We can't seem to have normal weekends here in California. Either the weather is acting schizophrenic (how is it suddenly summer?) or the freeways are melting and collapsing. Yes, you read that correctly. A gasoline tanker burst into flame and melted a 250 foot section of I-580 in the East Bay early this morning in the wee smas. This wasn't particularly impactful to my day, as our route to our concert at Acalanes High School was up I-680, well away from the chaos, but it certainly makes one stop and think. I had just moved to California in 1989 when the Loma Prieta Quake collapsed sections of the Bay Bridge. This was not nearly so earthshattering, but will still affect thousands of people. Fortunately it appears the driver was able to get away and get to a nearby medical center for burn treatment. I've not heard of other casualties. My sympathies to those whose commute will be affected tomorrow. Sounds like a good day to telecommute.
The concert went well. We sang the rep that we'll perform at the California International Choral Competition in July and watched the Acalanes High Chamber Singers and Ragazzi (a local boys chorus) sing as well. Ragazzi was a particular joy to watch, all fresh-faced and energetic. Their Ray Charles Medley brought down the house and had the audience squealing, clapping and laughing until tears rolled down their cheeks. Well worth the long drive. Oh and Jane, they sang Sing Me To Heaven and I was in tears before they'd finished the first phrase.
We closed by singing two piece as a combined choir, over 90 voices in all. Franz Biebl's Ave Maria is a perpetual favorite and one of our most requested pieces. It was truly transcendent to sing with all those voices. As the final sancta maria soared, the whole world seemed to vibrate and shimmer with the longing of that prayer.
We ended with Let Music Live (I, sadly, don't have the composer's name in front of me - my bad), which we did with the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus two years ago. When I first heard it then I thought it rather overworked and schmaltzy, but as we sang it, the picture it painted became alive for me. It speaks to how important music is in my life. It took on that same life today and I sang it with great joy.
Next up for us, a guest performance of Carmina Burana with the Santa Clara University Chorale. Friday, May 11, 8pm at the Santa Clara Mission. Tickets available at www.scc.org.