From 2 kids to 370 – A Mother’s Journey
This past weekend I had the tremendous pleasure of heading off to Toronto to sing with the Upper Canada Children’s Chorus – truly a world-class choral institution. The irony of course was that I had to leave my own two children (goop) to sing about motherhood alongside 370 children of others (glamour), but what an experience.
The evening was a celebration of the Magic of Disney – not a foreign concept for me, so I had a great time singing a lot of my usual repertoire. But having the opportunity to hear the impeccable blend and tone of these children (under the direction of Brian and Michelle Rawlins) brought the magic of this music to even greater heights. I will now forever hear “Reflection” from Mulan in the perfect unison of the 150 older choristers – just hauntingly beautiful.
Aside from the artistry, however, I was truly moved by the passion of all those involved from the leaders of the chorus to the kids, from the professional musicians to the parent volunteers. Nowhere did I encounter an ego or attitude! Despite the magnitude of organizing and corralling (pun intended) 370 6-18-year-olds, the entire rehearsal and performance had a calm exuberance about it. I credit Brian and Michelle, certainly, and the culture of mutual respect and integrity they nurture. This is no small task, and manifesting just such a culture was actually my intent when I was Artistic Director of the Orange County High School of the Arts those many years ago. Even in a smaller setting as a master teacher and on staff at the College of the Young Americans, above technique or musicality, my goal is to develop an artist whose personal energy is one of openness. After all, creativity flows far better in an atmosphere of acceptance and support. That was truly evident this past weekend.
Every once in a while a job feels more like a gift than a means for income. Spending two days with the children and families of the UCC in Toronto was that for me. And coming home to my two little ones, well, despite the long travel and lack of sleep, I was energized. Thank you, to the Rawlins and every last child on that Toronto Centre for the Arts stage!