Last evening was interesting...in a way...hohoho!
The choir I sing with was participating in the local Rotary Carol Festival, one of 12 choirs performing 2 songs each.
What a circus!
It began calmly for me: since I had been given the incorrect start time for the festivities, I arrived 90 minutes early...yes, NINETY! haha Well, I got the best parking spot on the street, so no harm done there!! After sitting in the car for a half hour wondering why there was still a plethora of excellent parking spots available for a concert I thought was beginning in 30 more minutes, I decided to wander into the church where it was being held and find find out what was going on. Well, how about that...the concert wasn't going to start for another hour! Fortunately the church is in close proximity to Cornwall Center shopping mall and it was still open. So I wasn't bored while waiting for things to get underway.
When it was time for the concert to at last begin I chose a place to sit near the back of the church so that I could slip out unobtrusively when it was time to go to the lower hall to get warmed up and ready with our choir. In the meantime I settled back to enjoy the many youth choirs that were singing ahead of us. Did I say "enjoy"??? O, I tried. I truly did try to enjoy it, but between screeching babies, pew bashing toddlers and a group of women who seemed to think no one would notice them chit chatting in their own language at the top of their lungs, sharing texts and laughter during the choirs their own children were NOT singing in...to the point where a man finally stood up, pointed his finger in their faces and told them to "SHUT THE F*%&# UP!!" with all the joyful Christmas spirit he could muster...people jumping up and down, coming and going in between choirs, talking as if the emcee for the evening was invisible or completely absent instead of trying his dangdest to speak audibly over the roar of the ignorant audience, cell phones ringing, video games with full sound being played here and there around the sanctuary and the general lack of understanding that audiences are supposed to sit still and pay attention for opening speeches and even for the choirs on before their own children perform....o dear Lord, it was a 3 ring circus in there!!!
Downstairs in the rehearsal and "getting lined up" area it was complete bedlam. Coats and purses and boots and people and musical instruments and noise and every type of song rehearsal and mixups and confusion....the best part of the entire evening was getting out of both the circus upstairs and the bedlam downstairs, standing in the choir loft singing our hearts out to the remaining audience of about two dozen; since all the rest of the huge audience had departed with their exhausted child singers. I wanted to stay to hear the final 2 choirs just to help fill out the obvious gaps in the pews but after hearing them both rehearsing downstairs decided they would be on their own. My presence wasn't going to improve their performance any. Sigh.....have no idea how our own choir did. I was too busy enjoying the lack of screeching children and mothers to do much other listening at that point.
That is the second year I have attended and participated in that particular carol festival and I think next year I will give it a pass....perhaps if I am still in a choir that sings in it I will try to participate in only our part of it, but that will be all.
I do commend the Regina Rotarians though: they provide a public venue, a free concert that includes all manner of choirs in this city, many that would get very few chances to do a truly public performance without this sort of event. I was also thrilled that to start the programme the Christmas story from the New Testament was read aloud. They didn't allow the pressure of so called "political correctness" to rob them or us of having a true Christmas Concert with many real carols and not just a package of "winter songs". I was as happy as anyone to make my financial donation to their cause of assisting folk in need in this city.
Fortunately and completely unbelievably, the entire evening was running nearly 20 minutes ahead of schedule...unheard of as a rule at these Carol Festival evenings....or perhaps unfortunately for spouses and friends at home who had a live link to the festivities and a time frame when we would be singing and so would likely have missed us all together had they attempted to see us perform....so I got home much earlier than I expected to. It was kind of a nice treat after being there 90 minutes earlier than I had to be. hohoho!!