“The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another… and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.” Leonard Bernstein
We all know Holy Week is the busiest week in our profession. Most of us have some sort of performing obligations, whether in church or getting ready for a performance before or after. Church choirs are crazy-busy with special Lenten music and Easter Cantatas, as well as all the extra rehearsals that go with it. Whew; I’m tired just typing this all out! Sometimes, like this year, I’m amazed by how much I’ve been able to accomplish despite the obstacles thrown in my way. I suppose I’m stubborn and tenacious. I think that is why I was able to do what I set out to do.
Many of you are equally stubborn and tenacious. That’s why beautiful music happens every year in your communities, no matter what. How many organists drove through ice storms or blizzards to practice at their churches during Lent? I would guess many of you. How many of you or your choirs sang through colds? Plenty, I am sure. You “powered through” anyway because that’s what we do, isn’t it? We bring the music, no matter what. No matter our hearts are breaking or we are stuck together with Vitamin C, hot tea and tissues or our snow chains are clanging as we “merrily roll along.” We bring the music.
In the event no one has told you recently: good job, you made your congregation’s Lenten and Easter plans happen. Never doubt yourself or imagine you didn’t do enough. You did plenty; there is someone out there who appreciates all you do, they just haven’t told you yet. They will tell you eventually, probably when you least expect it. But know even though they haven’t told you, your music was important to them and brought Hope to them when they felt without Hope. Never doubt. Please take some time for yourself after this week; you deserve it. And don’t forget the chocolate!