The first rehearsal is a bit like the first day of school. The excitement of seeing old friends, the anticipation of the new kids, the gathering of bags, supplies, sharpened pencils. There is the apprehension that your skills are up to par, the hope that your hard work produces success, and the thrill of accomplishment. But unlike the first day of school, being a member of a choir is not about individual success. Every bit of hard work, study, and sharpened pencil is focused on a goal larger than yourself. It is about serving your fellow choristers, serving the artistic decisions of the Director, serving the music, serving the audience. If you do it right, you can serve the world at large through an expression of indefinable beauty. As I walk into the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts to attend the first Atlanta Master Chorale rehearsal of the 2016-2017 season, these thoughts run through my head. My voice is ready because I sang vocal warm-ups in the car, and decided not to belt out the C on “I Dreamed a Dream” when it came on the radio. I stop just before the doorway to take stock of my supplies: my pencil and auxiliary pencil are in my purse, even though I know that there will be a brand new one from our volunteer librarian tucked neatly into my music packet. When Dr. Nelson gives marks to my section, I don’t want to be notating them in my score with sweet Georgia air, or worse, a pen. My phone is not only on silent, but turned all the way off. I would be mortified if it bumped against something in my purse and the strains of […]