I didn't get sun burned! (I wasn't in the sun very much... alas.) I had a wonderful visit to Delray Beach, FL from November 30 - December 4. I was in Florida for the premiere of A Song of Singing, which was commissioned by the Delray Beach Chorale (DBC) in celebration of their 30th anniversary season.
The dress rehearsal on Tuesday night (Nov. 30th) was the first time the choir had rehearsed with a 9-piece brass and percussion ensemble that would perform with them that weekend. The size of the church, power of the brass, and arrangement on the stage made balance a little tricky, but the DBC director Eric Keiper did a great job harnessing the brass and bringing the choir to the fore. He even brought a beautiful red rug to the performance, laying it down in front of the brass which helped absorb a bit of their powerful sound!
Between Tuesday (dress rehearsal) and Saturday (performance) I was hosted by a wonderful choir member and her husband, and was treated to great food, weather, and conversation. On Wednesday evening I had a lovely dinner with Eric and two members of the DBC board. It was really interesting to learn about the history of the choir and hear all their great ideas for the future - this is a group to watch!
Friday evening I had dinner with a board member and another singer in the group, and was fortunate enough to attend a brilliant concert by the Delray String Quartet. They played a wonderful program of music in a beautiful venue in Fort Lauderdale, and played with fantastic sensitivity. It was really a pleasure to hear them - I only wish more people had been there to appreciate some great music-making.
Saturday was a great day - we took some pictures prior to the performance in the afternoon, touched some spots in my piece and others, and began the concert at 3pm. It was a wonderful performance on many levels.
First, I think there were about 400 people in attendance! Second, it was an ambitious program of music that really showed many different sides of the choir and all the instrumentalists involved.
Third, the performance had a great energy and excitement that doesn't always happen. Sometimes the dress rehearsal will have that extra edge and energy, followed by a performance that seems lackluster. But in this case, the performance really kicked it up a notch.
My piece in particular sounded fun - which is exactly what I wanted. I wrote the piece hoping that it would be fun for everyone involved - the choir, the director, the brass, the timpani, the piano! I wasn't entirely sure how the audience would react to the piece (I guess because I was thinking so much more about the performers, in this case) but they loved it!
I was honored to be a part of this significant anniversary for the DBC and I look forward to following their next 30 years of singing!