Hell Week has arrived. That’s what we call the week leading up to a concert. This Hell Week is going to be particularly hellish, too. In addition to our “regular” Tuesday night rehearsal at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, we have our tech rehearsal tonight and dress rehearsal tomorrow night. Friday night is show time.
This is going to be a very special concert. Our Pride Concert usually is, but this one is going to be extra special in that we are bidding a bittersweet farewell to our mentor and muse for the last twelve years, Dr. Stan Hill. The maestro has finally decided to hang up his baton, but something tells me that we have not heard the last of Stan Hill. I’m sure that the years and probably decades to come will see many new works penned by him.
This concert is actually Stan’s personal journey down memory lane; we’re just alone for the journey. The concert opens with a choral arrangement of “O Gracious King,” the first song Stan ever performed in front of an audience, back when he was an eight-year-old boy soprano. It will feature excerpts from the various works he has commissioned, like Naked Man, Exile, Metamorphosis and Through A Glass, Darkly, as well as a new work commission by our very own Royce Vagnier and composed by our composer laureate, Michael Shaieb.
Despite the fact that after “Olé Olé Olé” he swore he would never do another foreign language concert (and I have witnesses to the fact that he said that), there is a bit of Latin in this concert, like “The Ground” and “Gabriel’s Oboe” from The Mission. There’s also a Latin motet Stan composed himself, “David’s Lamentation on the Death of Jonathan.” Yep, King David in the Bible swung both ways, and the parts of the bible often ignored by the fundamentalists make it clear that Jonathan was David’s lover.
We’ll be bringing back a few of our greatest hits for this concert again, including “Not In Our Town” and “Groundless Ground”, two songs that were featured in my first-ever concert with the Chorus.
We won’t get to rest for long after the concert … GALA is coming. That’s the every-four-year gathering of GLBT Choruses. It’s in Denver this year, and we’ll be unleashing our newest commission, Out of My Range and Other Age-Related Performance Issues, which we premiered at our spring concert back in March. I’m looking forward to the trip, and even more forward to the rest that will come afterwards. Once GALA is behing us, we’ll be able to rest up until Labor Day, when we will start up again with our new Artistic Director, Ben Riggs.
This concert will end with Stan reading a poem called “Bye, Boys” which none of us will hear until the actual concert. Swimwear is optional, but encouraged. I just hope Ted Mann Concert Hall has flood insurance, ’cause there’s not gonna be a dry eye in the house!Share