Going into the latter half of last year, it seemed like the Lord was really providing some amazing opportunities for growth in my own life. I am so thankful for the many learning experiences that have come my way as some of those “doors of opportunity” began to swing wide open!
I guess you could say that music has been a primary focus over the past few months.
One of the opportunities that presented itself this past year was the opportunity to be a part of a string trio with two girls who attend my church. It has been so much fun to visit with these girls while we practice, put sheet music together, and work on the arrangements. I’m thankful for the opportunity to get experience playing with other musicians, as it rarely occurs. We’re working on a couple of different pieces right now- perhaps, if I get brave enough, I’ll capture some video for the blog. =]
Fast-forward a bit…
It was late October, and I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed. I noticed a post from a local community chorale…. they were looking for additional folks to come and sing Handel’s “Messiah” with them for the upcoming holiday season.
The first practice was 3 days away from when I saw the post.
I casually mentioned to my mom that it was something I was very much interested in, and that I wanted to sing with them next year (2015) if our schedule would allow it.
She asked why I wasn’t singing THIS year (2014).
Honestly, I think I was scared of the unknown. I was scared to jump into something new, even though I thought it would be a lot of fun- not to mention, singing with an adult choir has been on my bucket list for years and years.
I decided to jump in.
I filled out my registration form about 10 minutes after the conversation with Mama, so sure that they would be full or that they didn’t need another alto, or much less, a woman singing tenor (my vocal range is looooowww). I received an email the next day from the director, and she let me know all about the details, where they were having the practices, what I needed to bring, etc.
I WAS ACTUALLY DOING THIS.
I don’t think I realized it was really happening until I picked up my name badge and book by the door leading into the choir room.
And thus began my time with the Alabama Civic Chorale.
We practiced each week at this beautiful church:
To get there on time, I had to leave my church right when the service ended and drive 40 minutes, hoping all the way there that I wouldn’t run into unusual traffic and be late!
We did a few mini-performances before the “big” production.
The first was at a charity day being held at the mall:
Then, we had a few spots on local television:
Finally, it was time for the full performance.
The dress code (for women) was all black, with pearls. They mentioned specifically that there needed to be longer sleeves on the dresses/shirts. I had a black dress already that my grandmother had purchased for me the year before she died. I had yet to wear it because it was REALLY big on me, and the sleeves that were on it originally made the dress look very much outdated. Mama helped me and we did the alterations…finishing the day before the performance. =]
I don’t have any pictures from the performance. I was a little tied up. ;]
I did take this one just before it was time to line up – pre-singing selfie!
It was an amazing experience. I’m not really even sure how to describe all of the thoughts and feelings running through my head during this special time. Above all, I am so thankful that I was able to have the opportunity to minister to so many people- I love how the “Messiah” consists literally of scripture that has been set to music… there are many people who won’t read the Bible, but do go to see this. What a way to feed them scripture, and perhaps, plant seeds of reformation in their hearts.
Our director announced about midway through our practices that we would be joining the Alabama Winds for a special Christmas concert…. at the historic Alabama Theatre.
This was incredible to me.
Also on my bucket list? Visiting the Alabama Theatre for a show, and getting to hear a live orchestra performance.
I never dreamed I would actually be in the show that I would be watching at the Alabama Theatre. Once again, this was a dream come true in the most unexpected of ways.
The Alabama Civic Chorale met up before the performance at a historic church in Birmingham.
These are all of the theatre:
They have begun to post some videos from that performance. Here is the “Hallelujah Chorus”:
And just because it was amazing to hear performed in person,”Sleigh Ride”:
Just before it was time for everything to get started, we knew of one family (dear friends of ours) who was planning to attend that evening. They came and brought several other families with them- so many people, in fact, that it filled up quite a large section down where everyone was sitting. It was a huge surprise! It was so nice to look out and see many familiar faces in the crowd. =]
I’m *so* very thankful for this particular opportunity the Lord brought into my life, and I can’t wait until the next season begins!