Yes, as an Opera Mom, I often have my rehearsal tag alongs…my two amazing children! I know, I know, EVERYONE thinks that their children are amazing. What I know, is that I will be able to concentrate at a rehearsal while my children are present. They know that they are expected to help where needed and to be quiet and attentive, otherwise. Sometimes, this is not an easy task, but it is always expected. Monday night was no exception.
Ella had rehearsal with the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, and my son, Aidan, always accompanies us and stays for that rehearsal. They knew that we would then be going on to the rehearsal of the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra to meet Maestro Kendrick. Ella was excited to hear the entire 15 minute “A Song of Thanksgiving” to get an idea of how her part at the end of the piece with the children’s chorus would fit in. I teased Ella that she should really pay attention to the words, “Praise! Praise! Praise!” because that’s right before her entrance, and perhaps Dr. Kendrick would have her sing the chorus part. She just giggled.
As we arrived, the kids were themselves, they listened to Maestro Kendrick and helped bring in more chairs that were needed for the chorus. They got right to work! Dr. Kendrick warmed the chorus up while the kids watched with awe, and even participated! Before we began, Dr. Kendrick generously introduced both of my children by name to the entire chorus. I was moved. He then invited Ella to sing her part when it came time. The entire chorus and I smiled as we watched her blush just a little bit!
We then began the rehearsal stopping here and there to fix and make better particular portions. We got to the children’s chorus entrance, and I glanced over at Ella just so that she knew to be listening for her entrance. Then what happened is exactly what I didn’t expect. She sang both of the children’s chorus verses, by herself, in front of hundreds of strangers. I couldn’t look. I was so proud, and moved that I would never have made my last entrance had I looked at her. It was an incredible evening and those verses ended in whooping and hollering for Ella’s victory. What courage, what bravery! She is one of the most courageous people I know in my life. This little one with a big heart can stand up to bullies in everyday life, and then let her voice soar at night! Well done!
Her brother was just as amazing. As the piece went on for the first 10 minutes, Ella turned to Aidan concerned that she couldn’t remember the first verse of the piece. He simply patted her leg and said with confidence, “Don’t worry, when your music starts, you’ll know!”
Not crying on the stage of this piece will be my victory!