“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein
Well, I’m back! I hoped you enjoyed the Choral Ethics Repeats during the month of August. They were part of the first series I wrote for ChoralNet as a guest blogger four years ago. I thought they were worth repeating and I hope you did too.
I am writing this today from a lovely cottage in northern Wisconsin; on vacation with my husband and all three of our children. There is a music festival up here and an artist’s colony, the shopping is great and there are wonderful restaurants. We’ve been coming up since 2002 and we love it.
We come together in this beautiful place once a year to gather and center; our family and ourselves. While we may take other trips (for business or pleasure) during the rest of the year, this is the time to relax and fresh ourselves. We hike, bike, take boat tours and trolley rides and go to concerts. There are many games of Scrabble, we watch movies or talk about things important to us and to our lives. We ask advice from each other and we laugh!
By the time we start back home, I am usually refreshed. This summer I started out more irritated than usual. It has been a difficult year; with my father-in-law’s death as well as an aunt’s, my husband’s health scare as well as various responsibilities being thrust on me because no one else wants to do them. I was pushing the limits of my stress level when I left. Why was I stressed? For a number of reasons but mostly because I let someone’s snotty behavior get to me; I’m over it now.
I held auditions for my chamber choir throughout the summer and sent email blasts out to my usual data base. I posted here on ChoralNet, on my chamber choir’s Facebook page, on Twitter and on our local community’s newsletters. I sent out flyers and postcards, posted posters and got the word out in all my usual ways. Because the audition period was quite long, I did all these things at the beginning of the period as well as several weeks before it ended.
I had several folks audition toward the beginning of my audition period but none made it past the sight-reading portion of the audition, unfortunately. If they had, I probably wouldn’t have sent out a second round of email blasts. Two people responded to that second round of emails; a former boss who has moved out of state and the music director of a local medium/large Roman Catholic Church, St. Mikey’s*.
I get about a dozen email lists myself, from Music Tours and concert opportunities, and all sorts of composers. Some emails I don’t open and some I peruse, eventho I am fairly certain I will never use their services. I never tell them to take me off their lists though, thinking I might use them or need them in the future; I am very much a not burning my bridges kind of person. And usually, when someone asks me to remove them from my list, they are nice about it but not the Guy from St. Mickey’s!
My former boss was surprised I hadn’t heard she had moved. I responded I had not known she had left the area and wished her well. The Music Director from St. Mikey’s was snippy about the whole thing. I responded by telling him I removed him from my email blasts and was so sorry I bothered him and blah, blah, blah. He had been in my blasts since 2013 and never said a word before, so how was I to know?
I was still a bit irritated when I met a good friend, who is also up here for vacation, for lunch last week. My friend has sung in my chamber choir, attended graduate school with me and is now the orchestra manager for a local symphony. We were talking about our families when I remembered her symphony often has their holiday concerts at St. Mickey’s. I showed her the email (on my phone) The Guy sent me; she wondered why he needed to send me that email in the first place. She also said she will now think differently about him. It wasn’t just me overreacting; it was him being a snot. Remember this story; you never know who knows whom. Or who will share your behavior with their friends.