It can’t always be puppies and rainbows and flowers and unicorns (except in those irritating “My Little Pony” ads), some days you’re just not at the top of your game. The same can be true about rehearsals; most of the time it’s good fun, hard work, a few funny moments and a sense of accomplishment that rides home with you. It’s one of the things that makes choral singing such a cool thing to do.

Every season, however, there seems to be that one night…

I suspect every choir has one of them. Things start to go a little south and something is just…well…off. Segments of a piece that have been second nature for weeks stumble a little, sight reading is sightless, there’s a tiny undercurrent of frustration that you can’t quite put your finger on but it’s THERE and you can’t get it to GO AWAY. If you take a step back and look at it you’ll discover that, even though that evening isn’t up to stellar standards, the fact that the entire group is experiencing it is actually remarkable and, in its own way, kind of magical.

Think about it. This large group, as we sing together, becomes a single unit with a singular goal. We succeed together and, every now and then, we’re not at our best together. Whether we know it or not, we feed off each other’s energy and mood and joy and that’s what makes the machine go. A choir starts as a bunch of individuals with their own goals and ideas and evolves into a cohesive group that ebbs and flows together; it’s a natural thing really. We spend nearly all of an evening or rehearsal singing the same words at the same time, taking breaths at the same time and working to get to the same goal.

Don’t worry, there’s good news: EVERY time there’s a not-at-our-collective-best rehearsal, the next one is stellar. It’s an unconcious thing as everyone has just a little more focus, a little more concentration, a little more sense of adding their power to the group. If it’s something you take notice of, it’s actually really amazing.

And that one clunker is normal. That’s the nature of the beast. Heck if we DIDN’T have one rehearsal that had some hiccups and belches in it I’d be afraid for the concert!

(Not really…those are always epic.)