March 12, 2012
At 7 this morning, along a six-mile round-trip loop from Asbury Park to Belmar, I ran between the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean and the almost-full moon faintly silvery and on its descent in the brightening western sky. It was a beautiful and inspiring sight, and an apt metaphor for our choral process this year. For the moon represents the many nights of rehearsals, the rising sun the brand new day of our first public performance of “Big Gay Sing 4.”
As a new member, I have journeyed from the joy of being accepted into the group to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the relentlessness of learning many new songs by myself and in the company of 200-plus other men. But since January, I’ve come to appreciate our director Charlie Beale’s dedicated focus on the music, the beat, the meaning of the songs, so helpful to me in each rehearsal. And so I had an epiphany in the third rehearsal, where I just sat and felt the joy and the energy in the room, and knew I had found a musical home, and that I was in heaven.
And so we came to this weekend of intense rehearsals followed by our first public performance of “Big Gay Sing 4.” And, during performance, as I focused on Charlie while marveling at the creativity of the choreographers and the costumes and the dances and the performances of the soloists and how they created a buzz in the audience, a buzz boosted by our loving and talented guest-performer/emcee, I had a smile that wouldn’t quit–a smile that reflected the hard-earned confidence of knowing the songs, a smile that was energized by all who were around me and in the foreground of the stage, a smile that fed off my love of singing in general and in particular of “Keep Holding On” and, yes, “Brand New Day.”
And when it was all over, and I expressed my appreciation to fellow chorus members and greeted some friends and was surprised by grammar-school classsmate Buddy Griffin, whom I hadn’t seen in years, who drove 75 minutes to see the show because I had described it on Facebook, I basked during my quiet drive home in the serenity of a lovely day that began this morning when I ran between the just-rising sun and the descendant almost-full moon.