The choir brought to birth so patiently and lovingly by the efforts of a truly exceptional bunch of people is about to sing its first spring concert season (we're excited, because the Christmas season went well!). The Wednesday before our first concert, my phone rings. It's the wife of one of our two tenors, calling from his hospital room. He's just had an emergency appendectomy. He's doing well, but you can guess where my head went next. Our concert is three days away, and this guy represents exactly half of one voice part.
Can you believe, he SANG the concert, plus the three that followed? Medal of Valor to him.
Fast forward. In the next three times around the track, our group of 12-14 people has had the following maladies occur within a week of the first concert of the season:
- broken ankle
- broken wrist (on the alto with a recorder solo)
- virus resulting in complete laryngitis
All of them--ALL of them--rallied. They did everything possible to sing/play the concerts; barstools, casts, pain meds, slings (and don't even get me started about the accompanying "arrows of outrageous fortune!"). And the rest of the group comes through for them by learning extra voice parts so that we have coverage.
There is much joking about the InVocation Curse, and we've been considering a traveling trophy (and maybe a supplemental insurance policy of some kind!).
I wonder how Chanticleer and Cantus manage this; they're our size or smaller, and divide into at least as many voice parts as we do. (Perhaps I'll e-mail and ask them! If any of you choral types out there have wisdom to share, please do so!) Not to mention the million smaller groups out there.
Anyway, we had two concerts last weekend. We finish this season with one more tonight and one tomorrow night, along with a church service beforehand. And now what, you ask?
Yesterday, one tenor had a fever of 101; another got HIT BY A CAR. (He's OK, but left part of his face on the street, and is referring to himself as the Phantom of the Opera.) Both are planning to sing.
As a director and fellow singer, I'm grateful to these amazing people for their willingness to tough it out. And I hope it's clear to them that I'm aware that it costs them something to do so. And I hope that they take good care of themselves, and don't push beyond what's healthy for them. And I wonder where the line is, and how to care for both "the needs of the many and the needs of the one," especially an injured one.
And I ask you, is it too much to ask that this good-hearted group of people get ONE concert season in which no one gets sick or hurt? This is not a full-contact sport; usually, pads and helmets are not required choral equipment. And there aren't that many of us--statistically and karmically, I think we've got one healthy season coming.
I do so love my peeps, and wish them well--on SO many levels. :-)