(ETA: For those of you following me in Google Reader, I began this post the Monday after Easter but have not had time to finish it, so it will publish with today's date even though it will appear on the blog back in April.)
This last several weeks has been a little nuts. I've said that before. Probably many times. But I had no idea just HOW crazy it would ultimately be! With the big Palm Sunday performance out of the way, I really thought that I would coast through the remainder of Holy Week at Ye Olde Church Job. Boy, was I ever wrong on that one!
We had a rehearsal on the Saturday before Easter to go over the big pieces that we would be presenting during Easter worship services. We were pulling a movement from a piece that we sang several years ago (mvt 1 from Rutter's Gloria). Honestly, we had not worked on it very much b/c we were SO focused on the Chilcott. Our Wednesday rehearsal went pretty well, so we felt confident that, even though we hadn't rehearsed this piece very much, we would still be able to do it justice at the baton of our Fearless Leader on Sunday morning.
Well, that was fine and dandy until .... I arrive at Saturday's rehearsal to a flurry of activity and some BIG news. Our Fearless Leader was in the hospital AND her husband had been diagnosed that week with squamous cell carcinoma!! Her husband is our tenor section leader and by far the coat tails that the men ride on each week. A double whammy, to say the least, this news was. (Hello, Master Yoda.) That left us scrambling to pull of this rehearsal and tentatively make plans in the event she was not able to be released and join us for Sunday morning worship. Talk about running around like a chicken with one's head cut off!! Oh my.
To say that Saturday's rehearsal was one step short of disaster is an understatement. We split up conducting duty between two of our most capable members. (And in the end, I'm SO thankful this duty did NOT fall to me b/c it would have been absolutely disasterous on Sunday! Seriously!) Our confidence in that one difficult piece that we hadn't rehearsed much pretty much went down the tubes. We labored most of rehearsal on that one piece. And it was certainly a struggle. There were many grumblings about cutting it ... except that we had no suitable replacement AND we'd hired a brass quartet specifically for this particular ball-buster! Oy.
I received a phone call towards the end of rehearsal that our director would NOT be with us on Easter Sunday morning, that she was being held in the hospital for observation. She and I talked through all of the logistical things that would need to be put in order between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. These duties DID fall to me. Needless to say, Saturday afternoon turned into a busy one for me. I had set-up to take care of, phone calls to be made, checks to be found, emails to be sent, and signs to be made. AND I had a dinner party to give at my house that evening.
Sunday morning came really early. I had to be to church by 6:30 a.m. (!) to get all of the ducks in a row before the good folks of the choir arrived to begin rehearsing at 7 a.m. We ran a tight ship that morning out of necessity. Our schedule allowed no wiggle room. Early worship was at 8 a.m. The brass arrived as scheduled at 8:30 (right in the middle of early morning worship) and we had a very brief rehearsal between early service and late service, which began at 9:30.
To say that we were all just a leeeeeetle bit stressed about music is an understatement. But when all was said and done, it went pretty well. Could it have gone better? Sure. But given the circumstances, I think we were all rock stars. Am I glad that it's all over? Absolutely.
Our director was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon after a battery of tests and no definitive answer. She developed severe double vision on Saturday morning, and they believed it could be a stroke. However, all tests ruled out that possibility, but none of them were definitive in explaining what happened. It could very well be related to stress. This last week, with her husband's diagnosis, it would certainly make sense, not to mention in addition to the stress of preparing for Holy Week. She'll be on bed rest this week and go to several doctor appointments to try to determine the cause.
ETA: After another round of double vision this weekend (May 8th), the doctors believe that she is experiencing a new kind of migraine. She has suffered from severe migraines for more than 20 years and apparently this is a new manifestation.