"But Mom": Two of the most dreadful words in the English language

Friday, April 1, 2011

Singing My Guts Out....

I have been busy...really busy.  (hence the no new posts for a while).  You see, this is concert week.  Concert week means that I am gone every night for 7-8 days in a row.  I leave at 5:30 and don't get home until around 10:30.  Luckily, concert week only happens about 4 times a year.

I sing.  I sing, and I love it!  I currently sing with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus and have for the past 4-years.  But my singing began much, much before that.

I come from a long line of musicians: from opera singers to concert pianists.  My whole being is richly steeped in music.  I remember as a child having to listen to classical music and thinking that I would NEVER like it.  Well, I do like it...a lot. And, if I'm being honest, I make my kids listen to it too.  I also remember as a child driving with my dad and my sisters in his old ORANGE Volkswagon Rabbit listening, and singing to, old opera tapes (yes, TAPES).  We'd listen to Jussi Biorling, The Tabernacle Choir (or the "Abernacle Toir" as I used to call them).  We'd listen to Strauss and Beethoven.  You name it, if it was in any way, shape, or form "Classical", we probably had it.  Of course, we also listened to "I've Been Working On The Railroad" and "Jimmy Crack Corn"...we were diverse that way :)

My dad would ALWAYS sing a note and have us try to sing the same note.  Let me just say, I had terrible pitch as a child.  My parents probably thought I was going to be the black sheep in the family and be totally tone deaf.  Maybe that's why they made me take piano starting at age 4?  Hmmmm....

When I was 19-years old, I auditioned for the Mormon Youth Chorus (kind of a mini-Tabernacle Choir) and sang with them under the direction of Bob Bowden for 1-year.  Then, sadly, the group was dissolved so the main focus could be used for the Tab Choir.  Totally understandable.  But, I will never forget that year.  I got to sing in the old Tabernacle on Temple Square.  I got to sit in the same seats that My parents, my grandparents, my aunts, and cousins sat in.  I got to sit behind the Prophet during General Conference.  I got to go on tour to Disneyland and Sea World.  It was awesome!

Singing in that particular chorus was a calling.  I was set apart by Elder Ruff of the 70 as a missionary for the Temple Square Mission.  In that blessing, Elder Ruff told me that through music I would feel my Savior's love for me and that I would KNOW that he knows who I am.  I have felt this my whole life!

I didn't sing in many more choirs after that until I was married and had Mr. Smarty Pants.  He was about 6-months old when my mom came to visit us.  I would not say that I had post-pardom depression, but I was in a bit of a funk.  My mom suggested that I find a choir to sing in.  That thought had NEVER occurred to me!  Thank heavens for moms!  I found the North Eastern Pennsylvania Choral Society, auditioned for them, and was accepted to be a part of their chorus.

It was so liberating!  I loved being a mom, a wife, a good ol' church goer, but I needed something that was just for me.  Not in a selfish, time consuming way, but in a healthy, balanced way.  I definitely found that balance in music.

I sang with that group, and a smaller group as well that performed over the city, for the time I lived in PA.  The very first thing I did when I moved to Kansas was find a choir and audition.  This choir is MUCH, MUCH, bigger than my little choir in PA.  It was kinds of intimidating to be the small fish in a big pond when I was coming from a situation where I was a big fish in a little pond.  I mean, I had to fill out a musical resume for crying out loud?!?!?  Scary!

Music has been such an enriching part of my life.  I feel like I am using my brain in ways that I just can't when I'm home with the kids...THAT kind of brain is a whole other blog post...but believe me, it takes some serious brains to deal with my three kids (or any kids for that matter!)

I am SO lucky to have a husband who wants me to go out and sing.  I'm sure he doesn't like concert weeks, but he never complains.  For almost 7-years of singing in choirs, he has never complained (at least not much!) :)  I love him so much for not making me feel guilty about this.  Mommy guilt is the WORST!!!

I'm sure I'll be writing a lot more about music in my life,  but I'll end this little ditty with a quote:

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
                              — Friedrich Nietzsche

Amen Mr. Nietzsche, Amen.