This begins a series of monthly blog entries focusing on our 10th year and all of the fun, laughs, tears, bizarro warm-ups, even more bizarro international music and…well…everything that took that that first group of a couple dozen curious singers (and not-so-singers) through the journey that’s gotten us to this milestone. And evolved us and changed us. And made us better people. If there’s something you’d like to contribute or like me to touch on, let me know. I don’t usually take requests but, hey, it’s our birthday.

And so…let us begin “Reflections on a Decade”:

The answer given by the husband half of an elderly couple when asked what they attributed their decades of marriage to: trust and understanding. Now don’t get all mushy on me…his next words were, “she doesn’t trust me and I don’t understand her”!

There have been a lot of things that have blown through the empty space between my ears as I considered the words “10th Annual Windward Choral Society Holiday Concert” (following, of course, the initial “holy #$%!”). I decided to see if I could boil them all down to something simple that I could really grasp and hold and explore. There were plenty of choices (joy, insanity, etc.) but it was surprisingly easy to find the answer: trust.

Think about it, isn’t that really the basis of all of our success? Consider this…

  • The level of trust necessary for Susie to have gathered a pack of humans who wanted to sing without adding that little qualification, “Do you know HOW to sing? Or read music? Or…anything?” She could have had that initial gathering in (gulp!) 2008 and held auditions and put together a dang-fine-singing ensemble but it never would have become…us. The magic of us.
  • The level of trust necessary for the members of that same non-auditioned group group to go through the new folder of music this fall, see what the boss lady hath wrought, and not bolt for the hills laughing and screaming.
  • And THAT is combined with the level of trust that made Susie believe all the way from her hair down to the floor that we can do it. She has thrown stuff at us that would bring total panic to the aforementioned auditioned ensemble but the her trust in the gang in our rehearsal room makes us try. And work hard. And succeed EVERY time.
  • There’s also the trust for each other that is such a vital and alive part of our group personality. Trust that each of us is dedicated to our mutual success, trust that if one of us stumbles or gets lost there are people to help them get back on track, trust in the Board of Directors that they have every person in the room’s best interest at heart in their decision-making.
  • And don’t forget the hundreds of friends, family, neighbors and perfect strangers that trust us to blow their socks off every time we get on the risers and let fly. They trust us to show them something they’ve never seen before because of all of the other things that I’ve mentioned.

You mash all that together and you get 10 years of music-making that has made things happen that just aren’t supposed to. You can’t do “Requiem For the Living” with a motley crew like hours, that’s silly to even consider. You can’t bring a hammered dulcimer to a concert in Hawaii to play Christmas music. Nobody will understand it. You can’t perform an orchestral version of “Rubber Ducky”. Seriously. You just can’t.

But WE DID. That and a lot more. Take a few minutes and go look at our past repertoire* and laugh a little and get a little teary-eyed and consider the amount of all of the different layers of trust I just mentioned that it took to make it happen.

Now consider it again: “10th Annual Windward Choral Society Holiday Concert”. Heck yeah, bring it on.

Trust me.

(* For the 10-year vets, here’s a list to ponder: “O Sifuni Mungu”, “Yo Paso Las Noches”, “Pengyou, Ting”, “Haleluja! Pelo Tsa Rona”, “Niška Banja”, “Cold & Fugue Season”, “Três Cantos Nativos Dos Indios Kraó”, “Pasko Na Naman”, “Ríu, Ríu, Chíu”, and that’s only from the first 5 years. Snicker.)