When I went to the first rehearsal for the Upper Country Singers back in October, it was hard to believe that the performance would soon arrive. But here it is, the week of the big show, and I’m very excited.

A subset of us performed a few carols at the Midvale Christmas Tree Lighting last Sunday, and then we did a practice concert at the Salubria Center for Assisted Living on Monday night. Friday night will be our dress rehearsal, followed by the big show on Sunday the 3rd.

I volunteered myself into doing a short solo for our opening song. I wasn’t planning on putting myself forward for such a thing, but the song is in Latin, and some folks find that a little intimidating. Finally, the four years of Latin I took in high school is coming in handy! Well, not really. The song uses liturgical Latin, which is a bit different, pronunciation-wise, than the scholarly Latin that I learned. Still, I don’t have any fear of the Latin, and I get the gist of the meaning from the words. That helps.

There are five songs that we were required to memorize, and I’m feeling very good on all of them. Could I use a few more weeks of rehearsals? Sure, but that’s the perfectionist in me. There’s always room for improvement. But the practice concert went very well on Monday, so I think we’re going to rock the show.

My mom died three years ago this month. I’ve been thinking of her, and remembering how she enjoyed my concerts when I was growing up. I have a scarf that belongs to her, red with gold moons and stars, and I wore that scarf to our practice concert. It was my way of bringing her with me, and performing as if she could enjoy it, too.

I won’t be wearing it on Sunday, because we have a uniform for that show, but I do plan on wearing a ring she made on a necklace. I don’t really like wearing rings on my fingers, but I would have worn it there if it had fit any fingers other than my ring fingers. I feel a bit silly about these things, and about the way that I lit a candle on the 18th and showed it around my new home as if I were getting to show her. But I’ve long ago embraced my silly side.

I used to be much more reticent in my performing. Held back. Shy. But I’ve learned that I have to let myself be seen when performing, to show my emotions in face and voice, to let my eyes sparkle with the joy that singing brings to me. To be silly, to cry, to care… I prefer live with an open, childlike heart.

I’m going to miss the rehearsals, even though they kept me up past my bedtime. I’m going to miss seeing my new choir buddies each week. But I’m now somewhat engaged with the community, and that’s not going to go away. I’m finding my place out here.

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