The bad news: we didn't win. And, of course, we are disappointed. Losing isn't fun, that's what makes winning so great.
It was a very close competition and the caliber of the other choirs was extremely high. Win or lose, we are thankful for the experience and we'll be a better choir from having entered the fray.
Today, I take the most joy in what this has brought for the UAB students. Here's something Ashley Arrington said:
I had a great time singing last night. My face was shaking from smiling so much. I felt like we exuded confidence and pride for our choir, our country, our school and of course our music. I was worried because I didn't know how we measured up to other choirs since we hadn't heard any anothers perform...but when we went out to listen afterwards I realized we were right in stride with everyone else if not a step ahead of them. Performing for an attentive, interested audience is a thrill like none other. I could see people's reactions out of my peripheral vision and that really encouraged and excited me even more. I also think we stood out in a number of ways. We had by far the biggest sound. Other choirs were good at the controlled chamber choir-esque sound, but that got boring very quickly. However, there was no way anyone could sleep through any song in our set. Every song was exciting in some way. Our songs were impeccably chosen and executed.
As we sang I thought about what Dr. C said about all of our songs having a certain universality to them -- that is what this whole experience has been for me. We've gotten to meet people from all over the globe, and despite our differences we all share a love of choral music. It is a source of passion and joy for all of us or else we wouldn't be here. When we hit the phrase "until the universe can fit inside my heart" I could feel the love and warmth in the room. I felt a definite appreciation for what we were doing up there from people of all walks of life. That caused a revelation in me -- that we're all just people, no matter what or where we come from. Music is the single thread that ties us all together and it is truly a universal language.