The Zen Place

I joke–as I prepare our concerts– I need to get to my “Zen Place.” The Zen Place is the one space in my conductor’s mind where everything becomes clear and every detail is finished and I can just go and conduct my concert and make music. My singers tease me about it–are we there yet?–but as much as they tease, they know I need to be there.

This concert cycle, I never made it. Our concert was yesterday afternoon and it was a wonderful concert–musically, vocally and audience-wise–but I never got to Zen. There were plenty of reasons for me NOT to get there this concert cycle. Not being able to have real time to Blog here should tell you a little bit.

My Dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in August, right before we began rehearsals. Getting him on the right treatment course and agreeing to it was a major undertaking. ‘Nuff said.

We had various issues with singers–two were stuck out east with Hurricane Irene’s aftermath , health things, job things–which threw rehearsals off course. We soldiered through and if you were at our concert, you didn’t notice anything, but we did!

Two weeks ago, my youngest son’s car was stolen–he was at the university where he is a Performers Certificate student and parked on the street. He’s also my main accompanist. In his car were his organ shoes and all the music–with markings–for our concert. Had to replace the shoes (fast) and the music and am still dealing with insurance. And until we get the car sorted out, he is using mine. He comes home and picks up the car for his gigs. We are lucky I am not booked as much as usual so he is able to use my car without TOO much of a hassle.

All those things would make anyone uneasy but the day of our concert, we had other things happen. I had a phone call from one of our trumpet trio–too sick to play–and we tried to replace him to no avail. We made it work with two. One of my singers had a relative think he was having a heart attack in the venue parking lot. Her husband went with him to the hospital before we ever had a chance to sing a note. But the final thing–the topper, if you will–was right after the concert, my oldest son who has autism passed out in the lobby and totally lost consciousness. Para-medics and the whole nine years. He’s okay–we think he was dehydrated and overheated–but it was a lousy way to end the concert!

Never made it to my Zen Place–the train was hijacked!

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