It's been nearly a year since my last post, but I figure now is as good a time as any to break the silence. Holy Week began last Sunday with the waving of palms and exclamations of "Hosanna" (I even managed to work the Sanctus from Fauré's Requiem into the mix) and begins a hard journey that has to go down before it can rise again this Sunday with Easter.
Personally I'll dedicate this "Three Days" to Paul Salamunovich. He featured prominently in my last entry as a key contributor to my acquaintance with Duruflé's Requiem (although we would not meet for nearly another decade). This gentle giant of the choral world passed away two weeks ago, and on the day the news broke, I listened to my recording of our meeting in March 2013. At some point early on, his wife Dottie entered the room to graciously offer coffee and then, reflecting on what she must have heard from others at the recent ACDA (choir director's) convention, said (with some considerably large but loving grains of salt):
he's an icon, he's a legend, he saved lives... a couple of other things... I think he also walks on water, but I don't remember if that's true or not... I looked at him, and I think "Really?"... so remember, you are in the presence...
Though it may be hard to remember in the midst of difficult times, making music can make a difference. I have tried to follow in the footsteps of those who have given so much to the art that moves, communicates, brings together, and educates while crossing social, language, and cultural barriers; if I can get one tenth as much accomplished as any one of those, I would consider myself blessed beyond imagining.
I am hoping to find my way through a field that has been struggling to evolve with the times. News of company closures, contract disputes and lockouts, the disappearance of tenure-track positions, etc. has been hard to accept. On Ash Wednesday, the congregants of Westwood Presbyterian Church were asked to write down what they would leave behind and what they would move toward during the forty-plus day season of Lent.
For me, I asked and continue to ask for discernment for myself and for this profession as we all journey down and look for our way to rise again.