Lazy Luddite Log

12.12.07

Concerted Carolling

On the date this entry is postmarked I wrote the following:

On Saturday 15 December from 7:30pm the Monash University Choral Society (MonUCS) in conjunction with the RMIT Occassional Choral Society (ROCS) will perform Funeral Music For Queen Mary by Purcell, In Time Of Battle by Chesnokov, and a selection of traditional Christmas carols, accompanied by brass and organ. The concert will be held at Saint Mark's Anglican Church... in Fitzroy... I am happy to sell tickets to all comers (or you can purchase tickets at the door). This is much more than just the usual carolling gig (I just hope I get over my cold in time)…

The concert went well but I still had vestiges of a cold and the singing exaccerbated my asthma on the night. I was even contemplating giving the second half of the performance a miss but rested during interval and got back into it. I am happy I did (keeping in mind that I was still taking care of my own condition).

For me a big aspect of my involvement in MonUCS is the challenge of it. Many friends may think of me as having a musical bent. But the thing that only I fully understand is that, for me, the delivery of a precise musical composition tests my mental dexterity to its limits, and I am mentally very "unco". And then I have the kind of life strategy that involves sidestepping anything difficult or confusing. It takes a lot of will for me to combat this force of habit and I think MonUCS provides me with one regular way in which I can do just that while also getting a regular return for my efforts. That incentive is only in part the satisfaction of a successful performance. It also arises from the setting of a group that supports one as both a colleague and a friend (and the MonUCti are just so darned nice to me as to make me inwardly swoon at times). For deferred gratification to work one also needs regular doses of instant gratification too.

But back to the gig. We did pretty well and the inclusion of instrumentalists (playing one pipe organ, two trumpets and three trombones) contributed immensely to a warm enveloping wave of harmony. I think they also helped push us to do better - to find the glory implicit in the music. Thanks to Jen for coming along. It was a pity other interested friends had a party to go to or were off on interstate holiday but it is the Festive Season after all.

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