November has really been plugging along, hasn’t it? All the weeks since the end of fall break seem to have passed by at a breakneck, Usain Bolt-like pace, to the point that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Every day in my classes after I write the day’s date at the top of my notes, I always just stare at that steadily increasing number, as if glaring at it hard enough would magically shift the month back a week.
I think the reason it seems to be going so quickly is because I’ve just been keeping myself so busy. Yeah, I know, it’s a cop out to say that you’re busy with things, but it’s true. Between the formal initiations of 9 new Delts (and the raucous celebration that followed), preparing for the hi-jinks of Miss C of I (where I was an extremely classy backup dancer for the lovely winner of the event, Amy Weakland), and frantic preparation for the final essay in my English seminar due after Thanksgiving (worth 30% of my final grade in the course), hours have easily bled into days, which bled into weeks, which somehow lead to it being the 21st of November and fall semester being nearly complete.
And still, the events just keep coming, and they’re coming all at once—literally.
You see, the big event this weekend for me is Chamber Singers’ collaboration with the Boise Philharmonic and Master Chorale, an annual tradition in which we perform some of the most massive choral works ever composed. Last year, we joined the prestigious groups in performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and it was easily one of the most emotionally powerful performances I’ve ever been a part of in my life. This year, it’s Verdi’s Requiem. Attempting to describe it would be utterly pointless, because I don’t have the words to do this thing justice. You really just need to listen to this part of the second movement and prepare your eardrums for some Romantic era epicness.
No, seriously, listen to it. This blog post will be here after you’ve finished. Go on!
In any case, if I’ve been frantically preparing for my English essay, preparing to tackle over 200 pages of Verdi has been more on the level of near single-mindedness. It’s impossible to go into a performance of this Requiem without an intimate knowledge of the music. Coming in late for an entrance or messing up the rhythmic precision demanded lessens the impact of the work severely. Luckily for us performers, we’ve been working on this music since September, and we’ve been attending dress rehearsals almost every day this week under the direction of Maestro Robert Franz to adequately approach the work.
I’m super excited for it now that it’s so close—we perform Friday night at Northwest Nazarene University, and then Saturday night in Boise’s Morrison Center. And it’s going to be awesome, and you all should come. But that’s the thing. It’s too close!
My performances of the Requiem are coming at the cost of some of the other events that I’ve been excited about, including one that I helped plan. The first of these, Cabaret’s show with the advocates of the Women’s and Men’s Center, is also happening Friday night, and I’ll be forced to skip it. For you uninitiated, Cabaret is C of I’s improvisational theatre group, which just so happens to be made up of some of my closest friends on campus. The humor is not for the easily offended, but their performances always have me rolling on the ground by the end—I try to make every show of theirs that I can. That they’re performing with the advocates is even cooler, since I have several good friends in the WMC as well. I’m bummed that I can’t show my support of them.
And as bummed as I am about that, I’m even more bummed about Saturday night, because while I’ll be singing the “Dies Irae” alongside over a hundred other voices, my Delt brothers are going to be putting on the 2nd Annual Dr. Michael Erickson Memorial Winter Charity Ball, named for our deceased former faculty advisor. It’s our biggest philanthropic event of the year—a formal black tie affair with jazz music, tasty catering, and the best decorations you’ll see at any event on campus. All the proceeds go to the Salvation Army just in time for the holiday season, including both monetary donations and unopened toys for the kids. That we can bring so many smiles for the needy this winter is certainly making Dr. Erickson proud, wherever he is now.
I’m super disappointed that I need to miss the Charity Ball—on top of the good that it does for so many people, it’s great fun to attend something so formal, and to see so many good friends in all of their finery as well. It’s like I’m trading one night of memories for a different set, but I’m greedy and would really just love to have both.
But I can’t be too disappointed, I suppose. There will be other Cabaret shows and years of Charity Balls to come, but there will only be one chance to sing a work like Verdi’s.
- Clayton Gefre
Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.