It is hard to believe that June 10 is here and that the Chorale’s 2012 journey has come to an end. And what an ending — yesterday we sang the motet service in front of a SRO crowd in the St. Thomas Church and for hundreds more who watched on a live feed (high def, big screen) in the Marktplatz. I had watched the previous day’s broadcast and was blown away by the quality of audio and video that came from the church. The pictures were amazing — I have a DVD copy of the broadcast and I must admit I am really curious to see our performance as it was broadcast to the town square. Incredible.
Performances involve an incredible adrenaline rush, and then suddenly it is gone. All performers live for this rush I suppose, and then in the hours “post- gig” you have an amazing glow and energy. It can be lonely when that post gig energy wears off — it is hard to face the reality of seeing Chorale 2012 come to an end and saying goodbye to the Chorale was really difficult — we have traveled an amazing road together. Musicians live for the next experience and yet seeing this one come to an end is bittersweet.
Many of you reading this know that I had a sabbatical leave in the fall semester, so I began working with the Chorale in January. They laid a great foundation in the fall and their growth has been extraordinary and continued through yesterday — I am really proud of them. This journey has involved some incredible performances of music by our beloved JSB, some Mozart and many wonderful American works, beginning with jubilant songs, followed by forked tongues ( see billings, wm :) and with the deep satisfaction of knowing that as we travel this journey together we will see and share the light of new possibilities, of hope, and of togetherness.
In my first post on this blog I mentioned a critical part of this journey together: grieving the loss of our brother, Christopher Patterson. In these days we have continued to talk about him and feel his presence among us. Yesterday in the church we lit a candle and remembered him — more importantly, we have been strengthened by knowing that he watches over us and shares the joy that we feel in our musical ministry.
It is this joy that the members of the VU Chorale have shared with so many. It’s the joy of musical collaboration and friendship shared with the LBO. The joy of the citizens of a tiny village as we worshipped together in an ongoing celebration of their congregational life, celebrated with a tiny, but beautiful chapel. It is the joy of a simple word “danke” expressed to us so many times by our friends at the STC, following performances and by our various musical colleagues here in Germany. It is the joy of our deeper relationship with the STC signified by our new agreement of friendship signed by President Heckler and Pastor Wolff. Finally, this joy resonates through all time and space as the Chorale lifts their voices: “Yea let the Amen, sound from thy people again. Gladly, for aye, we adore thee! Alleluia!”.
To each of you following this journey, I also say “danke” for sharing the road with us. It has been so memorable. It has been the most incredible path — one filled with deep musical and spiritual discoveries. It has been life-changing.
Soli Deo Gloria!