hair really stands out -- like a fake wig or something!

And, you know, we really did sound good.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 05 Jul 23 - 01:11 PM

What a nice looking group

Tea & Melba Toast, please


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 23 - 11:53 PM

This is your performance link. The Brahms Requiem. Nice sound in the video; did you like the acoustics? The camera pans the chorus at this point; do you see yourself? (You don't need to point yourself out.)


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jul 23 - 07:45 PM

I seem to have forgotten how to make blickies. However,

my amateur group, the Berkshire Lyric Chorus,
has its own YouTube channel,
where you can hear our concert this year
as well as videos of concerts from several previous years.


https://www.youtube.com/@berkshirelyric1600


Link added. ---mudelf


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Jun 23 - 09:36 PM

I'll second that


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jun 23 - 09:26 PM

Too bad about that drummer! It sounds like a lot of work, but it also sounds like time well spent.

Let us know when the video is released, please!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Jun 23 - 07:15 PM

The chorus director and I see each other at least weekly,
he comes and provides music in the place where I am staying these days.

So he and I have reviewed the performance,
as people do who have been thick in the battle of it.
There were many things that pleased the director.

But he has some justified animus towards the tympani player.
The stage was so crowded that the tympani had to be positioned,
not on the same level as the rest of the orchestra,
but on a platform well above them, where the drums were clearly heard.

And in spite of the director's constant signals to play more softly,
the tympani player kept a big ****-eating grin on his face
and played as loudly as ever.
It was so bad that a flock of singers in the alto section,
unfortunately positioned right next to the tympani,
abandoned their posts in order to move back and center,
away from the drums, where they could hear themselves think if not sing.

I believe there will be a video online at some point of the concert,
but it is in production this month, if I heard right.

I miss those weekly chorus rehearsals,
but I am glad the performance is over!
The chorus does not meet again until September,
when we start rehearsing the annual Christmas concert.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Jun 23 - 06:10 AM

as person with chronic lower back & leg pain, I salute you! In the 90s a friend sang in classical choir with an injured foot which she propped on a brick or something to lift it up.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: JennieG
Date: 06 Jun 23 - 12:29 AM

Well done, keberoxu - you certainly earned the hot chocolate and the collapse after that!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jun 23 - 06:40 PM

Well, the Brahms Requiem has been performed. It was yesterday.
The day was very cold for the first Sunday in June,
and some of us turned up wearing winter coats over our concert blacks.
But at least there was no rain, and the sun came out.

The performance went very well, I think.
It's hard to tell how it actually sounds when you are in the thick of it.
We choristers were behind the orchestra, and
the orchestra was facing away from us, toward the audience.
So we literally did not hear what the audience heard.
But what I could hear sounded good.

I can't say it was a transporting experience for me.
No, I was working hard the whole time,
more perspiration than inspiration, for certain.
Watching the conductor's baton, glancing at the musical score and turning pages,
taking deep breaths in the right places,
spitting out all that German diction . . .
in the meantime the soles of my feet went somewhat numb
from standing for the better part of forty-five minutes
before there was a place where the chorus could sit down for a time.

The hall had a few empty seats but it was largely filled, and it's a large hall.
So we had a good turnout, and we were warmly applauded,
you can't ask for more from the audience
(they listened very attentively, with no disruptions).

Afterwards I met up with a dear friend
and we went out for cups of hot chocolate at a nearby cafe.

Then I went home and collapsed!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jun 23 - 10:49 PM

I'm glad you got to hear the chorus with the orchestra - when there's an audience it will be more exhilarating. Enjoy the experience!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 23 - 06:46 PM

Last night we had our final rehearsal, which was long and tiring,
my energy flagging the whole time.

Then when rehearsal ended and we headed from the concert hall for our parked cars,
the heavens opened up and the rain absolutely poured down.
The rain was in the forecast, so I had come prepared (umbrella, waterproof footwear),
but many of my fellow chorus members were totally unprepared for rain.

It had been such a hot day -- triggering these thunderstorms --
and the road pavements were steaming in the rain, looked like fog.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jun 23 - 04:36 PM

We had our first rehearsal in the concert hall, with the orchestra.
Nobody warned us that the hall would have the air-conditioning and the fan going the whole time.
It was so cold and drafty in there!
I was thankful that I had brought a jacket and worn shoes and socks,
even though the daytime had had sandals temperatures.

The orchestra is in front of the chorus,
and the conductor is in front of the orchestra --
so there is a distance onstage between conductor and chorus.
That was enough to disorient some of the chorus members,
who are used to being up close and personal.

The Brahms Requiem sounds so beautiful with the orchestra!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 May 23 - 09:49 PM

Keb, a friend of mine in New York City loved to sing with groups. He was active with at least one barbershop quartet. We were both park rangers at Ellis Island, and one day he came out with his group and the stood on the balcony of the Great Hall and sang a couple of songs. The acoustics were amazing! Brooklyn has a robust Norwegian population and he also performed with a Norwegian male choir. In my part of the Puget Sound where many Scandinavians settled there were lots of these groups, and I heard a few as a kid. I went to a concert Joe performed in and it was like seeing all of my cousins and great uncles there on stage - tall, thin, pale Norwegian men. The fact that my friend was a fairly brown skinned, black haired Italian meant that he was the raisin in the oatmeal up there. And after the concert he said they surprised him by listing a song he hadn't practices, so he did the lip sync thing the whole time. We wouldn't have known if he didn't tell us.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Helen
Date: 25 May 23 - 07:22 PM

And keberoxu, I hope your performance goes well. Even the lip-syncing.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Helen
Date: 25 May 23 - 07:20 PM

Sandra, we recently bought a new musical washing machine too. It's kinda fun.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 May 23 - 07:13 PM

The same amateur chorus, with which I performed on the weekend of St. Patrick's Day with the Irish theme,
is performing in the next ten days.

This time it is "ein Deutsches Requiem" by Brahms, with soloists and a very full orchestra. So full, in fact, that the chorus director has a little anxiety about the chorus not being full enough to match. A bigger chorus would be more standard towards a performance of this piece. But we are going to attempt it anyway. The performance will be on a Sunday afternoon, the first Sunday in June, and although the performance is indoors, I am hoping that the weather will cooperate.

I'm having to pace myself carefully in rehearsing the Brahms and most probably in the performance to come.
For one thing, I don't have the high notes that I used to have, and I am singing second soprano.
There are places where I simply lip-sync and let the other second sopranos carry the line without me. It's a dirty trick, but it works.
The Brahms Requiem is seven movements long and lasts over one hour.
So I feel justified in doing whatever I have to in order to not burn out my singing voice.

This coming week, we will have a piano rehearsal on Memorial Day evening, and then there will be rehearsals every other day, two of them with the orchestra; the performance is two days after the last rehearsal.

I hope the experience is a happy one. There is good reason to be hopeful of this. It's still a big undertaking and if I am honest, I have a little fear about how all of us are going to get through it.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Mar 23 - 09:56 PM

Good on you Keb.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Mar 23 - 08:38 AM

my washing machine just BEEPS, but as it's dying I might look for a new one that plays music!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 20 Mar 23 - 05:55 AM

I'm a little late to the party.

First, congratulations on finding some rewarding outlets for your talents. Long may it continue. I'm much the same age as you and rather frustrated at the moment that I don't have such an outlet.

Then two things about the "Trout".
1) Many years ago I took my eldest son to one of Hilary James' and Simon Mayor's "Musical Mystery Tour" shows, and after that all my children got great pleasure from their cassettes (I said it was many years ago). One cassette included this wonderful treatment of the "Trout Quintet" with non-Schubertian lyrics The Slippery Slimy Trout - hopefully some others will also enjoy it.

2) More recently we got a Samsung Washing Machine and also a Tumble Drier from the same manufacturer. When they finish a cycle, they play a short burst of the "Trout" which always makes me laugh and break into Simon's song...


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Mar 23 - 03:29 AM

I'll second that!!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Mar 23 - 11:36 PM

It sounds like a wonderful concert, keb. We are all proud of you.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: JennieG
Date: 19 Mar 23 - 09:11 PM

Sounds like a great concert - well done you, and well done to all the performers!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Mar 23 - 09:03 PM

Sounds beautiful!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 19 Mar 23 - 06:06 PM

Well, both performances are over,
and both were sung to a packed house, with more people than seats,
some were standing along the wall.
The audience applauded warmly and participated in the singalong part.
The experience was fulfilling yet tiring.

Of interest to Mudcatters:
the teenage girls' chorus sang "The Parting Glass"
in an arrangement by the Wailin' Jennys (three-part harmony).

The skits and jokes went down well also.
One of the funny songs was
"Who Put the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?"
THe children's chorus sang that one,
along with the Unicorn song.

Good grief, I almost printed Unicron song -- pandemic misspelling.

Speaking of pandemic:
THis event would be considered a super-spreader,
packed to the walls as the hall was.
I don't know the auditorium's capacity,
it was of course on the small side.
Only a handful of people, mostly older people, wore facemasks;
the rest savored their liberty from facemasks, plainly.

The adult chorus sang:
Deep Peace
Salley Gardens
Danny Boy
Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair
A Gaelic Good Night (an Irish room blessing)

And the dance-school troupe of student Irish step-dancers
brought the house down.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Mar 23 - 10:58 PM

Please report back and tell us how it went. And if someone records for Facebook or posts it on YouTube, a link would be lovely!


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 16 Mar 23 - 06:34 PM

you are living in Interesting Times ...


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 16 Mar 23 - 06:14 PM

The chorus which I joined is participating this weekend
in a variety show spotlighting all things Irish and Irish-American,
a matinee appropriate for the whole family.

That means there will be some groaners amongst the jokes and skits.
The chorus, however, will open and close the show.

In between are two other choruses, one a children's group,
and an Irish dancing troupe.

ON both Saturday and Sunday, the show begins at 3 pm.
And nobody knows, as yet,
how long the whole thing will take.

We'll find out when we perform it.

Saturday we have a 1:30 pm call, as we will be part of a final rehearsal.

I have a funny feeling it is going to be chaotic.
Better that than boring, I suppose . . .


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: JennieG
Date: 11 Feb 23 - 11:34 PM

Good for you, Keb! Keep us informed of progress.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 11 Feb 23 - 06:15 PM

Delighted to hear that your rehearsals and the "Opening night" went so well Kerberoxu. I'm also not surprised to find that one of your obvious determination is a woman. Good luck to you.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 23 - 10:56 AM

The rehearsal, regardless, went well enough and
the group sounds promising.


That's what any of us hopes for! You've landed in the right place at the right time.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Feb 23 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for asking.
I am a sixty-five-year-old woman.
The year I went off to university as a freshman was 1975.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 10 Feb 23 - 08:02 PM

From your writing, Keberoxu, you sound like a remarkable man, and an accomplished musician. I wonder what age you are ?


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Feb 23 - 12:49 PM

Not an easy piece. We sang it last year. Good when you get into it though. And never having learned German didn't help.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: GUEST,Dick Miles
Date: 10 Feb 23 - 02:29 AM

well done may you have many more


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Feb 23 - 12:47 AM

good on you! you have lots of time to get comfortable


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Feb 23 - 05:01 PM

Transition to: my first choral singing in forty-five years.

I just joined the Berkshire Lyric Chorus.
They are preparing Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem)
which is a big piece and they will need MANY voices.

Three days ago I attended the first rehearsal for the new year.
My anxiety and nerves were really intense, I surprised myself.
I did so much choral singing at university that I thought it would go easily.

The rehearsal, regardless, went well enough and
the group sounds promising.
The Brahms concert is scheduled for 4 June, it is now February.


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Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Oct 20 - 01:52 PM

I'm glad to hear you are still playing. I, in the meantime, have got my dulcimer out of its case and started playing again. It's addictive; I tell myself it's time for bed, but it won't hurt me to play just one more song.


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