Sewanee Day Five & Six: Pride

I’ve had a really great couple of days.

That’s half of the reason why I didn’t blog yesterday. Because I was relishing in the good days I was having and I just wanted to experience it.

The Sewanee Church Music Conference choir is working extra, EXTRA hard for our Evensong service tonight. Which we get to sing in the glorious All Saints’ Chapel.


We’re singing some pretty difficult music too. The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by William Walton is one of the most difficult pieces I have ever sung. None of it does what it’s supposed to do, it modulates a lot, and the time signature changes every other measure. It’s definitely testing my musical ability. At the beginning of the week, while I listened to it the first time I sat there thinking, holy crap how am I going to do this, it’s too difficult and I don’t even like it. But we ran through it this morning with full organ, full choir, and all the soloists, and I realized that I actually love it. It’s the most exciting and challenging piece and I couldn’t be more grateful that I get to sing it tonight.

Speaking of solos…

Along with the Walton solos for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, we’re singing another piece on Sunday for the Eucharist for two soprano solos. When I heard the piece (O Salutaris Hostia by Esenvalds if anyone would like to know), I decided that I needed to get the soprano one solo. I practiced every morning until the day of the auditions. On the day, I walked into the chapel of the apostles extremely nervous. Like who did I think I was, a newbie trying out for a very prominent solo during her first conference? I thought I was crazy. I was up against two other people. One of my Sewanee mom’s and another teacher. My Sewanee mom got the soprano solo in the Walton Magnificat because the director liked her sound and wanted it for that. So it was just me and this other woman. Bob had me sing the second soprano part first and the other girl sang the first soprano line. I was sight-reading because I hadn’t actually practiced this line at all, but I put my Anglican training to the test and didn’t do half bad of a job. Then, Bob, had us switch.

And guess who is the proud owner of a BEAUTIFUL soprano one solo?


I couldn’t be more proud of myself for putting myself out there and trying for something that I really wanted. I cannot wait to sing it for people on Sunday morning!

Update on my two friends:

They’ve officially declared themselves as my Sewanee moms!


Aren’t we the cutest?

Yes, yes we are.

It’s the coolest thing ever. They’ve taken me under their wings, they’ve shown me the ropes, they’ve given me a living body to eat lunch with, and they’ve shown me they care. Even after only four days of knowing me.

Jennifer, the one with the red glasses, walks around bragging about how I’m the soprano one soloist and how good I sound. Everyone I meet when I’m around her gets an earful about how proud she is of her Sewanee daughter.

Speaking of pride.

I haven’t heard hide nor hair of my teacher basically since we got here.

Guess that happens when he’s the director.

But yesterday as we’re walking into the chapel for rehearsal, he pulls me aside and tells me how proud he is of me because of all the hard work I’ve been doing during the conference and how I’ve just been a great conferencee.

This was before he even heard me open my mouth to sing the solo!

After I did sing it (and singing in that space, even I was impressed with myself), he came up to where I was, gave me a few notes about my hesitating on the high notes, and told me I sounded fantastic.

My heart was definitely warmed last night. That’s for sure.

I even got asked to be a part of a recording session!!

One of my teacher’s good friends is the founder of a music publishing company. When they get new music, they release a demo so people wanting to know what the piece sounds like can hear what it sounds like. I was in that choir for like 12 pieces! It was really really fun and really funny to get to interact with all of these uber talented musicians.

My time on the Holy Mountain is slowly coming to an end. I mean, here it is, Friday afternoon. I have today, tomorrow, and half of Sunday and then I’m done.

I’m really going to miss my two Sewanee moms and the mountains. I miss my family and my boyfriend at home though, so I can’t wait to get home to them. But I will always cherish this time up here.


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