Pushing cinder blocks up hill
I'm director of a Jewish Chorale, a job both exhausting and exhilarating. We meet only twice a month, and it is an amateur group, so I've given up trying to find published Jewish chorale works that might suit us - now I find traditional songs and harmonize them myself with this particular group in mind (I know what our altos, tenors, etc. can and cannot do, what notes they might complain about, what rhythms would not be worth the trouble to propose...). Often I feel so tired in anticipation of our two hours together, but it chastens me to realize that some drive a very long way to come to rehearsal, so what have I got to kvetch about? One man recently had a sudden severe heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery and he didn't miss one rehearsal! For now, his wife drives him -- even though she herself just had cornea surgery and also spent a week in the hospital with a different ailment. Look what my singers go through to share these hours! I love the songs and when my arrangements sound wonderful, I cackle with glee. I'm lucky to have this work.
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