Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music ...
Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music Education from Truman State. Now retired, Rich enjoyed reading, writing music and short essays. He is the director of Kirksville Community Chorus.
MCKNOTES ON THE MORNING AFTER
Last Monday night I finished up the spring season with the community chorus in what I have to consider a wonderfully successful concert. Wonderful singing, two adorable young people serving as our extremely capable announcers, marvelous accompanists on the piano, clarinet and flute and a farewell tribute to a great part of the chorus, Sara Beth Fouch, made for a moving and sometimes thrilling evening. The spring concert has been my most significant focus since mid-January, and all of a sudden, it’s over.
I’m not complaining. I’m ready for a break and some down time. Many people come together to make such an event come to life, but few know all the moving parts that require me to really keep my eye on the ball if it’s all going to fall into place. Risers, chairs, sound control, program order, printed material, music distribution and then collection, thank you notes and checks written and, of course, the weekly rehearsals are all required in order to insure that everything happens accurately and on cue. It’s rewarding when everything occurs as planned. Even more uplifting is the chance to see and greet old and new friends in attendance prior to the concert and spontaneous responses such as unexpected applause from the audience as well as their smiles, laughter and their gracious comments about their favorite parts when the evening comes to an end.
Now I have time to focus on some other things, and my calendar is already taking on a completely different character. I’ll be off to New York in three weeks. I’ll have music responsibilities that come to fruition on the west coast this summer as well. I will also take my “down time” to catch up with friends I haven’t seen during the chaotic preparation for this past concert.
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to come to the realization that our lovely Sara Beth Fouch will no longer grace the piano bench on Monday nights once we start again. She, too, senses a void when she no longer has a batch of music to practice. Even though we have done this all our lives, such responsibilities still require practice.
We were pleased to honor Sara Beth with lovely roses in a crystal vase, a basket hand woven by Linda Colton, which held notes of appreciation from choristers and audience members, a lovely bamboo plaque made especially for Sara Beth that expressed our fondness for her and finally, two scholarships that will be awarded in her name to Truman State music students all went toward honoring this integral part of the life of the chorus. Her handsome family sat at the front of the audience to share Sara Beth’s moment of glory for all she has done for so many people.
The morning after requires me to show up and get the team started to store away the equipment necessary for such a production. So the curtain has come down on another semester ending my ninth year as director of the Kirksville Community Chorus. I always wonder if I’ll have the steam to do it all again, but the bigger question is whether or not I could live without it.