Gustav, Gustavo and Me

I took a few days off because of my singing schedule, and you wouldn’t BELIEVE how good it feels to say that!  Well, upward and onward in the Mahler 8th journal.  (You’ll notice I changed the title slightly.  Alliteration’s artful aid.)

Our second rehearsal was also with Grant Gershon (see previous post), but included both adult choirs and the children’s choir.  We met at Lake Avenue Congregational Church, in Pasadena.  It’s a lovely church, with a truly beautiful organ (minds out of the gutter, please) and, more to the point, it’s huge.  We began to get an idea of what the distance-from-the conductor problem would be.  You have to watch like a hawk searching for lunch not only to see the conductor, but to slightly anticipate him because light travels faster than sound.  I remember that from high school, and finally, a practical application.  The pictures attached show three views from the sanctuary, and one from the balcony.

Rehearsal Lake Ave. Church - Sanctuary

Lake Ave. Church Rehearsal from the Balcony

Rehearsal Lake Ave. Church Sanctuary

We also began to get a sense of the logistics of seating.  Kathie Freeman is Grant’s assistant, and it’s one of her jobs to create the seating chart.  Kathie should be up for sainthood because any usable seating chart is going to constitute at least two—and possibly all three—necessary miracles.  She’s also in charge of giving announcements (“Remember, even if we meet in the Dorothy Chandler, we park at Disney Hall”), warnings (“Please don’t wear scent of any kind…”), and time checks (“Ten minutes…five minutes…places please”).  All this has to be done through a microphone.

There is also the matter of distributing parking passes, travel instructions, maps (this is Los Angeles, remember) and other bits of arcana.  I’m collecting them for a scrapbook.  It includes a sign designating where the Choir I, Sopranos II should sit.  I did say arcana…

Despite all the difficulties the rehearsal was, once again, amazing.  You’re going to get tired of that sentiment, but I’m not sure how else to describe a mind-blowing, sensory-overload, just plain luscious musical experience.  And it’s only the second rehearsal.  We have five more, plus the dress.

And of course, the performance.  More in a day or so.

Procedural note:  I’m trying to keep up with the rehearsals so I can write about the performance as soon as possible after it takes place.  I’m way behind of course.  But after this I’ll be blogging about once a week, unless something huge happens.