What a night . . . what a semester . . . what a year.
I was so proud of all my groups tonight . . . it was an honor to stand in front of you and make the music we made tonight.
Chamber Singers arrived at a new place on their music:
1. Haec dies was very good . . .
2. Michelle was better than it has ever been before. Tenors blend was superb . . . you made adjustments in the last two days that changed everything for the better. Congratulations, men.
3. Country Dances was superb. The right tempo, the right dynamic, the right spirit, the right transitions. Way to go.
Women's chorale did exceptionally well. Of all the groups I direct, you made the most improvement from where you began and where you ended. We started with small sounds and unsure singers . . . we ended with bigger sounds and confidence. Way to go . . . I was very proud. Erin did a superb job in her conducting and quiet leadership. A great night.
Concert Choir was especially thrilling. This was a seven-year high point . . . the best we've ever done in a spring concert, I think. It brought back to my mind two other concerts: the new york carnegie hall concert and the first night in Tours competition. Here's what I wrote about the night in France . . . tonight was very similar, except better. We sustained emotion, precision, and energy through seven very difficult musical works.
Leigh thought that the Regina Coeli was the best piece . . . Dr. Jordan said that we sang each work with "complete authority." Both of those comments mean quite a bit to me . . .
My friend Greg Park was impressed with the way the choir took the stage . . . they smiled at the audience and tried to make a connection. Way to go.
Nick Cummins said this in an email to me: I have to say tonight was spectacular...best piece overall: tie between "Nunc Dimittis" and "Regina Coeli" both were just awesome.
Dr. Mostellar told me he was "blown away" and that he'd never heard anything like that in twenty years here at UAB. (i think i'm quoting him correctly) A very kind comment and one that I appreciate very much from him. Dr. Irving was the first one to congratulate me after the concert. I really appreciate the support of those two men.
So . . . as I've now passed 1 AM . . . I think two thoughts:
1. I am glad I said what I did about Dr. Jordan to that crowd tonight. It felt good to talk about his influence on me for so many years to a group that knew him and saw his talent firsthand. It felt right to talk about "the curse" of being in his choir and that I've been working out the musical truths he taught me ever since.
2. I'm extremely proud of my students tonight . . . you rose to the occasion and performed with passion, pride, and power. You sang musically and moved appropriately at the slightest gesture I made. You drew the audience to you . . . they sensed your energy and your commitment to excellence.
It was a special night and one that I will never forget. Congratulations, everyone.
And . . . thanks.