Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Chills

This first Saturday in November was a day, for me, that was marked by chills, all kinds of chills.

The chills began at 7:30 am this morning when the alarm went off the first time. I was huddled under the covers, but I could feel the chill in the morning air. Harley and the kitten were strategically positioned under the covers as well. Harley was pushed up against me and the kitten found a warm spot between me and Weber. We were all warm and comfy. I thought to myself how nice it would be to stay in this position for a few more days, or at least a few more hours, or even just a few more minutes.

Wasn't happening. We had to get going because we needed to be in downtown Dallas for a rehearsal at 10:15. We all reluctantly rolled ourselves out of bed and quickly made the bed so that none of us would be the least bit tempted to crawl back under those covers where at this point it was still quite toasty.

I opened the door to let the dogs out and the two acres beyond our backdoor were covered by a thin layer of frost that glistened in the morning sunlight. Looking back on this first glimpse of today's morn, I can say that it really was beautiful but at that very moment, I was overcome by the 33 degree blast of air rushing through the door rather than this vision of nature's beauty. So, no picture. Sorry!

We dressed and had a warm breakfast and a few cups of coffee before heading out. I am singing with Resounding Harmony, a philanthropic chorus, in Dallas. This year's fall concert is Wednesday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, the home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. I am almost embarrassed to admit that this was my first visit to the Meyerson; as one who proclaims to be a musician, I should have been to many symphony concerts, but I haven't. After many years of spending my evenings at volleyball, basketball, and soccer games, which by the way I don't regret at all, I now have the opportunity to spend my evenings at the symphony if I choose. But, my first experience at the Meyerson will be from the stage rather than the audience. But first . . .

This was the first thing that caught my attention after parking downtown.
I was OK until I saw that there was a human being up in the cage of this massive construction crane.
Here marks today's second experience of chills, chills that were very different from the first. I am scared of heights. As I stood in the crisp morning air, I thought to myself, I am so glad that it is not me up there. I may not be warm in my bed, but I am not hundreds of feet up in the air looking down on the Dallas' Arts District. Perspective is everything!
I'm not sure whether these three members of the construction crew are, like me, counting their blessings because their feet are firmly planted on the ground or if they are envious of their co-worker who is sky high - literally.

Once the heart palpitations stopped and my legs felt more like human legs than Jell-O, we headed across the street to the Meyerson, an architectural piece of art. The angular lines of this building create fascinating structural illusions.

After checking in with security, we made our way through the belly of this hall eventually being spit out backstage after passing the mailboxes and lockers of the great musicians who make up the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In some ways, being backstage was kind of magical and in other ways it was confirmation that at our root, we are all the same. Some of the orchestra members' lockers were covered with drawings obviously given to them by special children in their lives; some had newspaper reviews; still others had cartoons and stickers. - these momentos were much like those things we all have on our desks and/or refrigerators.
Here are a few images from backstage.
This is a sound proof practice room for musicians to warm up. Presumably it is reserved for soloists. This little cubicle would be a wonderful candidate for "If These Walls Could Talk."

Scattered behind the stage are cases containing . . .I'm not sure what. Large instrument of some kind, probably.
This is the green room, the place where performers come to relax before making their way on stage.
Resounding Harmony did a complete technical run-through of our upcoming performance. Being in the hall was amazing. Listening in the hall was breath taking. Singing in the hall brought head-to-toe chills - third time for chills today. And again, very different from the first two instances.
Our concert is to benefit the North Texas Food Bank. All of the pieces on the concert are emotionally charged works whose lyrics address the many aspects of food in our lives. These passionate words and the hall's acoustic majesty combine to bring chills that result from both physical and emotional stimuli.
Here is a view of the house taken from my vantage point on stage. (I snapped all of these pictures on the sly with my phone so please don't judge their photographic merit.)
I can only imagine that the goose bumps I experienced today while singing to an empty house will be magnified ten-fold when it is faces rather than rows of empty chairs staring back at us.

After rehearsal, we had a nice lunch with a fellow singer and student of mine before returning to the tasks of everyday life, grocery shopping and laundry. As we were making our way through the last few aisles of the grocery store, I suddenly realized that I didn't feel very well. I was tired, my body ached, and I was freezing. These are not good signs.
By the time we got home, I was trembling with chills, the kind of chills that only accompany a fever. The thermometer confirmed that I do indeed have an elevated temperature. These chills are my least favorite of the day. So, I am going to end this here and get some rest so that I am feeling well for Wednesday's concert.