It’s a blurry photo, but it captures one of the more dramatic and interesting moments from this weekend’s Christmas Festival performances. The Carthage Choir, as always, met before today’s concert down in the choir room – and Mr. Noble talk with them went maybe 4 or 5 minutes longer than usual. (He really got them talking about some interesting artistic matters, and he also wanted to pay tribute to some of the seniors who were singing their final Christmas Festival performance.) Anyway, I always head upstairs ahead of the choir so I am ready to do my “welcome/ turn off your cell phones “ announcement at the very top of the program. Right after that announcement is the playing of the carillon – which is followed by a very brief reading and then the first song. . . “I wonder as I wander” sung by the Carthage Choir. Imagine the horror which gripped the choir members who got off the elevator to the sound of the carillon already pealing. . . and suddenly the lobby of Siebert was filled with choir members running as fast as they could to get to their places up in the balcony. Others came up the stairs, and it was the same deal . . . as soon as they heard the sound of the carillon already ringing, they took off like they were being chased by werewolves. Some singers like my voice student Brett Harmeling, one of Carthage’s best golfers and athletes, tore through that lobby like lightning. Others had to move a bit more gingerly but still covered an amazing amount of ground- with my student Jamie Wilson deserving some sort of Purple Heart for doing his running on a broken foot. Anyway, almost everyone made it to their place in the balcony with seconds to spare. . . and the audience heard a lovely and remarkably unruffled performance, which by the way had to be conducted by Peter Dennee, because Mr. Noble was among the last to reach Siebert and he simply got there too late. . . it would have meant just a little too much “dead air” if the choir had waited for him to reach the balcony. The irony was that during his pre-concert comments, Mr. Noble said something about how the choir was getting to the point where they could probably sing their four pieces without him conducting them at all. And in a sense, they ended up nearly proving him correct!
Mr. Noble handled it so well- sorry that he had kept the choir a bit too long, and impressed that Peter had the presence of mind to position himself in the balcony when it became evident that the choir was going to be getting to their positions a bit later than was ideal. Peter deserves a lot of credit for this weekend, but especially for keeping calm in this potentially stressful situation. And ditto for the Carthage Choir members who ended up having to do their best Carl Lewis imitations right before they sang. Ah, to be young and have that much energy to spare!
One other surprise twist this afternoon. . . About 2:00 I got a call from Peter Dennee, asking that I pick up Mr. Noble on my way to the concert. Kathy and I had already done something similar on a couple of different occasions, but always with Kathy’s car- but today Kathy was off doing the concert with her school choir- – – so I was driving my Honda, otherwise known as the Landfill on Wheels. (Dr. Dennee apparently has never taken a close look at my car or he never would have asked such a favor of me.) So I cut short a visit to my friend Playford Thoreson, and ran back home to somehow make my car fit for human habitation. And twenty minutes and two and a half trash bags later, I was on the road to respectability! Of course much of my effort had to be devoted to the vehicular equivalent of sweeping dust under the rug – but I succeeded in making the car at least somewhat presentable – complete with a final spritz or two of Lysol for good measure.
Ah, the sweet surprises which life sometimes delivers to us!