Thoughts as they come to me:
- I found out that we were one of two American choirs out of five that were accepted for admittance to the festival. That in itself is an achievement!
- We are receiving glowing accolades from the audience: "very spiritual choir" "there is something in the air about your choir" "magnificent" "diverse program--very well rounded" "your choir looks as though they are enjoying themselves" "Are they professionals?"
- Jerry Jordan, my friend and mentor, tells me that the choir that sings with the most emotion and precision will win. We will try our best to achieve that very ideal today at 2:30 and 4:30. I think that the victory is within our grasp if we sing our best. The students are ready and prepared on the music; we only need to execute what we know to do--and add that extra sparkle and spunk of emotion and energy.
- The choir is experiencing performances and audiences like they've seen before. In last night's performance of LUX, I could actually hear the audience holding their breath as we sang the most intimate moments of the work on the last page. As a conductor, i've been taught to stretch the audience and their emotions to the breaking point . . . . and i tried to do just that last night. There wasn't a sound in the entire auditorium as the sopranos held their note perfectly until the choir (finally) entered beautifully on the last cadence. It was a moment that I will never forget.
- The audience went crazy following our performance of I Thank You Jesus; they clapped and screamed loudly following the last note. The students were ecstatic about their singing and many wept as they hugged one another. Very, very special.