Aaron gave us a choice this month – we can either talk about how we keep our #sqlibrium (i.e. work\life balance) or we can talk about some of our own personal additions to his bad habits list. I’m choosing Door #1.
The easiest way to my #sqlibrium is by the extra facts I add about me at the bottom of my “About Me” slide for my presentations:
You’ll notice a theme – music.
If my love for theater, especially musical theater, isn’t apparent, may I direct you to my T-SQL Tuesday post from August about “Auditioning for the Job?” I’ve always loved theater. I was in a sketch comedy troupe in college so I was able to use that to get some acting in. I always thought I’d have the opportunity to do community theater once I graduated college but that never seemed to materialize, other than the one production of Annie where I was a bum or dancing through the streets of NYC or a maid in the Warbucks household. But I still love theater even if I can’t be on stage. About that picture from the slide on the right – yes, it’s me with the one and only Bernadette Peters after seeing her and Elaine Stritch in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music on Broadway. (Yes, I “stalked” the stage door hoping for this and yes, I got her to sign my playbill as well.) My friends and I have subscriptions to the touring Broadway shows and I have done the subscription to one of the local theaters that had been sending its shows to Broadway. Seeing Waitress before it went to Broadway with the majority of original Broadway cast is still a highlight.
(While it’s not musical theater, seeing James Earl Jones and Dana Delany be fantastic and still be outshined by a revelatory Amanda Plummer in Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams was pretty fine evening, too.)
The bluegrass jams and instruments are relatively new. I’ve been doing those for about 4 years now. I picked up guitar about 2 1/2 years ago and the mandolin was a gift over the holidays. I know of at least 4-5 different local jams that occur each week with at least one more monthly jam. I can’t make all of them but I try to get to one or two on a weekly basis. And then there are a whole bunch of different festivals that where you can hear bands or just walk up to a group and start jamming (or picking as it’s called in the bluegrass world.) You wouldn’t think it would have such a strong following in New England, but there’s a huge community in this area. It’s wonderful to show up and just make music. I’ve lucked out in finding a group of really talented people who’ve made the process of jumping and in learning all these new songs and styles so much fun.
Finally, on most Tuesdays, my response to most things is:
In many ways, my choir is my second family. As my director said, we’re not the family we were born into but the family he auditioned. I joined this group a year after I graduated college. In terms of repertoire, it’s incredibly diverse – ranging from Baroque music from the early 1600s through new commissions to everything in between. We’ve sung songs in over 15 languages and toured internationally. We even have a documentary from our tour to Eastern Europe that was shown on PBS stations. The picture on the left in my slide is me in our version of the Andrew Sisters singing Ba Mir Bistu Shein; we do this as part of an arrangement that starts the original Yiddish theater version. I wouldn’t be half the singer I am today if it weren’t for this group – from our conductor\artistic director who is so passionate about what we do to the vocal coaches we’ve had through the years to the other fabulous singers who have become such good friends of mine. Perhaps the best way I can describe this group to #sqlfamily is to call it #choirfamily.
When I’m having a rough day or week, showing up and making music with good people seems to make everything else go away. Speaking of which, I should wrap this up – I have rehearsal and solo auditions tonight! Wish me luck!