On December 4th, the UST music program held it’s annual Christmas Concert at Orchestra Hall. Each year, the concert includes performances by the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Women’s Choir, band, wind ensemble, and handbell choir from UST. There are always two performances, an afternoon and an evening show, because of the high attendance rates and amount of people wanting to see family, friends, or merely a great concert during the holiday season. Every year the music program produces a marvelous show, and this year was no exception.
It was my second year performing in the Christmas concert, last year as a member of the Concert Choir and this year as a member of the Chamber Singers. It is incredibly difficult to explain how much work goes in to making these concerts as superb as they are, but I’ll do my best to give you an inside look at the concert and the preparation needed to put on the Christmas concerts.
In an earlier blog post, I mentioned that I don’t like singing or listening to Christmas songs until Thanksgiving has passed. Well, as a member of the choir, we begin rehearsing the Christmas carols and songs for the concert sometime in late October to early November. Talk about an early start to the holiday season! Typically the group Christmas carols are easier to learn and polish for the concert, but the songs specific to our choir are more difficult and take a longer time to perfect. This means we start working on these songs (usually two of them) earlier in the year, sometime in late September to mid October. Every rehearsal (three days a week, 1.5 hours each rehearsal) is spent working on these songs and making them perfect.
The day of the concert is one of the longest, yet most enjoyable days of the year. It is filled with choir love and bonding, something that I cherish so much. The day begins at the crack of dawn-well, for a college student that is-and ends long after the sun has set. Here’s a rough schedule of the day:
7 AM: Alarm goes off. Hit Snooze. Obviously.
7:15 AM: Second alarm rings. Once again, hit snooze.
7:30 AM: Third alarm. Ok, fine. It’s time to get up.
7:45 AM: Put on the comfiest clothes I own.
8 AM: Straighten the bed head and put my face on (aka makeup).
8:30 AM: Head to Orchestra Hall.
9 AM: Warm Ups.
9:30 AM: Onstage for rehearsal numero uno.
10:30 AM: Hour long break. Go to Caribou. Need. Caffeine.
11:30 AM: Back onstage for rehearsal number two.
12 PM: Lunch Break. Jimmy John’s. As always. #4 please.
1:20 PM: Final Dress Rehearsal. Goodbye comfy clothes. Hello big red dress.
3 PM: Lay around the practice room. Maybe sleep. Or take pictures. Or watch “Bridesmaids” on my friend Alison’s laptop.
4:00 PM: CONCERT 1 WOOHOO!
6 PM: See the family, rest, eat dinner, rest.
7:30 PM: CONCERT 2 WOOHOO!
9 PM: See friends, get comfy clothes back on, BYE orchestra hall.
9:20 PM: 25 Facebook notifications from all the choir love happening online.
9:30 PM: Crash.
That is just a rough sketch of what our day usually consists of. It is LONG, arduous, tiring…but so much fun. I can’t imagine spending that much time with anyone except my choir family. I love you all and can’t wait until next year’s concert!