And before I say anything else about that, do check today’s date.
Saturday evening, the choir’s first public outing, did go very well, however. They learned the music, they were able to do it outside of the church building in front of a group of people specifically there to listen to (and, to some extent, watch) them, and I am inestimably proud of all of them for doing it and keeping it together throughout. For most of them it would have been the first time they would have ever done anything like this, and certainly the first time the choir as an ensemble has ever participated in this kind of outreach. There are always things you’d hope would go better, but they maintained composure throughout the whole program and never once crashed and burned. Just being able to do that is a fantastic start for a group like this, and now we all know we can do it (I’ve always known they could do it, it was just convincing them), we’ll move forward from here. This group wouldn’t have been able to do this at all a year ago, and it sure isn’t because of me that they can now, so that they were able to do this is a measure of the hard work they’ve put into this.
(Thank you to Anna for taking photos, but really just for being there.)
Here are some highlights:
Lauds with stichera, Bridegroom Matins of Holy Tuesday (Matthew Wells, Megan Barrett, and me, cantors)
15th Antiphon, Great and Holy Friday (John Labban, cantor)
I’m hoping the next opportunity to do something like this comes along soon (but preferably after Pascha, at least).
In other news, my paper went well at the Medieval Studies Symposium; I felt good about the research and the presentation, particularly since I had been able to go back and replace many of my key references to English translations of Syriac sources (for which I didn’t really have a choice when I started writing the paper a year ago) to the Syriac sources themselves. I also felt like I handled the questions well. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Dorushe conference goes at Notre Dame this weekend.
I’m leaning increasingly towards going to the Fellowship of Ss. Alban & Sergius conference one way or the other. It seems very much like it would be worth the money and would behoove me to be there. Maybe I can “blog the conference,” as it were. Even so, at the risk of sounding like I’m begging for money — tip jar, baby, tip jar!
If I can just say — I am well to have March behind me. It has been a really awful month on several levels, and I have felt despairing at many points throughout the last 31 days. I am hopeful that April is beginning on a brighter note, with an eye towards the fact that the month is ending with Pascha (and Finals Week, but never mind that now). Onward and upward, with God’s help.