I had to help play the rehearsal piano (there were just too many parts for the two students who normally played to do it alone). But I don't remember having as many challenges then as I've had the last few weeks and months as I've worked with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir to bring this glorious work to the people of Indianapolis. It finally has occurred to me that maybe we didn't sing all the choruses then as I have long thought (I knew we had cut all the solos, but I thought we had done all the chorus movements...). Still, most of what I remember is that it was an incredible experience-- especially as a high-schooler-- to be a part of such beautiful music.
And that part of the experience has not changed. Were we perfect in our execution? Heck, no! But I feel that we were good-- especially last night. I feel that as a whole, we created something truly sublime. My voice was not completely up to par, and I still made a few textual/rhythmic errors (though I did conquer the one run that had gotten me every time before). But I felt that the music we made was magical. And it was wholly gratifying to hear the resounding applause and cheers from the audience both nights, knowing that some of those cheers were meant for us alone-- not for the amazing orchestra, nor the talented soloists-- but for us.
The joy of making that music ring-- the elation at hearing it so appreciated by the audience-- has made all the time and stress and effort put into preparing it well worth it. To feel the divinity of such artistic creation echo in the depth of my being is an experience that will not soon be forgotten...
So thank you, Bach, for helping us all feel a little closer to heaven!