The choir traditionally put on two concerts, one
near the end of each semester. The winter concert featured Brahms’s Requiem – that’s one challenging piece. It is so rich
– I remember thinking I didn’t like it very much when I first heard it, but when I was in it – inside of it – the tapestry of
sound was astoundingly and almost overwhelmingly beautiful. That concert was my first solo work since elementary
school… the first time after I must have realized that there were actually people out there listening. Desiring the ever-
understated presentation, Ms. Micheletti dictated that the soloists were not to be dressed in formal clothes with chairs and
stands in front of the chorus. We simply stood in the front row in our choir robes and took a step out to sing our solos, and
then stepped back to totally blend in. I will never forget that step out. I sang the first solo – I actually pulled it off – but
when I stepped back into line my knees were shaking so much I fell into the person next to me. I didn’t have a friendly
face in the audience upon which to fix my gaze: my parents didn’t come. It wasn’t important enough for them to take time
off work – at least, work was the excuse they gave me.
The first time something like that happens it is devastating. After that it doesn’t matter much anymore.
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