A musical Everest

What a stunning rehearsal we enjoyed last night!

The Mozart Te Deum, which last week seemed like an insurmountable massif, was conquered and has become a part of the Choir’s collective psyche.

It is interesting to reflect that we spent 75 minutes getting our heads around a piece of music which, on my favourite recording, lasts no more than 1 minute 18 seconds.  Now there are lots of notes in that short time, but this is still 58 minutes of practice per minute of singing.

That set me thinking – how long do we typically spend rehearsing for each hour of music we sing?  Well, in most concerts we sing for about an hour.  And each session involves around 15 rehearsals of two hours each.  That’s 30 hours of rehearsals (ignoring what we each do individually at home) for one hour’s singing, or to get a straight comparison, 30 minutes rehearsal for each minute of singing.

So maybe we were not so bad at the Te Deum after all.

Some time ago after watching some surfers at Long Reef beach I commented that they seemed to expend a huge amount of time and effort battling wave after wave to get out to sea and waiting for the right wave, and then they were upright on the board in the surf for only 5 or 10 seconds.  “Ah” they said, “but there is such a thrilling sensation for that short time – it’s well worth the trouble of getting out there!”

And it’s certainly worth all our rehearsal time for the thrilling moment when the music comes together like it did last night.

Which reminds me how fortunate we are with our musical team.  Valerie’s accompaniment, somehow sensitive yet also exuberant, is one key to our success.  And of course Carlos’ unrelenting search for true meaning in the music we sing, matched with his belief in the Choir’s capabilities, enable us to scale heights we might not ourselves ever think possible.