Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Language Problems

Yesterday turned out to be a total loss for the To-Do list. I had to put everything on the back burner while I experienced several new languages.

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to add a new computer to my life. Because I have limited technical ability I allowed my oldest daughter to talk me into a Mac. Truthfully, I wanted a Mac just because of those Mac/PC commercials. I love that neurotic man that plays the PC and I want to be the cool Mac guy with no problems. I started my tech life as a Mac purest (ok in the-land-before-time I was originally a Commodore Amiga person, but that is almost too embarrassing to mention). My new Mac speaks both Mac and PC….. but not to me. The thing is so sleek, so cool, so technologically wonderful that it has taken me a month to figure out how to do anything with it but surf the web. – at home. Yesterday I tried using it here at the store, but it wouldn’t connect to our wireless internet. That required a call to Verizon Tech Support. You can imagine how well THAT went. I am quite sure that if the Tech Center has a bulletin board where they post transcripts of the dumbest calls ever received, my name is up there with red exclamation points. I simply don’t speak “tech”.

My afternoon and evening were consumed with driving my daughter to her rehearsal. Lindsay has been given an unbelievable opportunity to solo with the Mendelssohn Choir at their 100th anniversary concert this Friday. There are four adult professional soloists along with my daughter that will be performing Elijah at Carnegie Music Hall here in Pittsburgh. These are heavy hitters in the music world; the lead baritone has performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera and the conductor is grammy award winning Robert Page.

I very naively thought that I would sit in the back of the auditorium and calmly hand stitch some binding while they rehearsed. Impossible. Sitting in a mostly empty concert hall while a full professional choir and orchestra perform this powerful piece is something that you simply can not take your eyes off. I know NOTHING about music. NOTHING. Those black dots on the page might as well be Arabic. I do know that Lindsay sings from the balcony, her part begins on page 93 and one of her dots is well above the top black line on the music page.
At one point Elijah, in his deep booming voice commands Lindsay to look to the heaven for a sign from God. At that point everything stops and all you hear is my daughter’s clear soprano voice. She is wonderful. On the other hand I am filled with nothing but shear panic. Not speaking the musical language I have no choice but to worry and fret through the first 92 pages! How does she know when to come in? How does she keep track of those quarter notes and eighth notes and how does she know what note to start on? In a feeble attempt to help her in any way possible, I hold my breath the entire time she sings. Thank heaven her part is relatively short. I am sure that I will get over this helpless feeling of panic if she decides to pursue a career in music, but between now and stardom, I should probably be sedated. It would be easier on both of us.

Now it’s back to the world I am comfortable in. Today I absolutely must make those Becky Kelly stars shine.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion. Try and get that talented teenager of yours to give you a basic lesson on the reading of music. I'm sure she doesn't sit there and count through all 93 pages, but through rehearsal has learned key passages of the others and that will key her into when her part is coming up. You could do the same. It will eliminate some of the angst. On the other hand, one could sit in the lobby outside the theatre, where the lighting is better for sewing binding anyway and then the night of the performance will be truly magnificent.