Tuesday, May 26, 2015

bella nova

when i was at compass with diana last fall, i overheard angelic female voices singing in harmony. i simply had to go over and tell them how much i enjoyed their outdoor rehearsal. that was the beginning of a budding friendship with the mom and her daughters.

i made time in my schedule for the twice-monthly sunday rehearsals since january. i am so glad i did. singing with a group again fills a part of me that i hadn't fully acknowledged was lonely and longing for community.

my best memories of high school involved singing in chorus and harmonizing with an especially dear friend. her voice is the one i always hear when *o thou that tellest good tidings to zion* comes to mind. singing with my then-boyfriend-and-now-husband steve in OSU's chorale were magical moments. joining the baton rouge symphony chorus, the downer's grove choral society, acappellago, and woodland chamber singers count among the best decisions of my life. singing the songs from music together for over a decade has been an incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable way to include my children in the soundtrack of our lives.

and now i have found a home with bella nova. women's barbershop, members of harmony, inc. almost entirely new in terms of style to me (though my high school friend's mom was directing a sweet adelines chorus and my friend has since followed suit), but oh, so familiar in my love for acapella and harmony. (you do recall how much i love pentatonix, right? and eric whitacre - so much so that i participated in his virtual choir? how about the maccabeats?)

this group of women and their marvelous director are literally comprised of family. a woman and her husband, daughters, mother, and sister are members of the core, the heart of this group. to have multiple generations of sweet sounding women's voices only adds to the appeal of this group for me.

they didn't ask me to audition. they invited me to come. and to sing. and to join. it was with joy that i said yes.

i performed with the chorus in april as part of the fairfax jubilaires spring show. it was a tremendous experience for me, being back on a stage. it felt like where i belonged.

and then this most recent performance, back in the church where bella nova rehearsed before i joined. the acoustics were magical. but honestly, the very best part of the experience was that i could share my joy with my family. the show in april would have been overwhelming for diana and ander, but this focused, intimate setting really let them see and hear what i was working on with my *singing ladies*. ander smiled and waved at me several times in between songs. i got to sit with him and experience the spectacular performances of epic with him. he loved our singing. he loved their singing. he loved listening to and watching miss chris so much that he asked me to introduce him to her afterwards, which i did, and he charmed his way into an autographed cd from the quartet.

this one performance has made a huge difference to me and my loved ones. ander is more agreeable about my playing and singing barbershop music at home - in between musical theatre selections like hello, dolly - and diana is considering attending a rehearsal to get to know just a little more about what i'm involved in. steve is understandably jealous that i am singing without him but is very, very supportive in making sure i have the opportunity to pursue this.

finding a new musical home. ahhh. that makes me happyer.

(did i mention i now sing bass? yes, i can go very, very low.)

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