- Savannah had to check herself out of school at 1:00pm with just the handwritten note I sent with her. Her office secretary (or House Elf as we lovingly refer to her around here) is a bit skeptical and suspicious sometimes and tends to interrogate the kids when they leave school in the middle of the day (I'm sure that's the nature of the job when you work in a high school.) But yesterday when Savannah handed her the note, the secretary asked where she was going and when Savannah said she was going to the Meyerson to play the part of Mary in a Christmas concert, that secretary's heart instantly softened and she let Savannah leave right on time.
- Even though we left later than we intended, and even though there was traffic, we made it to the Meyerson right at 2:30 for Savannah's dress call.
- I didn't have anything to do from 2:30 when we got Savannah into her rehearsal and 4:00 when the choir needed to be assembled in the concert hall. But the choir president was roaming around the lobby looking slightly frazzled and happened to come and ask me if I would please sit at the desk and check people in. Of course I could do that! That is my all time favorite job! I met so many nice people that I had not met in the three months we've been singing together. And I finally put names to a few of the faces I've been talking to all this time. It was a great way to spend that 90 minutes.
- Rehearsal lasted from 4:00 - 7:00. Holy cow! Intense, but amazing to see all the pieces fitting together. The first rehearsal for us in two weeks! Four different directors. A complete orchestra who had never played through some of that music as a group before. All the children. Seating and reseating logistics. Phew!
- My very prepared husabnd had thought ahead and picked up something for us to eat during our 20 minute break before the concert began. We scooped up Savannah in her Mary attire and had a quick snack before going out there to perform.
- A SOLD OUT symphony hall! Imagine this place filled to capacity! Absolutely unbelievable...
- Memorized music. I'm pretty sure I missed every single first cue of every single song. But when I finally did come in on the second or third syllable of the second or third word, I knew every word and every note after that!
- Perfection. Have you ever participated in a production where the final run through was a complete disaster and you wondered how it was ever going to come together? Well, our final run through wasn't a disaster at all, but there were A LOT of little variables that could have become potential disasters in the concert…like the 4 - 6 year old children's choir that sang. Like moving children and adults up and down out of that choir loft. Like a million other things that I probably didn't even think about. But every note of that performance last night was flawless. All the little things that the kids did during the rehearsal, magically vanished during the performance. It was like smoothing out the sheets and having not a single wrinkle left on the bed. After each of the children's numbers, the choir was totally silent and in awe for a few seconds before we remembered to applaud.
Savannah and her Joseph counterpart, Tyler, had a REAL BABY to carry last night. They rehearsed it ONE TIME with him before the choir and orchestra were even assembled, and then every other time after that, they used a doll. Near the end of the performance, the lights dimmed on the choir and a tiny little light lit up that aisle just left of the center row of seats in the audience. Joseph walked in front of Mary, carrying baby Jesus. She followed him all the way toward the stage, completely in character, as the choir sang the most beautiful arrangement of O Little Town of Bethlehem that I have ever heard. Joseph climbed the stairs up to the stage first, still holding a very silent little bundle that I assumed was the doll that they had had to substitute for a fussy backstage baby. And then he reached out his hand to help Mary up the stairs and handed her the little bundle when she safely got to the top. They continued to walk all the way to the other side of the stage where the manger and a little chair were set for them. Mary carefully put the baby in the manger and then Joseph helped her sit down. And that's when I knew it wasn't the doll! Savannah was SO careful and SO deliberate when she laid that little bundle in the manger that I knew she was worried about waking an actual baby. She's a good little actress, but she's also my daughter and I know her. She sat and tended the little baby while Joseph stood watch over both of them through the end of O LIttle Town…and for the entire next song. And that's where the miracle continued…the next song was O Come All Ye Faithful and starts with the most jubilant, majestic, and LOUD organ introduction ever…on that spectacular pipe organ right behind the choir loft. The organist (who had been flown in from California just for this performance) played the grand entrance, the choir matched its majesty, and we filled that concert hall with the musical declaration of the Savior's birth and an invitation to Come Unto Him. It was our final number to end the show, so it was BIG. The crowd roared with enthusiasm and jumped to their feet for a standing ovation when we finished. And then Mary picked up that little bundle out of the manger, and he was still…sound...asleep. That was my favorite part of the night, I think… singing that beautiful song, which happens to be my favorite, and watching my almost grown up daughter being very motherly with that sweet little Baby Jesus.
The whole night was overwhelming and completely fulfilling.
I wish that everyone I have ever known could have been at that concert. It was the most spirit filled thing I have ever been a part of. I cannot wait for rehearsals to start again in January and to see where this choir is going to go next!
We are so grateful for our dear friends who came to hear us last night. Love these people!
Meanwhile…on a smaller stage…this little mermaid sister did a fantastic job! And thank you to my other sweet friends who covered our absence at her opening night and made her feel like the star that she was.