My Choir Convention

It was nice to have a break from all the personal and societal problems yesterday. For a day, I neither thought of what’s happening to our country nor what’s happenning to me professionally or financially.

Yesterday was just committed to the Choir Convention and my choir’s participation therein.

It was a whole day affair for me (or for us, my online choir, the BPOCC). Although it officially started at noon, we had to be there by 8:00 a.m. for some more practice and a “soundcheck” on the venue. Wow! I never felt so near to being a professional musician when I played my brand new flute in a public address (musical concert set-up) system and heard my part broadcasted in a venue for at least 1,000 people (I think). It sounded great. Sorry, we sounded great…(But then again this is my blog…)

Then we took our lunch together. Even while eating, we were practicing, wanting to put up a great performance for the convention. Even while exiting the Ateneo High School Cafeteria, we were practising. I overheard some early participants saying they thought they were listening to a recording when they heard us. Flattering.

Before the convention started we had the sheer honor of meeting and exchanging plesantries with Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J. I must admit he has not changed since the last time I met him. For a person of his talent and achievements, he has never lost sight of who he is and his part in the grand scheme of things and in God’s plan. Never has and never will have any pride or “airs.”

Then the half-day convention started. Here Fr. Mano shared with us his time and talent. Even for that alone, I will be forever grateful to him and Bukas Palad.

What did we learn? We learned that we are not alone in our choir problems and with God’s help, we can overcome them. From Fr. Mano, we even learned to true function of a choir and its role in the mass.

Bukas Palad even taught us some new songs! And the intermission numbers from the Hail Mary Choir and Hangad were fantastic. Their performance even put more pressure on us to perform well during the concert.

Fr. Mano’s instant composition knocked my jaw to the floor. He had reflect of three minutes to seek out mantra. And with a listing of some individual mantras, was able to compose a song right that instant…the guy’s truly graced…

As some sort of “demonstration,” a mass capped the convention. Can you imagine a mass where the whole congregation (of about 1,000+) IS the choir? I couldn’t until now… It was an rare and beautiful experience…

Then the concert….PRESSURE!

I just told my choir that the pressure was more on me because any mistake I make will surely be heard since I have solo parts. They can remedy a bum note or two, unlike me… I hope that helped them relieve the pressure…

Then our performance…. I think I hit a bum note or two but they said they did not notice… thank God! We were received very well… thought I heard “MORE!” but we did not have more…We were only good for two songs.

Then we finished the night with enjoying the rest of the concert… they were all fantastic!

Some reflections on the entire affair:

1. I never imagined I will ever meet true friends on the internet, but then again, as I have said before, my imagination may need expanding…

2. Again, it was very refreshing and recharging not to think about problems for one day and seek refuge or shelter from it, even for a short while. As I have known all this time, the Ateneo does have that “sheltering” effect, even when I was still studying there. That’s why some people there refuse to leave.

3. The venue, the Ateneo de Manila High School brings up good memories, after 18 years away. It was nice to recall and remember… It was also a homecoming of sorts for me and that made my Choir Convention experience extra special…

In closing, I like to thank Bukas Palad, the BPOCC and my home choir to sharing the experience with me and allowing me to take part…

Now back to the outside world… but first…



1 Comment

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One response to “My Choir Convention

  1. ahhh that is such a nice read.. It made me remember my “choir” days as well.

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